Domain Authority

There are a number of ways to determine the quality and authority of a site. However, Domain Authority is one of the most commonly-used SEO metrics to evaluate a website’s overall caliber.

You can use a website’s DA score in a number of ways. Including to do more effective SEO.

Read on to learn all you need to know about Domain Authority!

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is the premiere SEO metric used to evaluate a website’s overall caliber. It’s a search engine metric developed by Moz that predicts how well your site will rank in the search engine result pages (SERPs). The range goes from 1-100. Domain authority is also called Domain Rating on Ahrefs.

Definition of Domain Authority

The higher the score, the more likely that the website can be predicted to rank. The number of links and power of links are among the factors used to measure the strength of a website in terms of its DA.

How can I check my Domain Authority?

The HOTH provides a Free Bulk Moz Domain Authority (DA) Checker Tool that you can use to check the domain authority for multiple sites at once.

There are other SEO tools that also provide the DA for a given site.

You can view the DA of websites as you browse using MozBar, Moz’s Keyword Explorer, or simply use Moz’s Link Explorer to look up the DA (this tool also provides a backlink analysis).

How is Domain Authority scored?

Moz scores Domain Authority on a logarithmic scale from 1 to 100 points.

The strength of a DA rating increases exponentially on this scale. It’s easier to grow your website’s DA from DA20 to DA30 than it is to grow it from DA80 to DA90.

How Is Domain Authority Calculated?

The factors used to calculate a Domain Authority score include the referring root domains and total links pointing to a given website.

Links from other websites are like votes, and the more votes a website receives, the higher that website’s DA.

Not all votes are equal, however. The authority of each linking root domain and the number of individual links can help the ranking strength of the site they are linking to accordingly.

What Is A “Good” Domain Authority?

Websites linking to other high-quality sites from their website (such as Forbes or Wikipedia) have a higher Domain Authority than websites with no external links. These domains typically rank at DA90+

A DA between 40 and 50 is an average number, while a DA between 50 and 60 is good. DA over 60 is top-notch.

Smaller websites and businesses that have a lower number of links pointing to them tend to have a lower DA score (for example, DA10-DA20). 

A site starting from scratch will have a DA score of one until it manages to attract more inbound links from other websites.

Why Is Domain Authority Important?

In general, a higher domain authority corresponds to a better ability to rank, which in turn can increase organic traffic.

You can use DA to break down the backlink profile of websites that have a higher position in the SERPs and aim for a better/stronger link profile by comparison.

What matters the most to you is whether your site’s DA is higher or lower than your competition’s DA scores.

Having a high DA score isn’t the main goal when it comes to ranking your website.

Your DA is relevant as a measuring parameter between you and your competition. For example, if the competition for your keyword tends to have a DA in the 30-40 range, then you can aim to have a higher score than those competitors.

How to Increase Domain Authority

To optimize your DA, you should build links to the website. 

Do this strategically through a process called “link building”. This will create an authority worthy backlinks profile that indicates to Google that your website is an authority worthy of ranking higher than the competition on google search.

You can build a natural backlink profile through inbound links to you from an array of authority sites that have a good number of links themselves.

You can also increase your Domain Authority through earning a higher number of high-quality links back to your website, from sites with good domain authorty. This is due to DA being calculated in part by the number of inbound links and the authority of the websites they originate from.

Links to your website are like votes that tell Google your website is authoritative, trustworthy and worthy of ranking higher in the SERPs. Sites and their pages that get shared and talked about naturally tend to attract backlinks.

You can use a number of link building techniques such as content marketing, blogger outreach, press releases, and social media to increase the number of backlinks pointing to your site. You can learn more about earning backlinks here.

There are best practices you can do that encourage an increase in the number of backlinks pointing to your site (and increase your DA from those inbound links). They include:

  1. Picking a Relevant Domain Name: An easy-to-remember domain name can help build your brand, but you can also try picking a domain with a niche keyword in it (such as “PetersDryCleaners.com”)
  2. Optimizing Your On-Page Content: Including title tags, image alt tags, and the content itself, as well as being sure to include variations of your main keywords
  3. Creating Linkable Content: Publishing high-quality content on a regular basis can help you earn more backlinks that increase your authority
  4. Improving Your Internal Linking Structure: This helps the user experience of your website by directing people to other content on it while also passing “link juice” around your site
  5. Removing Bad or Spam Links: Too many links from bad sources can have a detrimental effect; earn more about link relevancy
  6. Having a Fast Loading and Mobile Friendly Website: Page speed and a mobile site design are two big user experience factors that affect whether someone sticks around on your site.
  7. Becoming an Authority as a Brand: Boosting your reputation and authority through great content and an engaged audience will help your site get spread around.
  8. Posting Content to Social Media: Social signals produced by links to your content on sites like Facebook are a ranking factor, so post your content encourage social sharing.

When Does Domain Authority Decrease?

There are a number of factors that could cause your Domain Authority to change including:

  • Lost links
  • A change to the way Moz calculates Domain Authority
  • Other sites gaining links (DA is a relative scale)

Is Good Domain Authority A Ranking Factor?

There’s no data that Google’s algorithm or other search engines use high Domain Authority as an important factor for ranking. 

Experiments by other companies in the SEO industry such as SEMrush and Ahrefs have indicated the authority of individual pages has a substantially higher correlation with rankings than the DA of a site as a whole.

Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has confirmed that they “don’t have anything like a website authority score.” That being said, there’s evidence of Domain Authority influencing rankings indirectly.

Domain Authority is calculated in part by the number of backlinks pointing to a site’s pages. The power caused by backlinks pointing to one page can get passed to another page on the same site by using internal links.

For example, a small business page that doesn’t have any high-quality backlinks pointing to it from external websites may be able to rank higher from internal links from other pages on its domain.

You may sometimes hear the term “link juice” used to describe the practice of power given by one page to another through internal or external links. You can find more details about using links strategically here.

Domain Authority vs Page Authority

Page Authority measures the ranking power of individual pages on a website while Domain Authority measures the ranking power of entire domains or subdomains. Page Authority was also developed by Moz.

Keep in mind: When it comes to increasing your DA, increasing the Page Authority of individual pages on your site can help to raise the Domain Authority of your site as a whole.

For example, you could build guest post links to various pages on your website to increase their Page Authority.

Domain Authority vs PageRank

PageRank (PR) is an algorithm created by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to score a page’s importance on a scale from 0 to 10.

Google’s PageRank calculation uses the number and quality of links pointing to a web page to measure its authority. Websites that have a higher number and higher quality of links will have a higher PageRank.

Toolbar Page Rank, as it’s colloquially called, no longer exists as Google stopped publicly updating it.

Like Domain Authority, PageRank is on a logarithmic scale. However, Domain Authority is calculated with a broader range of metrics than PageRank.

Moz uses a similar algorithm to PageRank, MozRank, as one of the factors to calculate DA. Like PageRank, MozRank looks at quantity and quality of linking pages to determine its score.

Domain Authority vs Authority Score

Authority Score is metric developed by SEMrush. Like Domain Authority, Authority Score evaluates the quality and quantity of links connecting domains. It doesn’t use the same calculations used by Moz.

Like DA, Authority Score is frequently updated to allow anyone doing SEO to measure the effects of their SEO and link building efforts.

While these ratings aren’t interchangeable and can differ in their score, you can use them both reliably to assess the quality of a website.

Prioritize Your Website’s Domain Authority

Increasing your website’s domain authority can be an intelligent seo strategy for improving your page’s conversions. The key to optimize your website’s domain authority starts with researching your competitors using MozBar or Moz’s Keyword Explorer. 

From there, build a collection of links to high-quality websites and you’ll see your DA increasing from 1 to an excellent 60 in no time.

Schedule a call with one of our consultants to learn more on how to increase your website’s DA.