Domain Authority Explained: What Is It and How to Increase It?
Have you wondered how to get your website to rank highly on Google? If so, you may have heard the term “Domain Authority” before. For those working on SEO, it’s crucial to understand that Domain Authority is one of the top 200 factors that Google uses to determine website ranking.
If you have a website, a blog or run an e-commerce store, it’s essential for your website to be discovered via Google search organically. You may have been driving traffic through other sources, such as paid ads, social media or referrals, but nothing beats the satisfaction of getting organic views from a Google search.
This article will provide an explanation of domain authority, its significance for website ranking, and some tips on how to improve it.
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). The score is based on various factors, such as the quality and quantity of backlinks, content, technical optimization, and overall website authority.
The DA score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating better ranking potential. It’s important to note that DA is a relative metric that compares the authority of one website to another.
Therefore, a DA score of 50 does not mean that the website will rank higher than all websites with a lower score. Rather, it provides a general idea of the website’s potential to rank well on search engines.
Domain Authority is useful for website owners and digital marketers as it helps them to identify areas for improvement and track the effectiveness of their SEO strategies.
However, it’s important to remember that Domain Authority is not the only factor that determines search engine rankings, and there are many other factors that play a role in how well a website performs on search engines.
The calculation of Domain Authority takes many factors into consideration. For instance, established websites such as Google, Apple, or Microsoft have a high DA, generally ranging between 95 and 100.
On the other hand, new websites will typically have a lower DA, perhaps ranging between 10 and 20. Moreover, it’s worth noting that improving a site’s DA is easier when its score is between 20 and 30, as opposed to when it’s between 70 and 80.
How to check Domain Authority?
There are many online tools available that can be used to check your Domain Authority. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Moz Link Explorer: This is Moz’s own tool, and it’s one of the most widely used tools for checking domain authority. You can enter a website’s URL, which will provide you with the DA score and other important SEO metrics.
- Ahrefs: Ahrefs is another popular SEO tool that can be used to check domain authority and other important metrics like backlinks and organic traffic.
- SEMrush: SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool that provides a wide range of data, including domain authority, backlinks, and keyword rankings.
- Majestic SEO: This tool is dedicated to backlink analysis and provides domain authority scores and other important metrics.
- Ubersuggest: This platform allows you to analyse the overall SEO performance of your website, including SEO issues, keyword ranking, backlinks and more. It also tracks your Domain Authority. This is my favourite tool for SEO-related work.
To check your website’s domain authority, simply visit one of these tools, enter your website’s URL, and it will provide you with the DA score and other relevant metrics.
While all of the tools mentioned above are paid and may require a subscription, for the content of this article, I’ll use a free Domain Authority checker – Prepostseo.
Prepostseo allows you to calculate Domain Authority, Page Authority and Spam Score for free.
How is Domain Authority calculated?
Domain Authority is calculated by Moz using a complex algorithm that takes into account various factors related to a website’s authority and popularity. Moz uses a machine learning model to predict how well a website will rank on search engines. The factors that are considered include:
- The quality and quantity of backlinks: High-quality backlinks from authoritative websites are important in increasing domain authority.
- Content quality: A website’s content’s relevance, uniqueness, and usefulness can also contribute to its domain authority.
- Social signals: The number of shares, likes, and comments on social media platforms can also be a factor in determining a website’s authority.
- On-page optimization: Technical factors such as site speed, mobile-friendliness, and optimized metadata can also play a role in determining a website’s authority.
- Overall website authority: This is a general assessment of a website’s trustworthiness, popularity, and reputation.
When it comes to calculating the Domain Authority, different tools would use different metrics; however, the result, in most cases, comes up to be the same. Therefore, you can calculate your DA using any of the tools, and the result will be similar or the same.
A website with a high Domain Authority score is more likely to rank higher on search engine result pages, while a website with a low DA score may struggle to rank well
What is a good Domain Authority score?
A good DA score depends on several factors, such as your industry, niche, and competitors. However, a DA score above 50 is generally considered good, while a score above 60 is considered excellent. DA scores between 40 and 50 are average, and scores below 30 are considered poor.
However, it’s important to remember that Domain Authority is just one of many factors that search engines use to rank websites, and it should be used in conjunction with other SEO strategies.
Why is my Domain Authority low?
The DA is representative of the overall quality of the website. Therefore, it is important to understand why your score is high or low. If you notice that your score is low, you should pay attention to the major reasons impacting your result.
This is particularly true if you’ve been producing a lot of content. Sometimes, the low DA may be attributed to websites with low content or newly built websites.
There are several reasons why a website’s Domain Authority may be low. Here are some common reasons:
- Lack of high-quality backlinks: Backlinks are among the most important factors in determining a website’s authority. If your website has few or low-quality backlinks, your DA may be lower than it could be.
- Poor content: If your website has low-quality or irrelevant content, it may not attract many backlinks or generate much traffic. This can result in a lower DA score.
- Technical issues: Technical issues such as slow loading speed, broken links, or poorly optimized metadata can negatively impact a website’s authority.
- New website: If your website is new, it’s likely that it hasn’t had time to accumulate high-quality backlinks or generate much traffic, which can result in a lower DA score.
- High competition: If your website is in a highly competitive niche, competing with other established websites may be difficult, resulting in a lower DA score.
- Poor quality backlinks: If you have a lot of websites linking to your content, it’s important to assess them. Not all backlinks are valuable. If your backlinks come from spammy websites or websites with low DA, it may also drag your DA down.
To improve your website’s DA, it’s important to focus on building high-quality backlinks, creating relevant and high-quality content, fixing technical issues, and optimizing your website for search engines. It’s also important to be patient, as improving your DA can take time and effort.
Is Domain Authority important?
In the SEO world, Domain Authority is an important metric for websites, especially those that rely on search engine optimization (SEO) to drive traffic. Here’s why:
- It’s a predictor of search engine performance: Websites with a higher DA are more likely to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs) compared to websites with a lower DA. However, this is not always true.
- It’s a benchmark for comparing against competitors: You can use your DA score to compare your website’s authority with your competitors in the same niche. This can help you identify areas where you need to improve your website’s authority to rank higher in SERPs.
- It’s an indicator of website quality: Websites with a high DA are generally considered to be of higher quality and more trustworthy than websites with a lower DA. This can help build trust with users and potentially lead to more conversions and sales.
Domain Authority is calculated using various factors such as the quality and quantity of backlinks, content quality, social signals, on-page optimization, and overall website authority.
You can consider DA as an indication of leadership, trustworthiness, and power in the online world. Like we wouldn’t trust self-proclaimed experts to give us financial advice; similarly, we’d not trust unauthoritative websites to make purchases, get advice, or learn.
Improving your website’s Domain Authority can help increase your website’s visibility on search engines, attract more traffic, and potentially improve your business’s online presence.
It’s possible to have a high DA but still not rank well if other factors like content quality, technical optimization, and user experience are poor. Therefore, while DA is important, it should be used in conjunction with other good SEO strategies to improve your website’s search engine performance.
However, DA shouldn’t be the primary concern in your SEO strategy. It often happens that pages with lower DA outrank the higher authority websites. It happens because Google primarily focuses on the content’s relevance and value. Observe the ranking of examples below:
How to improve my Domain Authority?
Improving your Domain Authority is not easy and often takes time and effort, but here are some strategies that can help you improve your DA:
- Create high-quality content: Focus on creating valuable, relevant, and engaging content that provides value to your audience. This can help attract high-quality backlinks and improve your website’s authority.
- Build high-quality backlinks: Backlinks from high-authority websites can significantly impact your website’s DA. Focus on building high-quality backlinks through guest blogging, broken link building, or other link-building tactics.
- Optimize your website: Ensure that your website is optimized for search engines, including on-page optimization, website structure, and technical SEO. This can help improve your website’s visibility and increase the chances of attracting high-quality backlinks.
- Improve website speed: A fast-loading website can improve user experience and help with SEO. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your website’s speed and make necessary improvements.
- Promote your content: Promote your content through social media, email marketing, and other channels to attract more traffic and potentially attract high-quality backlinks.
- Monitor and analyze your progress: Regularly monitor your website’s DA using tools like Moz, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, or SEMrush. Analyze your progress and adjust your strategy as necessary.
While the above-mentioned strategies are the most common, what I particularly find helpful when working with my clients, is concentrating on high-quality content that’s worth linking to. This is something that’s within your control.
Why is it important to create exceptional content?
When your audience finds your content valuable, they are likely to share it with others. This increases your chances of receiving backlinks from high-authority websites such as educational institutions or government agencies.
On top of that, if you position yourself as an expert in the field, other bloggers and content creators will backlink to your content. Increasing the visibility of your website and driving traffic to specific pages will signal that your website has a higher authority and expertise in the field.
As a result, you’ll enhance your root domains with links from different sources, which can ultimately help increase your DA.
You shouldn’t expect to increase your DA by producing one good-quality webpage. Quite the contrary, you should strive to produce as much content as possible within the same niche, signalling to Google that your website is an expert in the field.
By providing valuable and informative content, you can establish yourself as an authority and expert in your field. This can help build trust with your audience and potentially lead to more shares of your content.
You have several options for creating compelling content, including articles, detailed guides, videos, infographics, podcasts, and slides. However, you can start by examining the most popular pages on your website and creating similar topics and content formats.
Remember that improving your DA takes time and effort, but by following these strategies consistently, you can improve your website’s authority, attract more traffic, and potentially improve your business’s online presence.
Can you manipulate Domain Authority?
We live in a world of instant gratification and a desire for fast results. It’s tempting to look for shortcuts and play against the rules, as the results may seem worth the risk. The reality is, however, different – the risks outweigh the advantages.
I have had some clients asking if there are any ways to manipulate their DA scores and cheat the rankings. Well, the truth is that there aren’t. And there shouldn’t be.
While there are many black hat SEO strategies to boost website ranking on Google, I can only strongly discourage you from taking this path. The reason is simple – sooner or later, Google will know.
Do you remember the times when empty keyword stuffing resulted in a high ranking on Google? These days are long gone, and content that’s artificially stuffed with keywords will never come high on Google search. Google gets smarter every day, and sooner or later, any hack to cheat it will result in heavy penalties or banning from the search engines.
Also, you cannot directly manipulate Domain Authority as it is calculated based on multiple factors and is determined by an algorithm that takes into account various metrics related to a website’s performance.
Attempting to manipulate DA through black hat SEO techniques, such as buying backlinks or keyword stuffing, can actually harm your website’s reputation and lead to penalties from search engines.
It’s nearly impossible to return a banned website to Google search; thus, it’s best to follow the rules.
Instead of trying to manipulate Domain Authority, focus on creating high-quality content, build a strong backlink profile, and provide a good user experience to improve your website’s overall performance and search engine rankings is better. Over time, this can lead to an increase in your Domain Authority score.
Final thoughts on Domain Authority
While DA is important, it shouldn’t be your primary focus. As mentioned, you will improve your DA score by practicing good SEO strategies, producing valuable, high-quality content, and building your backlinks.
While DA is important for website ranking, there are plenty of examples of websites with lower DAs outranking high Domain Authority websites. This is because Google deems the content worthier and more valuable to the searcher’s intent.
Domain Authority is only one of the metrics used to determine the ranking of the webpage. According to Google, hundreds of other factors impact the position of the webpage on search results.