I never understood it as a ranking factor. Rather, it’s a measure of starting difficulty to reach a new related keyword. This also only works if your internal linking structure is well made, and your backlinks are spread out properly.
I see it this way. Domain ‘A’ and Domain ‘B’ are in a race to the front page. Domain A has a DA of 42 while B has a DA of 7. All that means is that domain has a starting position halfway down the race track.
The content still matters.
The link profile still matters.
The brand mentions and social shares STILL matter.
And it’s nowhere near the exact method Google uses for page authority, which was dropped for a reason. It can just be a handy gauge for how your domain is doing overall, the same as the Average Rank you can find in Google Search Console.
It’s a spyglass not a microscope; treat it like one and pay attention to the massive weight added to brand mentions in the last year instead.