Buying Expired Domains: DA Vs TF

Which is the best metric to consider?
SIA Team
September 21, 2021

When buying expired domains for 301 redirects or PBNs, which metrics should you consider, DA or TF?

The purpose of this test is to take an in depth look at buying different PBN type sites with different metrics. What do these different metrics really mean in terms of passing juice?

We wanted to test the difference between 3 domains: 

  • One TF/CF close to 1 (
  • One with higher TF than the first but TF/CF greater than 1 (
  • One with a high DA and lower TF than the other two (

Test Setup

The whole set up for the test is:

  1. We found a dummy keyword and created Lorem Ipsum with 8 keyword instances, including h1, h2, bold and italic.
  2. We added 10 pages to a domain ( using lorem ipsum to get a background to inject the new sites into.
  3. We bought 3 domains with varying levels of TF, CF and DA to see which would rank first with no other techniques added from Majestic and MOZ.
  4. We aaited for -10 pages to rank, then added each domain above to its own CloudFlare account, and built a WordPress for each. Used dummy text on homepage and submitted to search console.
  5. In a day or so, was at top of results with 3 listings but nothing from other domains.
  6. We added each site to a separate unique Google webmasters account, submitted sitemap and Fetch and Render and Index.
  7. Two weeks later same results, i.e. only in results.
  8. We chose a new keyword, nusinudents, created LI, made interior pages, made menu at top of website and added home and new page to it.
  9. Submitted each new page to Fetch and Render and Index.
  10. Few days later: #1, #2, still not in SERPs.
  11. Few days after: disappears
  12. Few days after: #1, #2, still not in SERPs.
  13. Rechecked all sites in Majestic and MOZ. No DA change, but all sites have TF/CF changes.
  14. #1, #2, still not in SERPs 1 week in. Resubmitted in webmasters, Fetch, Render and Index.
  15. If does not index in another few days, we can send some traffic and links to all 3 sites.


The winner is the high DA site. Google dropped the others from ranking (not deindexed, just not shown in SERPs). 

The test was run again with two other sites added in mix, and the high DA site wins again.

You really can’t rely on just one metric. It’s not as easy as “get at least a TF 15 or DA 20”, and you’ll be good. It was interesting that the high DA won in this test.

Clint’s Feedback

In this video, Clint discusses this test and his insights on site metrics and tools.

Test number 72 – Buying Expired Domains: DA versus Trust flow.

Have you guys heard this one before? Buy this high domain or high DA authority guest post link for $125 or here’s another one, DA is a bad metric, or here’s another one, Trust Flow is a bad metric, or here’s another one, none of the metrics are correct. They all are just guesses and have nothing to do with ranking. Every one of those statements that I just made is true. And every one of the statements can be, I don’t know, I’d say turned around on you and proven in the opposite, as well. 

In this case, this test is an older test so I’m not going to go too deep into it. The long and short of it is that, the setup with a high DA link and a lower trust flow than the other two links, that one actually won the day in this particular test. 

So in this test, DA beat trust flow. We have since redone this test and tested it against different metrics. In particular, its DA, Trust flow, and URL rank. Those are the big ones that are out there Moz, Majestic, and Ahrefs. Semrush has their new thing now and originally, that database was actually built off of the back of Majestic but they do a lot of their own crawling and stuff and it took, it was only a matter of time before they came out with their own thing. SEO Powersuite in the tools all together, have one, it’s called Inlinks or Inrank, and that’s their metric. 

So what are all these things for? What value are they? And the long story short is that all of them are estimations of the power of the site based off of what is known in PageRank or about PageRank and how those sites chose to organize their link analysis. And it’s all based off of their database of links that they’ve found. 

So, whereas Google probably has found 2 trillion web pages, these sites they’re in the billions, maybe millions or maybe the low billions, versus Google. And all of their databases are all different and they’re all started off at some set of seed sites, the beginning. 

In Majestic, for example, they had the Majestic million, this is their beginning and they crawl out from there and then they use that to determine trust flow, topical trust flow, and CF. But they all do that. So there’s Moz with DA, Majestic with Trust Flow, and Ahrefs with URL rank and domain rank and it’s all based off of the data that they have. 

So how do we use those to make informed decisions about the power of our website, the power of the competition, or the power of the links that we potentially may be buying, etc? How do we use that? 

And the short answer is, use it as filter. So as you get through or go through your SEO journey, you’re going to find that there’s just metrics that you kind of get used to looking at and you kind of get used to interacting with. In my case, I prefer the metrics over Ahrefs. URL rank, in particular, that’s the metric that I’m looking at. 

Whereas a lot of link buyers and stuff, they have DA and it’s not to say that these sites are better or worse because of what the tools say about them. Low domain authority site, ergo it must be bad site. That’s not necessarily the case.

However, we need a filter. We got to have something. There’s so much data out there. There’s so many websites out there. We need metrics like DA, Trust flow, and URL rank to filter through that noise and help you pick.

So when people say – oh DA is better than Trust flow or Rrust flow is better than UR, it’s really a prejudice based off of the learned application of those metrics in your day to day SEO. 

So if you are always going by DA, you have a harder time switching over to you UR because you got to figure out how does that come up, how did that come about, what is it, what does it mean, what is the numbers that I’m kind of looking for to create my filters, you have to relearn all that stuff. So you inevitably become a DA fan over UR and you’re the one who’s in the Facebook groups, or whatever, saying DA is better than DR or you’re the Moz, or the Majestic fanboy or fangirl who says Trust flow is the best because your SEO has been doing your SEO based off of these metrics for so long, you have this built in bias. 

And frankly, if you combine all three of those tools, you still would find that if I combine the links set from all three of those tools, and then gave that same link set to all three of those tools, the metrics will all be different again, right? It’s because the data set that they were applying those metrics from in the first place, has changed. And with the injection of the other two data sets. So just understand that and get used to the method that you want to use. 

I prefer Ahrefs and the reason I prefer Ahrefs is because I have a standard legacy account. So where everyone is paying $179 for their particular access, I’m getting it for 79 because I signed up for it a long time ago and I never cancelled. That’s why I prefer Ahrefs. And I’m used to it, I’m used to looking at it, I’m used to looking at the numbers, I’m used to identifying what they mean. 

The same is if you’re using Trust flow, or DA, or Yandex for PR, just get used to the metric and you apply it to your SEO. And as your experience grows, you know that a Trust flow 15 or a DA 20 or a Yandex converted PR three, you know that those are just good filters for you. And now, it will help you with your decision making process. That’s the value of these metrics. Do I wish the PageRank toolbar was back? I certainly do. Do I ever think Google’s going to bring it back? I don’t think so. Because they’re trying to get people less and less to use backlinks as a thing and SEOs are jumping on that bandwagon. Well somebody, I’m not. I’m still using backlinks quite extensively. But that’s why PageRank is gone. They don’t want you to know that the website that you’re reaching out to, to get a guest post from, as a PA or PR of four and they don’t want you to use that metric as a decision thing to decide if you want to buy a sponsored post, or buy a sponsored link, or buy an ad or whatever, over there. They want to eliminate that type of thing.

And these other metrics, DA, Trust flow, UR, and Yandex PR, are all just replacements for that to give you best guesses, since we don’t have access to the real thing.