What Is Domain Authority? Domain Authority Definition and How it Works

Domain authority or DA predicts how your website will perform in search engine results pages (SERPs). A high DA means high website performance, which translates into higher search rankings. In this blog, you will learn the domain authority definition, meaning, and how it works.

Domain Authority Definition

Domain authority, a term coined by Moz, is a ranking score that determines a website’s ranking ability on search engine result pages. The score ranges from 0 to 100 and is calculated by evaluating root domain links and total links and benchmarking them against other websites.

Domain Authority vs. Page Authority

Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) are different metrics with the same scoring mechanism.

Domain Authority predicts how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs) whereas Page Authority predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP).

Differences between DA and PA:

Domain AuthorityPage Authority
Predicts the ranking strength of a domainPredicts the ranking strength of a page

Both domain authority and page authority are scored on a 100-point logarithmic scale. Further, both can be improved by getting high-authority backlinks.

Similarities between DA and PA:

Domain AuthorityPage Authority
Scored on a 100-point logarithmic scaleScored on a 100-point logarithmic scale
Can be improved by getting links from high-authority sitesCan be improved by getting links from high-authority sites

Key Domain Authority Factors

Moz calculates domain authority on a scale of 0 to 100, using the data from its very own crawler – the Moz crawler. Below are the key factors that determine authority:

1. Link profile

Link profile represents the quality and quantity of links directing to your website. A good link profile has a positive impact on your website and can boost your domain authority. On the other hand, links from bad and spammy sites can have a negative impact.

2. Search engine friendliness

A website with good SEO will have naturally have a higher DA. The search engine friendliness of your website depends on several factors such as your keyword optimization, on-page and off-page SEO, and technical SEO.  

3. Spam score

Spam score depends on the links coming from banned or penalized sites. There are three categories of spam score – low (1%-30%), medium (31%-60%), and high (61%-100%). Spammy links may come from:

  1. Portraying nudity
  2. Plagiarized content  
  3. Irrelevant topics
  4. Sites setup for linking
  5. Unindexed sites
  6. Blog comment links
  7. Hidden links
  8. Use of exact match anchor text instead of partial match
  9. Links marked as sponsored

4. Website design

A simple, uncluttered, responsive website design is favorable for DA. The design should be compatible with different devices like tablets, cell phones, laptops, and desktops. Non-responsive websites can result in poor user experience and will have a lower DA.

5. Content quality

Good content is essential for domain authority. Your content should not only address audience needs but also be well structured and readable. The minimum recommended word count of 300 needs a good narrative and flawless grammar. 

6. Image quality

Image quality criteria include beauty, originality, and loading speed. The algorithm flags plagiarized images. Stock photos are fine, but originals are way better. Especially these days when anyone can take photos with a cheap android phone.

7. Website speed

Page speed is one of the key factors for DA. A lower page load time can improve the chances of high domain authority. Page speed can be improved by optimizing your images so your site can load faster even with a slower internet connection.

8. Website age

Search engines calculate domain age by the time your domain became live, not from the time you got the domain. Older domains have a higher chance of ranking in SERP and could have a higher DA.

How to Improve Domain Authority

There are many factors to improve DA scores. The most effective ways to improve domain authority are listed below.

1. Get links from high domain authority websites

Getting links from websites with a high DA score is a highly effective way to increase your domain authority. Blog commenting, if used correctly, can direct traffic to your site and get the attention of other website authors. Guest posting is powerful. You’ll rarely get a yes when asking, but if someone does and you perform well, traffic will start to grow and guest posting to other sites will become easier. Sharing to social media sites also works great.

2. Internal linking

Internal links determine your website structure and make it easier for Google and users to navigate. Make sure you create good navigation menus and make sure every page is pointing to 2-3 other pages. A webpage without links to others is a dead-end road. Link new posts to older posts. Similarly, update older articles and link them to fresh content. It will increase the user’s time on your site and reduce the bounce rate. However, make sure you don’t put too many anchor texts in popular posts. It can make your posts annoying to read.

3. Weed out bad links

Monitor websites linking to you and weed out links you don’t like. It seems impolite and exhausting to ask every webmaster, so I suggest using the Google disavow function. Don’t tolerate links coming from sites portraying nudity, fraud, hacks, and copy-paste contents. A few links from unrelated sites and other out of target countries are fine but beware of too much. Sudden traffic influx is often a sign of spammy links.

4. Become an authority in your niche   

Your audience can easily discern true experts from pretenders. Own your mistakes, correct them, and thank the person who corrects you. Take your time researching and writing each topic. Verify all the information and give credit to sources.  Two compelling posts per week is better than daily crappy articles. Also, take the time to update old articles. If you do these things. People will respect you. They’ll come back to read more. Ask for your advice. And web owners of the same niche will collaborate.

5. Promote your content via social media

Share your compelling post so your friends and the public can see. Sharing it in a group of similar interest is more effective, however.  Any useful and well-written content may get trending status if promoted right. Choosing the type of social media also plays a critical role. Instagram for images and other arts. LinkedIn for career advice. And for Facebook, find group discussions about your topic. Also, try helping others if their problems are within your expertise. Satisfied people will become your friends and will recommend your work.  Remember, don’t spam and be polite in answering questions and giving advice.

6. Onsite SEO

Good onsite SEO can drastically improve your domain authority. You can boost your onsite SEO by taking a number of steps. Start by solidifying your niche, getting a good domain name, and creating useful content. Correct keywords will enable visitors to find your site. Navigation menus and the search function will help them explore. Internal links. Continue adding an excellent user experience. Use adverts with caution because too many ads make the page ugly.

7. Faster loading

A slow-loading webpage can directly result in higher bounce rates. To ensure fast loading, make sure your website files are non-bulky. You can do this by saving images as J-peg Progressive and choosing Mpeg-4 video formats. If you’re using a platform like WordPress, plugins such as Super Cache and WP Rocket will help faster loading. Using a content delivery network (CDN) can also help your site to load faster.

Tools to Check Domain Authority

Below are the top ten tools to check your website’s domain authority. Try each tool to see which suits you best.

  1. Moz
  2. Ahrefs
  3. Website SEO Checker
  4. SEO Review Tools
  5. SmallSEOtools
  6. Sure Oak
  7. Linkgraph
  8. The HOTH
  9. Project Backlinks
  10. Bulk DA Checker

Moz

Moz Free Domain SEO Analysis Tool provides comprehensive data on DA score, linking root domains, ranking keywords, spam score, and more. Moz Pro offers a more in-depth analysis, which you can try free for 30 days.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs have their own scoring system called Domain Rating, DR.  It’s a 100-point scale system that doesn’t consider factors such as spam links, traffic, and domain age. However, results also give the number of linking domains and total backlinks. Ahrefs offers a 7 days trial for only 7USD.

Website SEO Checker

Website SEO Checker provides you a brief overview of your domain authority, which leads to the semrush.com dashboard. Semrush has 10 searches per day limit. The paid subscription of about 100USD/month allows you to do more.

SEO Review Tools

This tool provides data such as DA, page authority, domain age, URL age, and links. A separate free backlink checker has more details. However, the website authority checker presents DA that is slightly different from Moz. 

Sure Oak

Linkgraph

Linkgraph allows you to check Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) for up to 10 URLs at a time.

The HOTH

Project Backlinks

Bulk DA Checker

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Domain authority is one of the most discussed topics on SEO. While the key questions have been answered above, below are a few more frequently asked questions.

1. Does domain authority matter?


Yes. Domain authority can be a good measure of your website’s credibility score and its ranking strength in SERP. If your DA score increases, your strategy is working well.


2. What is a good domain authority score?


A domain authority of 40 – 50 is average, 50 – 60 is good, and over 60 is excellent. You aim for a score close to 100.


3. How can I increase domain authority?


Start with a good domain name and outstanding content. Then build links through social media promotions and guest postings. Have a fast and good site design that is friendly to all platforms, windows, android, and iOS.


4. How do I find my domain authority score?


You can check your domain authority score by using any of the free DA checking tools available on the internet. You can also check domain authority with Moz’s Link Explorer or Moz’s free SEO toolbar.


5. What is the difference between domain authority and page authority?  


Domain authority is the ranking strength of the entire domain, while page authority focuses on a single page. However, the same method calculates both. Increasing page authority means increasing the DA score.


6. Does domain authority impact my search ranking?  


It has no direct impact on search engine ranking. But a good DA score tells that your website will perform well. It gives a tangible measure of SEO efforts. If you can’t get a good score, then it’s time to rethink your approach.


7. What is Moz?


Moz is a company that provides SEO software. Apart from its SEO software, Moz also provides educational videos and community advice.


8. What is MozTrust?


MozTrust is a score assigned to a website based on the quality of its backlinks. Getting links from high authority sites results in high MozTrust and links from spammy sites result in low MozTrust. The rating score is from 0 to 10.


9. What is MozRank?


MozRank is a ranking score assigned to a website based on its link profile. It is determined by the quality of links and the quantity of links. MozRank score is from 0 to10.

Conclusion

A good domain authority score can boost your SERP rankings, but let it not become your primary objective. Your key goal should be to provide your audience with content they can benefit from. If you can do that effectively, your domain authority will certainly increase.

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