What Is Domain Authority?
The domain authority, also known as “domain rating”, is a quick indicator of the SEO health of your website. When you launch your first website, there is typically no domain authority. If your site is as large as Wikipedia, it may be closer to 100. All other websites land somewhere around that 1-100 scale.
Moz has created a domain authority score (DA) which is an automated score that evaluates the website’s ability to rank on Google. A domain authority (DA) score of 50 or more is likely to rank for a competitive term than a DA score of 20.
Google’s PageRank does not use DA to rank websites, but it is an important metric that can be used as a digital marketing KPI. Digital agencies often get asked about DA. How can it be improved? These questions and many more will be answered in this article.
How To Assess Your DA
Your DA score is a relative score. You should consider it in the context of other websites you are competing with. You should list the websites that are just above or below you in search engine results (SERP), for a search term that you rank for. Using a keyword research tool, find their DA or DR. These are the main ones:
All of these companies offer low-cost or free trials. This means that you can easily find your DA, provided you don’t cancel your trial. Moz allows you to view your DA and other KPIs using their free SEO analysis tool.
How is DA Calculated?
DA scores are a combination of multiple ranking signals, which are combined into one number on a 100 point scale. These ranking signals, according to Moz include:
* Root domains.
* Number of referring hyperlinks
* Number of authoritative backlinks
* Authoritativeness, i.e. quality and trustworthiness of links
Observations over many years have shown that link diversification and the prestige of authors and content (i.e. whether they are directed from different reputable sites) play an important role.
Logarithmic DA scores can be manipulated to increase or decrease a single factor. For example, a boost in organic traffic could increase your DA by 30 to 31, while a positive change in another area may bring it up to 31 to 35.
What Is A Good DA Score?
Remember that DA scores should be compared to other domains in your industry. A DA score of 35 may be sufficient to rank in certain niches or industries, but it may not be enough for other niches.
There is no “good” objective DA score we can use to benchmark. However, I believe that any score above 50 should be considered competitive, regardless of what niche or industry the company operates in.
This list illustrates the logarithmic nature of DA score calculations. The estimates from Ahrefs ( via Search Engine Watch below show that there is a significant difference in the approximate referring domains that are used to separate DA score tiers.
* DA 0-20: 20 referring domains.
* DA 20-40: 603 referring domains.
* DA 40-60: 4,212 referring domains.
* DA 60-80: 25,638 referring domains.
* DA 80-100: 335,717 referring domains.
These figures are based on my professional experience. Websites with medium to high DAs often have referring domains in the thousands or tens of thousands. Increasing the number of domains that point to your website can improve your DA score.
How To Improve Your DA Score
You can generally improve your SEO standing and DA score by creating high-quality, well-researched material. You can also jump-start your DA score by performing a link audit with a keyword research tool like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs.
After completing a complete link audit, you will be able to delete or unlink backlinks from sites with low authority, spam networks, or sites that use black hat SEO techniques. You should see an improvement.
Next, we need to do the hard work of creating and maintaining organic links. In an earlier article, I discussed how to create and implement a link-building plan. This formula is still recommended as it does not use black-hat SEO techniques that could penalize your rank and explains the basics of sourcing “link juice”.
Link-building is not enough. You should also post more content and ensure that it is of superior quality to the content of your competitors. You can expect to see a DA increase if you post quality, error-free, and well-cited content several times per week. It’s important to offer value. If your content isn’t valuable, it won’t get any links.
The way you build your website will determine how well it ranks. DA/DR scores, which are a useful diagnostic tool for assessing a website’s reliability, strength, and trustworthiness, have been almost always accurate in my experience. You can improve your website’s quality characteristics by putting in some effort.
Your content and links are the most important. Referring links will naturally grow if you are able to focus on creating and outsourcing high-quality content. It’s then a matter of sticking with the plan and allowing the links to grow while your DA climbs the ranks. Lux Digital Marketing is the SEO Company to call! Contact us today to request a free audit!