What is Domain Authority?

Getting your website to rank well on Google in 2018 can seem like a mysterious process.

If you’re wondering how you can improve your site’s Google ranking, a good place to start is to look at your domain authority.

But what exactly is domain authority, and how does it fit into your overall site optimization strategy?

To help you, here’s a rundown of what DA is and how it can impact your site’s performance on Google.

What Is Domain Authority?

It was the SEO authority site Moz which helped to develop the methodology behind domain authority.

DA works as a score from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best possible score and 0 the worst possible score. If you have a high score (say 60 or above), you can assume your site has a highly authoritative voice within your niche.

It helps to predict how well a site will rank, so it’s a good idea to improve your score, but there are different elements to your site that are responsible for your DA scoring, such as the number of good quality backlinks your site has.

In simplest terms, the higher your authority, the better your page rank on Google should be. You’re able to compare your authority to other sites within your niche by using DA scores as a benchmark to work from.

How Is Domain Authority Ranked?

As we’ve mentioned, the domain authority scoring ranks from 1 to 100, and elements of both your on-page and off-page SEO could have an impact on it.

One of the primary factors, as we’ve mentioned, is the quality and number of backlinks to your site. Getting authority backlinks is the best way to encourage DA improvement, so treat your strategy for building backlinks carefully.

Using multiple varieties of the same anchor text (the text you use when you’re linking to other pages) is another way to damage your DA, so switch up the keywords you use as part of your wider content marketing strategy.

Don’t be tempted to use keywords too much, either. This old and tired SEO strategy no longer works and will cause Google to penalize your website.

Other than that? Have an active site that loads quickly and has good content for your users. Build your backlinks well, and you should see your domain authority boosting ahead of your competitors.

Remember, however, that simply having lots of links back to your website isn’t a good way to improve your DA or increase your position on the SERP. If you’re unsure where to start, here are 4 quick ways to boost your DA score.

You might need to work on your site’s long term SEO strategy. If that’s the case, here’s a beginners guide to SEO to help get you started.

What Is A Good Domain Authority?

Only highly authoritative websites with a strong set of external links from high-quality sources are likely to benefit from a very high DA score.

The lower the quality of links, and the fewer you have, the lower your DA score will be. Brand new domains with no content will start at 1. Pretty simple, right?

That doesn’t necessarily mean that a low score is bad, or that a high score is amazing. A high score within an unpopular niche is no better than a score of 1 within a popular niche. It’s all relative to what you want your site purpose to be.

Another reason why there are no real ‘good’ or ‘bad’ DA scores is that the scores can change with an effort made to your on-page SEO. That is, of course, assuming you’ve not been penalized by Google for using poor SEO techniques.

It’s not only useful for your own site, either. Looking at the DA scores of your competitors can help you make a judgment on your site’s performance within your niche, as well as see how competitive a niche actually is to rank in.

Domain Authority vs. Page Rank

If you’re new to SEO, you might be hearing the terms ‘domain authority’ and ‘page rank’ and wondering – aren’t they the same thing?

Not exactly.

Page rank refers to the way in which Google itself determines the quality of apage and, from that, your position on the search engine rankings page. It’s the method that was developed when Google was first created and has been refined ever since.

Using a score of 10 (10 being the best) to 0, your ‘page rank’ is based on the quality of links on a page, using that to determine the overall quality. Google doesn’t publish or update this data publicly very often anymore, so for site owners like yourself, it’s difficult to decide how well your site is performing.

Domain authority, created by Moz, is designed to fill the gap. It’s more up to date for public users and uses far more elements to analyze the quality of your site.

For modern site owners, your DA score is going to be a more up-to-date reflection of the current quality of your site, as well as that of your competitors.

Ultimately, however, the two methods overlap.

Have a good content creation process? Have a solid backlink strategy from good quality sources? Ranking for certain keywords without overdoing it? You’re probably going to rank well for your DA score and page rank score and see your site’s position on the SERP rise.

How Can You Check Your Domain Authority?

There are a few ways to check the domain authority for your website, but you should understand a vital point first.

Domain authority, in the way we’ve talked about, isn’t exactly the same across several of the available free and paid tools to check your DA, but the principles are pretty much the same.

To find your DA score, you need to use one of these DA checking tools to help you run an audit of your website’s SEO performance.

Tools like these will scan their huge databases of millions of websites to identify the quality of the sites that link to your own, as well as analyze the sites you link to. These connections are important, as they can lower or increase your DA score, depending on their quality.

Here are four DA checking tools you could use to check the DA score of your own website.

Don’t Neglect Domain Authority

With Google always one step ahead, some older SEO techniques, like having a PBN to build links, are no longer effective.

But that isn’t what domain authority is all about. It’s not a technique in itself, but a measure of the success of your current techniques, and it can give you a benchmark of your current SEO performance.

Of course, you’ll need an SEO strategy that’s effective, so if you’re asking yourself, ‘how can I increase my domain authority score?’, that’s where we can help.

Check out how SEO can boost your business with our optimization services for small to medium-sized businesses, and don’t be afraid to get in touch for a free consultation.