Expired Domains, PBN’s & Majestic Metrics TF & CF (My Conversation)

One of my favorite metrics to check when buying expired domains is Majestic’s Trust Flow (TF) & Citation flow (CF).  I also use opensiteexplorer to check the Domain Authority (DA) & Page Authority (PA)…However, as these metrics are easily manipulated… my first and main “go-to place” for domain metrics is MajesticSEO

But there’s a slight problem..

The metrics given by Majestic aren’t very easy to understand  (I was sent some questions regarding MajesticSEO metrics from some of our subscribers so I contacted MajestSEO for an explanation, you can read the actual questions and answers further below)

The problem With Majestic’s Metrics

Here’s just a few of the problems we face

  • Different TF and CF values for a domain depending on what url version your using (Root,domain,subdomain,URL), what one do you consider?

MajesticSEO Versions

  • Should we use the fresh index or the historical index  ?

history vs fresh

  • Do the deleted links that Majestic show still effect a domains TF/CF or are domain metrics updated as soon as a link is found to be deleted?

deleted links

All the above are valid questions and very important to those that purchase expired domains (of course further checks are vital such as checking link profiles, anchors etc…. but as the TF and CF values are built from links pointing to a domain then they can be solid indicators of what domains are worth looking into further and what ones are not, especially if your going through hundreds and even thousands of domains at a time)

To clear things up I contacted MajesticSEO

My Questions & Answers With MajesticSEO

Email 1My first email to MajesticSEO regarding Fresh and historical metrics


I am currently going through a number of urls and trying to figure out the authority they hold – One of the metrics I am using is the trust Flow

Many of the sites show a very good fresh TF but when I change this to a historical TF then they dont look so good

Can you please explain to me what the difference is ? I know the historical data also holds deleted links etc –

would it be best to judge a sites authority by the fresh index or the historical index – I am also using many other factors but as a point to get going I am relying on the Majesticseo TF


Reply 1 – Majestic reply

Thank you for contacting Support.
Yes, the Historic Index and Fresh Index have different links within them and the Historic links tend to be mainly deleted/lost. The main reason as to why the scores on these indexes are different is quite simply because the indexes are made up for links from different periods of time.

Fresh Index are the links we have crawled in the past 90 days whereas the Historic Index is the links from past 5 years. If you are interested in the state the site is in currently, then the Fresh Index scores will be the one to use. If you want to see the legacy of links over time and how they have affected a site in the past, then the Historic is the one to use.

I hope this helps but if you have further questions please let me know.

Kind regards

Email 2 – Regarding different versions of domain

Thank you,

your reply has been helpful

I have a couple more questions to ask if you don’t mind

1- When I check domains for the metrics then I have an option to choose from – Root, Subdomain,URL and Path url – I notice the TF and CF have different values on each one – How do I know the true value of a domain – Should I take the highest value and go with that or should I go with the lowest value – I’m just a little confused

2- when I check a domain then sometimes majestic asks me if i would like to switch to the entire domain and then shows me the number of links it has (see attached image ) For this example I was checking the fresh data for the following url lincolnschoolofcommerce.com – when I change it to subdomain then it has a higher TF and CF but majestic tells me to switch to view the entire domain which has 55 links – The subdomain is also showing 55 links – But the TF and CF change – Can you explain why this is the case and how it works out

Majestic Metrics difference

3- when looking at the total number of backlinks in the historical view then is there any way we can see the total number of backlinks that still exists as opposed to all of them ? I know I can view the backlinks and hide deleted ones – but can we see a figure of all live backlinks after deleted ones have been subtracted?

thanks for your time

Reply 2 – Majestic Reply

Great question. I recommend to use the Root Domain level as this way you guarantee that ALL backlinks and pages will be taken into consideration. The Sub Domain is the www. version, however not everyone ALWAYS link to www. and so this is why you have the message pop up at the top to switch it to the other view. In cases where the number of links are the same but the scores are different, this is because the scores calculated are relative to others. That is, the Root Domain Flow Metric scores are true against all the other Root Domains we have data for. At the Sub Domain, same thing. We get the scores by understanding how other Sub Domains score/work.

I would NOT recommend comparing the two as it would be like comparing apples and oranges. They are taking into account different factors, pages and sometimes links.

In answer to your final question, yes. Scroll down a little on the Summary page until you see the Backlink Breakdown. Here you can see the Live and Deleted links, switch the view from Chart to Data to get the exact number – see attached

I hope this clears up your questions. Anything else please let me know.

Kind regards,

Email 3 – Regarding deleted links

Thanks so much for your reply

A few more questions if you dont mind

1- In your reply you noted the following

“This is because the scores calculated are relative to others. That is, the Root Domain Flow Metric scores are true against all the other Root Domains we have data for. At the Sub Domain, same thing. We get the scores by understanding how other Sub Domains score/work.”

Do you mind explaining this a little more please, I read it a few times and would like you to explain it to me if you can.

2- When Majestic finds that a link has been deleted then does majestic instantly reflect the changes to the domain that lost the link? For example, if the url lincolnschoolofcommerce.com lost 5 links (all had good TF) – what would majestic do to the site that lost the links? would it reflect the changes of the metrics straight away or is there a slight delay etc?

3- When I look at the historical view of a domain, I am able to see both live links and links that have been deleted, My question is, the metrics that we see (TF , CF etc) , is this built up from only live links or does it include even the deleted links data that I am able to see ?

Thanks for your time and I appreciate you reply 🙂

Reply 3 – Majestic Reply

Sure, happy to explain further:

1 – I am afraid that I cannot explain the algorithm behind the metrics, however, because both scores uses an iterative process we score Root Domains against other Root Domains. URLs against other URLs. Sub Domains against other Sub Domains. This is also why you might see the scores to be different slightly – because they are taking into account different pages, on a different level of scale. Maybe this video might explain this better:

2- Most of the time, yes, once you have lost a ‘good’ or high trust link you will see a change in the Trust Flow. However, it does depend on HOW well trusted that URL was in order for it to have a big impact. You might just see the Trust Flow drop by 1 or 2 but you may of lost lots of links.

3- Deleted links in both view will not affect Trust Flow, in either index. Just like NoFollow links will also NOT affect the Trust Flow.

I hope this answers your questions. Any more, please do not hesitate to send me an email.

Kind regards,


I wasn’t aware MajesticSEO considered Dofollow and nofollow links – this is something nice to know 🙂


Email 4 – clarifying

Thanks so much

That was an excellent video and it helped me lots.

Just to confirm I have it correct I want to to run my understanding past you

Lets say for this example we have 10 links pointing to bbc.co.uk

out of those 10 urls 5 are pointing to the subdomain (www.bbc.co.uk) and 5 to the root domain (bbc.co.uk)

the 5 links pointing to the subdomain have a higher Majestic TF then the 5 pointing to the root domain

So my understanding is that majestic will show me a higher TF for the subdomain then the root domain due to higher authority sites linking back to the bbc using the subdomain

Is this correct and is this the reason why sub domain, root domain etc have different TF?

Thanks and I’m so sorry for the many questions, I don’t mean to be a pain 🙂

Reply 4 – Majestic Reply

In a way.
Using the Root Domain, this will INCLUDE the links from the Sub Domain also. This is why I personally recommend staying with the Root Domain during analysis as you make sure that you catch all the relevant data this way. So all 10 links from the bbc.co.uk will be included within the Root Domain data but 5 of those will be show in the Sub Domain data.

Comparing Root Domain Flow Metrics against Sub Domain Flow Metrics would be like comparing apples and oranges. If all Root Domains are apples, and all Sub Domains oranges – of course when calculating the score we want to compare like for like.

Might a quick phone call be better? I feel like through email it has gotten quite confusing.


Email 5 – Further clarification


one last question

coming back to the example of the following domain lincolnschoolofcommerce.com

it shows 55 links to both the root and the subdomain yet the TF and CF vary

Am I missing something ?


Reply 5 – (Awaiting Majestic’s reply)


Wrapping up

When checking metrics for a domain then I like to check every variation of it, I usually start with the root domain….If I see that the majority of links are pointing to a certain type of variation of the domain (Root, Subdomain etc) then I usually stick with the metrics for the one that has most links pointing to it.

For example

When looking at the website bbc.co.uk in MajesticSEO (fresh data)  you can see that the root domain variation has 500k~ links pointing to it with a TF 93 and CF 87,

But when you look at the subdomain variation of the domain then you can see it has 460k~ links pointing to it with a TF 94 and CF 88

subomain vs root domain majesticWith this example I would take the Subdomain value, the reason for this is because out of the 500k links that are pointing to the bbc.co.uk, 460k~ of those are pointing to the subdomain variation….so because most links point to the subdomain variation I will take this value…

But as Majestic said, the root domain provides a figure for all links combined (I’m still waiting to hear why lincolnschoolofcommerce.com shows the same number of links yet has different TF and CF values)

It’s still very important to check the backlink profile of a domain and to check for any spam.

Expired Domains, PBN’s & Metrics

If you buy domains or use services such as MajesticSEO and opensite explorer then what metrics do you find the most useful and how do you decide what metrics to go by before looking further into a domain?

I would love to know what you think, Feel free to leave a reply below.