What’s the Big Deal with Domain Authority?

domain authority

Domain authority (DA) is a crucial metric that plays a significant role in determining the position of your webpage in the search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s important to understand that domain authority is not a Google metric, but rather a tool offered by prominent services such as SEMRush or Moz.

According to Moz, websites with a domain authority of 40 or above are more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results. When you have established a strong domain authority score, Google automatically trusts your new posts more than they trust the posts made on other sites without that built-in trust. This allows your work to rank higher on SERPs, even though it has not had the time to gain necessary SEO features, like backlinks.

While some may question the significance of DA, there are compelling reasons why it matters for businesses of all sizes. In this article, we’ll explore why domain authority matters and some tips to increase your domain authority score.

What is a Domain Authority?

Domain authority (DA) is a metric used to estimate how well your website will rank on search engines, and it is developed by Moz. It provides a score ranging from 1 to 100, where a high score indicates a higher likelihood of ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs).  DA is based on data from Moz’s link index, which contains over 4 trillion links.

Essentially, domain authority measures the relevance of your website to your industry or a specific topic, which determines its strength or authority for ranking purposes.

It is important to note that domain authority should not be confused with page authority, as they are slightly different. Domain authority assesses the ranking strength of your entire domain (including subdomains), whereas page authority evaluates the ranking ability of individual pages.

Although DA provides a better understanding of how your site is ranking overall, it doesn’t mean that page authority isn’t useful. The page authority of your site’s web pages has a direct impact on your overall DA and your search engine ranking.

What Is a Good Domain Authority Score?

A good domain authority score varies depending on the industry and competition level in which your website operates. When you launch a new website, its initial domain authority is set at one. On the other hand, established companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft tend to have high DA scores, ranging from 95 to 100, while newer websites may have lower scores, around 10 to 20.

Generally speaking, a score of 40 or above is considered to be a good DA score. However, keep in mind that this is not a hard and fast rule and a score of 60 or above is considered excellent.

  • A domain authority score of 0-15 indicates a relatively new website
  • A score of 15-30 indicates an established website
  • Domain authority score of 30-60 indicates an established site with hundreds of links
  • Domain authority score of greater than 60 indicates an excellent website with potentially thousands of links & lots of established trust

It’s important to note that DA is not a Google ranking signal but can assist you in predicting your website’s search engine performance. Therefore, it is recommended that you use it to compare your website with others in the search engine results pages and then aim to boost your DA. Usually, once a month is a good cadence to check your domain authority.

How is Domain Authority Calculated?

The Domain Authority score is calculated using a complex algorithm developed by Moz, which takes into account various factors related to a website’s link profile. While Moz does not disclose the exact details of the algorithm, here are some of the factors that are believed to influence DA:

  1. Backlink Profile

High-quality links from authoritative websites are more valuable than low-quality links from spammy or irrelevant websites.

  1. The relevance of the linking pages to the content of the website.

Links from pages that are relevant to a website’s content are more valuable than links from irrelevant pages.

  1. The number of linking root domains

A website with links from a greater number of unique root domains is generally considered to be more authoritative than a website with links from a smaller number of root domains.

  1. The Age And History Of The Domain

Older domains with a longer history of quality content and link-building tend to have higher DA scores.

  1. Other factors, such as social signals, website traffic, and domain diversity, may also play a role in determining DA.

Social media activity, such as shares, likes, and comments, also contributes to a website’s DA. Websites with a strong social media presence tend to have higher DA scores. Websites that load quickly tend to rank higher in search engine results pages.

Moz’s algorithm considers all these factors and assigns a score ranging from 1 to 100 to represent a website’s overall authority in search engine rankings. The higher the DA score, the more likely the website will rank well in search results.

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Tips on How to Increase Domain Authority

  1. Focus on building high-quality backlinks

Backlinks from authoritative websites are a significant factor in increasing your website’s Domain Authority. Focus on creating high-quality content that other websites would want to link to, and reach out to websites in your industry to request backlinks.

  1. Improve your on-page SEO

Optimizing your website’s content for keywords and improving your site structure can help search engines better understand your website’s content, which can lead to higher Domain Authority.

  1. Regularly produce high-quality content

Creating fresh, high-quality content regularly can help increase your website’s Domain Authority. Ensure that your content is relevant to your audience and contains valuable information.

  1. Make your website mobile-friendly

With the rise of mobile devices, it’s essential to have a website that is optimized for mobile users. A mobile-friendly website can improve user experience and lead to higher Domain Authority.

  1. Improve website loading speed

A website that loads quickly is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages, leading to a higher Domain Authority. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify areas of your website that need improvement.

  1. Increase social media activity

Social media activity, such as likes, shares, and comments, can help improve your website’s Domain Authority. Focus on creating engaging content that your audience will want to share on social media.

  1. Remove bad links

Low-quality backlinks or broken links can hurt your website’s Domain Authority. Regularly audit your backlink profile and remove any bad links.

How Do You Check Domain Authority?

There are various tools you can use to check domain authority (DA). Here are a few popular ones:

  1. Moz link explorer

Moz is the creator of DA, so their Link Explorer tool is a reliable option. You can enter a website’s URL and see its DA score, as well as other metrics like page authority, backlinks, and top-performing pages.

  1. ahrefs

Ahrefs is another popular SEO tool that provides a domain rating (DR) score, which is similar to DA. You can enter a website’s URL and see its DR score, as well as other metrics like backlinks, organic search traffic, and top-performing pages.

  1. SEMrush

SEMrush is an all-in-one SEO tool that provides a domain score based on a website’s backlink profile, organic search traffic, and other factors. You can enter a website’s URL and see its domain score, as well as other metrics like top organic keywords, backlinks, and competitors.

  1. Small sEO tools

Small SEO Tools offers a free DA checker that allows you to enter a website’s URL and see its DA score. While it may not be as comprehensive as the other tools mentioned above, it is a quick and easy way to check a website’s DA.

  1. Majestic SEO

Majestic SEO is a link analysis tool that provides a trust flow and citation flow score. These scores can be used to determine a website’s authority and overall quality.

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Why Should I Care About Domain Authority?

Even though Google does not directly use domain authority as a ranking factor, a study conducted by Ahrefs found a correlation between a website’s DA score and its position in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Therefore, DA can be a useful metric to estimate the organic traffic a website may receive from Google.

If you aim to improve your SEO rankings, it’s recommended to focus on enhancing your domain authority. However, building authority is a long-term process that requires patience both from you and your SEO service provider, so it’s essential not to worry if you don’t see immediate results.

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