Most people selling domains these days are focused exclusively on PageRank (PR), Page Authority (PA) or Domain Authority (DA). That’s dangerous, as those metrics can be inflated and faked easily with a few $5 spammy link blasts, meaning they are selling you links that sound good but have no power when it comes to getting higher Google rankings.
The number, we should focus on, quickly filters out spammy, low quality domains. This is great as it ensures you only spend your time analyzing high quality domains.
Citation Flow / Trust Flow
Well it’s actually not a number but a ratio. It comes from Majestic’s Open Site Explorer, and makes use of Citation Flow and Trust Flow.
In 2013 Majestic analyzed the Majestic Million to better understand the numbers behind different types of site’s backlink profiles (Original article here).
Here are the basics:
Citation Flow (CF) is determinated by the number of citations to a given URL, or Domain (the strength of one single page, like PA and basically the same as PR).
Trust Flow (TF) is determinated by the number of clicks from a seed set of trusted sites to a given URL, or Domain (a kind of Trust Rank). Because Majestic uses human SEO experts to judge the trust of a site as a basket of hand-picked “high quality” sites, this is actually a very reliable metric.
The CF / TF ratio is near impossible to manipulate with SPAM and doesn’t lie. While spam will increase CF, it is very hard to manipulate TF using low quality links.
Given this, a domain that has high PA / DA will likely have high Citation Flow, but it’s Trust Flow will depend entirely on the quality of the links.
If you’re still focusing just on PR / PA / DA when buying domains, you’re setting yourself up to get scammed!
Therefore we have included the CF / TF ratio in the results of DomainMetricsTool for analyzing domain metrics to assure our paid membership customers are not spending their hard earned money on rubbish domains. Majestic trust ratio, CF / TF and other Majestic metrics are included in the paid membership FOR FREE!
Majestic found analyzing the backlink profiles of the Majestic Million (top 1 million domains they track), the top 25% of domains had CF/TF ratios near 1.09. An average site had a CF/TF a ratio near 2.89. But here’s the important part: spammy domains (outliers on their bell curve) had ratios between 6.58 and 9.87!
The closer this value is to zero, the better the URL is!
While analyzing domains, our process to include domains for our own lists of expired authority domains relies on the CF / TF ratio of the respective domain to make sure it’s near 1.8. If it’s anywhere above it, we don’t use or list the domain.
We have chosen Majestic’s “Median” of 1.8125 from Figure 1 (see above Majestic blog) as for the maximum ratio value we use, to ensure trust of a domain and we could confirm the range of 1.8 with thousands of domains.
While we can never rely on any one metric, the CF / TF ratio gives us an incredible way to quickly analyze the quality of a site’s backlink profile before analyzing it by hand.
So what’s the point here?
While one can not rely 100% on hard numbers when searching for high quality domains, the CF/TF ratio is the fastest way to quickly filter out low quality, spammy domains.
And of course we have included all the other metrics like PA / DA, total number of backlinks, referring domains, all Majestic metrics and even the outdated PR.