Analysis of the 2018 AHREFS DR Update

And How Our new Post-Update packages Will Be Refreshed

Everything About DR Has Changed But Our Approach Hasn’t

Real links, from real sites are still real links from real sites…

I’ll start by saying that we’ve never been a big fan of any of the link metric providers. We started out benchmarking against DA and eventually migrated to AHREFS DR as it became more popular in the industry.

But they all often cause good sites to be tossed away. Sites you’d love to get a link from, but they just don’t stack up in the metrics. It can be even worse for agencies that work with us, because their clients just want metrics, and often care about little else.

After discussing this latest update with our clients, it was refreshing to hear that most didn’t even care about DR in the first place. They come to us because at the price point, no matter what metric they look at (some were ordering our DR tiered packages, but really only looking at DA, similarweb traffic and SEMRush data…) our links are on average better than our competition.

That’s got nothing to do with what metric we base the initial outreach on, but our entire approach to outreach. Not all of you will want to dig that deep but for those of you who do I’ve linked the article below, as well as the results of our analysis of how the scale on the AHREFS DR system has changed (interactive content via Google sheets so you can hover it to see the new/old and DA vs old DR).

You’ll notice that there are not many sites jumping wildly out of position – it really is mostly a change in the scale. Which means rethinking our packages, and rethinking how involved we want to be with AHREFS metrics in the future.

Update 1: 5th Feb 2018 – AHREFS representatives are now saying on FB groups they plan to revise this again after a meeting today which further cements our decision to move away from AHREFS as our main metric to the blended metrics we discuss later in this article. It simply looks like it will be unstable for a little while with further unpredictable changes to come.

Update 2: 6th Feb 2018 – AHREFS has made … another … update to the entire DR scale. The graph below will not be updated yet though as they still have warnings on the site about further changes. We’ll re-run the data when things settle down over the coming days.

Final Update: 12th Feb 2018 – AHREFS has adjusted the curve some more – it still starts around the 0-2 range for sites that were DR33+ before but the DR40+ range previously starts at 14+ now and quickly moves into the DR20 range once you get to the old DR43+ range.

Read more about our approach to linkbuilding and why our links stand out no matter the metrics used…
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Quick Summary of The New AHREFS DR Scale

‘Medium Tier’ Sites Are Now Not Meaningfully Differentiated on AHREFS

The most disappointing feature of the new update is that we saw little of the ‘SPAM’ removal (unless they meant by SPAM 99.5% of their index which has been moved below DR20…) and more just a general rescaling of the index such that anything below DR35 on their old scale is now pretty much DR0 or DR1 on the new scale.

The old DR40 is approximately DR4 (which seems mad when you think this equates, as you can see in the chart, to DA24-7 typically and on Majestic we found it to be around CF20 typically too.

Sites as strong as DR50 (equivalent to approximately) DA36 under the old scale are now DR18 or less under the new scale.

That means most of the target market for blogger outreach is compressed into just an 18 point range, while most of the large sites of the internet are spaciously spread out over the remaining 82 points.

While I’m sure that’s useful for enterprise SEOs doing SEO/PR campaigns etc (we’ll be announcing a big product in that space shortly so watch this space), it’s not useful for SEOs looking to get some granularity and comparison between medium-sized sites that will typically link to the smaller business sites, and individually owned ‘authority/niche’ sites most of our customers are working with.

So with that in mind we’re going to be benchmarking our packages using a range of metrics, depending on where they sit on the scale, and how reliable AHREFS is with the new scale compressing so much of the data we can rely on.

Much as when we moved from fully Moz DA benchmarked packages to AHREFS DR, we’ll be looking to keep the quality the same or better than the typical sites we pick up now – in most campaigns the goal is that the exact same sites will be targeted as would have been targeted had AHREFS not adjusted their scale with some improvements gained from the extra data provided by Majestic.

Our New Linkbuilding Packages (For Natural Outreach)

Other tiers/products are available, please do get in touch if your requirements differ from pure natural outreach, or if you want a customer tier not listed here – many of our clients have campaigns based on entirely custom metrics or requirements.

The new tiers and their attempt to be ‘equivalent but better’ than the old tiers is based on our analysis of 2,900 domains, some of which is shared in the chart at the top of the page. DA is guaranteed, other metrics are typical for our outreach (and DR is particularly uncertain as AHREFS PR team reports further changes may be made in due course).

Bulk discounts, discounts for more flexible metrics (eg just picking one of the three), easier niches etc are available. Please contact for more information.

Ultra Premium Tier

  • Moz DA36+ Guaranteed
  • Typical* Majestic CF range 25-40+
  • Typical* New DR Range 40-80 (was 50-65 old scale)

Typical pricing is $265/link depending on niche and other requirements. (DA40+ available at $325+/link)

Before the AHREFS update this was our DR50+ 'old DR' tier.

Standard Tier Outreach

  • Moz DA20+ Guaranteed
  • Typical* Majestic CF range 14-24+
  • Typical* New DR Range 3-60 (was 33-55 old scale)

Typical pricing $167-179/link depending on niche and other requirements.

Before the AHREFS update this was our DR33+ 'old DR' tier.

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