Mar 02, 2019 - 10:42 PM
URL rating is a rating for whatever specific URL you are looking at. Domain rating would be for the entire domain. So if you pulled a default report using your domain name, the UR rating would be for the homepage, specifically, while the domain rating would encompass all the links the site received to all the pages on the site combined.
You could also pull data for a specific page on your site. For example, my answer on Majestic's citation flow, has an Ahrefs URL rating of 10, but another page on the site might have a rating between 6 or 14, but the domain rating will remain the same.
For Ahrefs the ratings are on a scale of 0-100, and like many backlink tools these measurements try to mimic how Google used to display pagerank in their toolbar on a logarithmic scale (meaning a domain rank of 72 isn't just double your example, it would be many, many times more authoritative).
Google recently clarified that it doesn't use any site-wide backlinks metrics in its algorithm, but SEOs still see value in domain ratings because it shows how popular the site is on the internet, in terms of garnering links, and it also shows the potential link equity the site could spread to itself and other sites. Google may claim domain rating means nothing, but research has shown a very strong correlation between higher domain ratings and a greater amount of ranked keywords across a site.Not all SEO Tools Rate the URL or Domain Ratings the Same
For example, the site you were looking at had the following scores from other tools:
Page authority: 33
Domain authority: 34
Page Trust: 12, Citation: 36 Domain Trust: 10, Citation: 33What is the difference between the 3 tools?
You may be wondering why one site generates such a wide variety of scores. There's 3 major differences between domain & page rating backlinks tools.
1) they all have the challenge in crawling the entire web--something that is very difficult to do, especially at the scale that Google does. Each provider has a different data set to use.
2) After they've found all the links they could, they have to evaluate them based off the quality & quantity links flowing between site. There's some complicated math involved and the provider may do it a little differently. They all also need to make decisions about what level of spammy sites to include.
3) They must calculate their scores and each uses different criteria, different high & low sites and different logarithmic scales.
Why the Domain Rating Drop on Ahrefs?
A domain rating drop can certainly occur even if your # of domains linking in and # of pages linking in go up. This is because you may have lost a link from a higher quality domain - sometimes this occurs because a domain shuts down, they remove the page that the link was on, or they simply removed the link. Also, blogs tend to have newer posts displayed on there homepage, but once enough posts have been added, the post you received a link from may have lost some of its link power by not having an internal link from the homepage.
In your particular case, you'll notice fluctuations in the domains & pages linking to your site each month:
In February you lost 45 domains linking in and gained 76 new, but if the new weren't as powerful as the old, your domain rating would go down.
Even if you didn't gain or lose links in a given month you could still see the rating change for you because the domains linking to you may have suffered their own loss in links, which would reduce their domain rating and, in turn, yours.
The final possibility, is what I alluded to when I mentioned using different tools. The dataset ahrefs uses may have changed. They may have had trouble crawling certain sites, they may have removed some sites from their index, or the way they calculate their numbers may have changed (they usually give us a heads up for this). And with the logrithmic scale, fluctuations can happen at the top or bottom, or in-between that might reclassify your site's rating over time.
For your particular site, I see that you lost links from three authoritative news sites: digitaljournal, wave3, and newschannel10, plus a link from 60secondmarketer.com.
Which Tools Do I Use?
Personally, I use all three of these tools, plus Google Search Console, because they all uncover different backlinks and all are susceptible to fluctuations in their data which can lead clients to jump to incorrect conclusions when looking at their KPIs. If I see all four agreeing on backlink trends, then I know that the change is real and not just a data fluctuation issue.