Tag Archives: Moz

Moz Essentially Stops Sharing MozRank etc. via API

Moz had been allowing up to 1,000,000 rows of data to be retrieved via their API for free each month. We used that service when we updated our MultipageRank site to show Moz scores. We made this update because Google stopped updating their publicly shared pagerank values and were happen to support Moz’s commitment to providing data similar to what Google stopped sharing.

Moz updated their site (with no notice) to stop providing results after 25,000 rows a month (so 97.5% less than they used to – essentially none). To retrieve more you must pay $500+ every month. We don’t even get that much in revenue each year so that isn’t an option for us.

We will have to look for options about what to do, possibly finding an alternative to MozRank. At this point MozRank is still shared publicly via the toolbar so still is potentially a decent public metric. But just like Google removed the measure from the public once it had served to provide them marketing value maybe Moz will do the same thing and only provide the data for those paying for it. Obviously it is perfectly in their right (both Google and Moz) to restrict access to their data.

It sure would be nice if companies provided a few months notice before they stop the data from being provided. It will take us some time to update our site, since it is just a simple project we do to try and help people.

Related: Use Multiple PageRank Site to Find PageRank of https PagesAre the Values of Links Decreasing?

Big Updates to Moz Index Results in Big Moves in Domain Authority and Page Authority Results

Moz posted a big update to their index this week that had a big impact on Moz Page Authority and Domain Authority. Why does it matter?

Really it doesn’t matter, but since Google is so secretive the Moz data gives us some insight into what Google (and other search engines are likely seeing). The changes to Moz have no direct effect on search results or traffic. What Moz believes (and it makes sense they are right) is that the updates better match what Google (and the others) see.

Basically Moz found some weaknesses in their prior data and methods and have tried to improve them, as they explained here. Many sites are noticing lowing Page Authority and Domain Authority numbers for their site (as I am on mine). I am not clear yet, but it seems possible, their was a general inflation in the numbers and so say the average number might have declined by 20% (this is just a made up number for illustration purposes). If that were true what really matters is if you declined less (that would be good) or more (that would be bad) than 20%.

And of course, there will be lots of variation in the changes in scores. These scores move around a fair amount (though Domain Authority scores do seem fairly stable over time) even when no big changes are happening at Moz.

Comments on the fluctuations of DA and PA scores from Rand Fisken- DA/PA Fluctuations: How to Interpret, Apply, & Understand These ML-Based Scores

because Mozscape indices take 3-4 weeks to process, the data collected in an index is between ~21-90 days old.

Since Domain and Page Authority are on a 100-page scale, the very top of that represents the most link-rich sites and pages, and nearly every index, it’s harder and harder to get these high scores and sites, on average, that aren’t growing their link profiles substantively will see PA/DA drops.

PA/DA are created using a machine-learning algorithm whose training set is search results in Google. Over time, as Google gets pickier about which types of links it counts, and as Mozscape picks up on those changes, PA/DA scores will change to reflect it.

My strongest suggestion if you ever have the concern/question “Why did my PA/DA drop?!” is to always compare against a set of competing sites/pages. If most of your competitors fell as well, it’s more likely related to relative scaling or crawl biasing issues, not to anything you’ve done

Rand provides lots of good insight here. Moz is generally followed closely by people that pay a great deal of attention to SEO. I am not really in that camp, I pay some attention just because I find it interesting. I don’t spend time trying to figure out how to increase SEO through various gimmicks.

I don’t pay much attention to ratings for other sites, based on his suggestion I might start tracking a few similar sites to see how their scores vary over time as a way of understanding my scores better. All I really did before was look at other sites authority scores and comparing when I was bored (maybe 2 or 3 times a year) but didn’t keep track of any of them.

I find Moz interesting because it gives us open access to interesting data. There are many other things that impact search results but the authority pages and sites have is an interesting thing to watch (and does have a real impact on search results – even if it is much less than people might suspect).

Earlier this year I wrote about Decreases in MozRank and Page Authority for some of my sites and I posted an update where most of the decreases had disappeared (the authority numbers had returned to the same or close to what they were before the decline). Hopefully that will happen for my sites this time too, but we will have to wait and see.

Related: Most Important Search Engine Ranking FactorsFind MozRank, Moz PageAuthority, Google PageRank and Alexa Results NowKeeping Up with SEO Changes

Decreases in MozRank and Page Authority

I have noticed a decrease in MozRank and to a much lessor extent Moz Page Authority on many of my sites very recently. I don’t know if it is some major MozRank update (I don’t see other posts about it, so probably not) or is just related to my sites. I don’t follow that closely but on the sites I visit a lot I noticed a decrease today (which doesn’t necessarily mean it happened today).

My sites that I visit a lot are blogs and are interrelated so I could imagine a change could cascade through all of them.

They are still doing well so I am not worried but it is always nicer to see increases than decreases.

Looking at a couple it seems like MozRank went down most, and Moz PA went down slightly if at all. Examples (I am trying to remember the previous rankings so I might be off by a bit – they don’t normally change much so I haven’t bothered tracking more than about twice a year)

[my memory of recent values to today (and August 2014 values)

site 1 from 64 and 6.3 to 64 and 5.6 (August 2014 values: 52 and 6.0)
site 2 from 60 and 6.2 to 58 and 5.3 (59 and 6.0)
site 3 from 63 and 6.2 to 59 and 5.2 (48 and 6.1)
site 4 from 58 and 6.1 to 55 and 5.2 (55 and 6.1)
site 5 from 51 and 5.6 to 50 and 5.0 (39 and 5.8)
site 6 from 51 and 5.5 to 47 and 5.0 (38 and 5.5)
site 7 I can’t remember to 37 and 4.9 (37 and 5.5)
site 8 I can’t remember to 33 and 4.9 (34 and 5.7)
site 9 from 38 and 4.9 to 36 and 4.3 (new)

As you can see many sites increased from August (gradually over the months) and then gave some of those gains back in the last day or two (or decreased to below August 2014, especially for MozRank). On average since August, 2014 PA increase then gave a bit of the increase back but was higher than August, 2014 while MozRank increased more then gave even more than the gain back to end up lower than August, 2014.

This site isn’t very connected to the others. This blog was 31 Moz Page Authority and 5.0 MozRank in August 2014, today it is MozPA 31 and 4.4 MozRank. The main Multi-pagerank site had MozPA of 41 and MozRank of 4.9 in August, 2014. Now the main site is 40 and 4.9. I think maybe these values didn’t change today but I can’t really remember. For the other sites they pretty much stayed in the same area since August, 2014.

New Site Spam Flags Score from Moz

Moz continues to provide interesting tools and site measures. I only follow things as I find it interesting (not as a profession). I am not a SEO person and paying $100 a month (or much more) they charge for their tools isn’t worth it for my curiosity. But they make some things available for free and provide some interesting blog posts on what they find and about their tools.

This new Spam Score analysis by Moz seems very interesting: Spam Score: Moz’s New Metric to Measure Penalization Risk. The idea is sensible, they are trying to determine the spam riskiness of a site based on the correlations they can draw from their web crawl data and Google search results. Moz can then see where sites are not ranking well when many factors would indicate they should rank and then draw a conclusion that Google has penalized certain sites (and not given sites with links from those sites credit or worse penalized sites with links from those sites).

This seems like a really good idea. The found 17 flags that are correlated with spam hits to the site. And when sites trip more and more of those flags the likelihood of Google classifying those sites as spam rise. When a site has 0 spam flags Moz calculates a .5% chance of the site showing up in Google search results (or not showing more likely) in a way that indicates Google sees the site as spam. 4 spam flags equals a 7.5% chance of being a “spam site.” A site with 6 spam flags has at 16% chance of being spam, 7 flags means a 31% chance, 8 is a 57% chance, 9 a 72% chance and 14 a 100% chance.

A screen shot of Moz's spam flags report

Screen shot of Moz’s Spam Flag report.

In their post Moz says that tripped spam flags are not meant to be an indication of something that needs to be fixed (after all the flags are just correlation, not causation – “fixing them” may do nothing for search results). That may be true but if sites are showing a 5-yellow for spaminess it is highly likely lots of people are going to want to reduce this scary looking feedback about their site.

It may well be changing to avoid the flag by adding twitter buttons and making whatever tweaks to get rid of several more flags is what is likely to happen.
My guess is a spaminess rating that wasn’t just x/17 but a factor of how many of 17 tripped plus an understanding of how important that was (I would imagine including which interactions of spam flag were more critical…).

I would be surprised if there isn’t a big difference in a certain 3 flags being tripped versus 3 other flags being tripped (plus say 4 other random flags). That is to say, even with Moz’s limited ability to know what Google is directly reacting to versus correlations you can observe. I would imagine this could big improved into a 100 point (or whatever) system that gave a much more valuable spam site insight than just treating each flag as equally important (and ignoring especially deadly interactions between flags – which flags when they are tripped together cause the likely spam hit to be seen in google results.

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