A Complete Guide on Domain Authority in 2023

An “authority” in SEO is a term that you will see often. It is used to describe the strength and quality of a page or a website. The score is calculated from 0 to 100. Domain authority is a score created by Moz (SEO software) to help businesses understand their website’s performance in the search engine result pages. It is a prediction created by Moz to see how a website will rank in the SERP.

In this article

  1. What Is Domain Authority?
  2. What Is a Good Domain Authority Score?
  3. How Is Domain Authority Calculated?
  4. How To Check Domain Authority Score
  5. Why Does Domain Authority Change?
  6. What Is Page Authority?
  7. How To Improve Domain Authority?
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Obsessing Over High Domain Authority
  10. Related Reads

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain authority score was developed by Moz to predict how a website, specific domain would rank on the search engine results page. It is a search engine ranking score that is not part of Google’s algorithm; it is merely a guide and not a Google ranking factor.

Does this mean that you should neglect it? No. It may not be an authentic Google ranking factor but it can be used as a metric, a guideline to help webmasters under the likelihood of where their pages could possibly rank in the search results. In addition to other matrix this it can also help you understand and assess the performance of your website in comparison to your competitors.

These days domain authority has become a common metric used by numerous people to assess their website’s domain authority score and see how it fares Google search results when compared to their rivals. What’s more, is that other SEO tools like SEMrush have come up with their own version of this that makes use of data derived from backlinks referring domains, search traffic, and more to come up with t a score that sums up their domain authority score to predict how they would rank in the search results.

So, it may not be an official Google ranking factor but is still a useful metric to know your site’s predicted performance in search engine rankings comparison to your competitors.

What Is a Good Domain Authority Score?

Domain authority score’s range is calculated from 1 to 100. However, it is a changing metric because it is relative to changes over time derived from the website and its competitors. But the baseline is this: a higher score means your website has a better chance of ranking in the search results.

Generally speaking, websites that have a high number of external links like Wikipedia or Google.com are at the top of the score. This is because the SEO tool considers the quality and quantity of links on a website. For instance, if a website has backlinks from authoritative sites like Google, Wikipedia, or government websites, it has a higher probability of achieving a higher score.

Furthermore, all the backlinks a website receives play a major role in what defines a good score build domain authority. If a website talks about the best training centers in the country or the best sports center, it would obviously link to other websites, especially government websites about sports, university blogs or academic research sites. Doing so would increase domain authority scores because they (government sites and other reputable sites) are likely to have high-quality backlinks.

A brand new website that just started out will have a score of 0 (as expected), and that number will only increase as time goes on and the site starts to attract more and more high-quality relevant backlinks.

How Is Domain Authority Calculated?

Domain authority score is calculated based on the following factors:

  1. By considering multiple factors like the total number of links, linking root domains, and combining them into a single DA (Domain authority) score. 
  2. In early 2019, an algorithm (domain authority 2.0) was introduced by Moz. It would predict the score using machine learning based on how often Google would use a domain in its search results.

It is also important to note that since the DA score is calculated based on machine learning, it is normal for the score to fluctuate sometimes. This is because if data points are in lesser numbers, the website score of a user with an already lower website authority would be reduced. For instance, if Instagram or Facebook were to earn a billion links compared to other sites, the score of the other sites would reduce. The reason for this is simply because they are established and have a higher authority than other sites which leaves less room for other sites to take up their places at the higher end of the score.

What this means is that it is a lot easier to increase your score from 30 to 40 than it is to increase it from 70 to 80 or especially 90. This is why it is important to remember that this score should only be used for comparison and not as a definitive score.

How To Check Domain Authority Score

On Moz, you can check your DA scores for free by heading to the Link Explorer and then clicking on the Mozbar or you can just head to the SERP analysis section in the keyword explore.

MOZ - Domain Authority

It will look like this. You can copy and paste the URL of this link building your website to get the DA score.

Why Does Domain Authority Change?

A website’s DA scores can change due to a number of reasons but it is difficult to know exactly what caused the change in order for the webmaster to know what they did wrong. It is also because there are numerous factors that go into analyzing the end score. So here are some factors that could influence a change in site’s DA score.

  1. Link profile growth was not captured in the web index.
  2. Higher authority sites could have experienced an increase in their links which can affect the sites around them.
  3. Links were sourced from sites that don’t rank well in the search results.
  4. Fewer or more links were crawled compared to the first time you checked the domain score.
  5. Your domain authority is already on the lower end of the scaling process and was impacted by the increase in link growth of other sites.
  6. Your score may have also been impacted due to the introduction of the new DA update which brought about a restructuring in terms of the way the DA score is calculated.

The key point to understand from all of this is that even if a website improved its performance, it may not get a higher score on domain authority due to the fact that there are other sites with higher domain authority measures, and establishment. So, even if a website improved its SEO strategy, the score would still depend on the sites closer to it (competitors).

For instance, say the high authority sites are at the top, but other sites are also catching up and filling up that spot. This would bring a huge change in the scoring scale and cause spam score of the higher authority score sites to come down. It all depends on the level of players in the field and how well they perform. If multiple sites experience a change in SEO and increase the score, it will change the scale.

This is even further affected by the fact that all of this is calculated using machine learning, which considers all the similar sites with higher and lower domain ratings. So, after the calculations are done, the site score of a website could go down even if that website improved, simply because other sites brought about a major change, tipping the scale towards their end.

What Is Page Authority?

Page authority is different from domain authority because it calculates the strength of individual pages instead of entire subdomains or domains. It is also another score that was developed by Moz to measure how a page ranks in the search engine when compared to other pages. It can help marketers by predicting where certain pages will rank in the search engine’s search results.

Similar to domain authority, with page authority there are plenty of factors that go into calculating page to use domain authority. The basic factors that influence Domain Authority are also reflected here. So, things like the quality of the linking domains and the number of links present are calculated to see how well a page will rank in the search engine results pages.

How To Improve Domain Authority?

To improve organic traffic and domain authority you need to go back to the basics of SEO and make sure they are implemented in all of your blogs. When it comes to ranking factors, linking domains are the object of focus. To help you make better use of the links here are some tips:

  1. Focus on quality content instead of quantity. Instead of focusing on insignificant links, place more emphasis on the backlinks that are important.
  2. Evaluate your backlinks and see which ones are more appealing and interesting and place them at the beginning of your content.
  3. Make sure you are bringing quality content to your sites. It is also one of the best ways to get natural backlinks.
  4. Create quality content that is relevant to your target audience so that you have a better chance of going viral for any content that you produce.
  5. If you have any older content on your site that needs fresh content, update them so that they are still relevant to the audience and have a better chance of getting indexed if they are not already.
  6. Compare your site with your competitors and see if there is a gap in performance and quality. See what they are doing and evaluate yourself to understand what more you can do to excel in key areas and what you shouldn’t do.
  7. Also, you can identify where your competitors get their backlinks from and see if you can get them or something similar to it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are there other SEO platforms other than Moz where you can measure domain authority?

Yes, there are other platforms where you can measure domain authority.

1. Ahrefs – Has its own AR rank and domain rating system.
2. SEMrush – Has a system to measure a site’s domain authority and SEO performance of a site or individual pages.
3. Majestic – They have their own system called Flow Metric scores which can measure the number of links a website has and the quality of the website content.

2. Is domain authority a ranking factor?

No, it is not a ranking factor because it is not a part of Google’s algorithm. It is a metric created by Moz.

3. Can you increase domain authority?

Yes, you can increase domain authority, but there are other factors to consider like the authoritative sites taking too much space on the higher end of the scale.

Obsessing Over High Domain Authority

If it were a part of Google’s algorithm then it would have been a ranking factor, but so far it has only been adopted by SEO tools like Moz, and SEMrush among others to actually use this metric for ranking keywords. Nevertheless, this doesn’t make it a useless feature because you can still use it as motivation and a guide to see how well your site is performing in comparison to your competitors.

This is an important factor to consider inbound links, because without that drive you won’t be able to understand where your company stands next to your competitors. So, instead of obsessing over a high score and having a large number of high DA links, focus on having as many natural and quality links as you can get.

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