In some ways, this is one of the most overlooked SEO ranking factors. On the one hand, this is because it is often misunderstood. It also requires a lot of hard work to improve. We’ll cover several angles around this term and even help improve your site’s domain authority. IN A RUSH?! Click for our < 90-second snapshot:
Table of Contents
What is Domain Authority?
Contrary to what you may think, Google did not develop domain authority. Instead, this is a term and ranking factor developed by Moz. Moz is one of the leading companies when it comes to helping with search engine rankings for people. It is a great product to use for research, but it can be pricey at times. However, Domain Authority is a term that Moz coined, and it is one that you will want to know what it includes.
- This is a score that Moz has put together to help you determine how your website may rank in the search engine results.
- You will find that the score will be composed of several different factors, and each of those will make a difference in how well the website will rank. So, you will want to learn how domain authority is calculated and what factors will be seen in the ranking and score.
But why should you care? The short answer is that domain authority is a huge part of calculating rankings. That is, factors which determine your DA, such as your backlink profile, contribute as much as a fifth of your SERP positions:
How Is Domain Authority Calculated?
While Moz has not come up with the complete formula for a good reason, it is well known that several factors will be used to determine the score. The first factor you will want to know about is the number of links coming from a root domain. This will mean that you will get credit for only a single link at a time from each domain. This means you will want to try building up a diverse link profile to get more credit for your website.
The second factor you will find will be the factors that will come from the links you have coming into your site overall. These links will make a difference for your website and include multiple links from a single website. These are the two main factors in the domain authority and how it will rank for your website.
The Moz Domain Authority algorithm considers over 200 signals when assigning a DA score. While the full details are proprietary, we know these factors have a high correlation with ranking ability:
- Number of backlinks – More total links tend to increase DA, though link quality matters.
- Quality of linking domains – Links from highly authoritative sites boost DA more.
- Link equity flow – Both receiving and passing equity via links impact DA.
- Trust flow metrics – Sites with higher trust metrics like SSL encryption tend to have higher DA.
- Page authority flow – internally linking to high PA pages passes authority.
- Click-through rates – Pages that get more engagement tend to have higher DA.
- Semantic linking – Anchor text and context of backlinks matter, not just numbers.
Moz has confirmed they are working to refine their DA algorithm to align with Google’s shifting focus beyond just backlink metrics. User experience signals like site speed, mobile friendliness, and loading errors will likely have a greater impact on DA in the future.
Tips to Improve Domain Authority
1. Perform a Website Audit
- Use tools like Moz, Ahrefs, and Screaming Frog to audit technical SEO elements on-site. Identify optimization opportunities.
- Disavow Toxic Links
- Analyze your backlink profile and disavow low-quality links from spammy sites dragging down your domain authority.
2. Increase Engagement Metrics
- Build email lists, social followers, comments, etc. These demonstrate people trust your brand and site.
3. Optimize Page Experience Factors
- Check Core Web Vitals scores. Improve LCP, FID, CLS. Fix site speed and responsiveness.
4. Leverage Schema Markup
- Add FAQ schema, review snippets, breadcrumbs etc. This enhances CTR and time on site.
How to Check Your Domain Authority
This is something that you will want to figure out. When looking at this, you will want to look at several different websites, as they will generally use the formula to figure out your ranking. This will help you in knowing how much authority your website carries. For instance, you can check your domain and page authorities using this free tool from Moz.
This will allow you to know more about the changes you need to make and give you a better idea of how your website will look in the eyes of the search engines. There is one thing you should understand here. That is the difference between the terms page authority and domain authority. Some people use these terms interchangeably, but they are not interchangeable and will make a difference in how you view your website or pages.
What is The Difference Between Domain Authority and Page Authority
This is a factor that you need to understand as well. That is because some companies will teach you these are the same terms. However, they are different and will affect how you view your site and pages. Since this is the case, we will also cover some differences between these two terms. With that being the case, it is time to cover these two terms so you can learn more about them. Domain authority is one of the terms used to talk about the root domain.
If your website is mysite.com, you will get a domain authority based on the factors noted above for the domain authority for the root domain. Page authority is similar to domain authority but applies to individual pages on your site. Here, you can read the difference between domain rating and domain authority.
How to Improve Your Website’s Domain Authority
While improving the DA of a website is no easy task, it can be done. To improve your website’s domain authority, the best thing you can do is maintain a good link profile. Therefore, you need to eliminate the spam backlinks leading to your website and work on gaining backlinks with authority for your website.
How to Get Rid of Bad Links
In general, getting rid of the bad links leading to your website is easy. You can request that the website remove all links leading to your website. If this fails, you can simply disavow the links. Use Google’s Disavow Tool to get rid of spam backlinks.
How to Gain Good Backlinks
Chances are, you will find that gaining good backlinks for your website is considerably more difficult. Your first option is to pay for the services of an excellent SEO agency. A good SEO agency will have relationships with writers and websites and will be able to provide you with legitimate and high-quality backlinks. While this is a good option, it can also be pricey. Your second option is to create a website with valuable content that attracts links by merit.
This tactic is referred to as content marketing. You can then conduct a backlinking campaign yourself without paying an agency to do it for you. Done well, content marketing is often the best solution for gaining domain authority. The number of domains linking to your site also directly impacts your Google rankings:
Here are some steps to help you master the art of content marketing to improve your domain authority and attract more organic traffic from search engines.
1. Be Sure You Have Technical SEO in Place
Before you start trying to boost the DA of your website, you should focus on the technical aspects of search engine optimisation first. Good SEO will serve as the foundation for your attempts to improve the DA of your website. You may not want to change your website, but you need certain features to optimise your search engine. The basis of your efforts to improve DA should be technical SEO.
To improve overall SEO for your website, some other details you need to focus on include meta tags, site structure, header tags, breadcrumbs, navigability, word count, meta tags, keywords, header tags, keywords, and alt tags. You will find that content marketing and SEO go hand in hand and rely on each other. Once your SEO tactics are up to snuff, you can focus on creating good content.
2. Publish Valuable Content
Content marketing has a significant impact on the domain authority of a website. Therefore, you want to start content marketing to attract backlinks leading to your site from authoritative websites. To start content marketing, you must have many linkable content on your website. Therefore, you should strive to publish articles, blog posts, and guides on your website daily. The longer the content is, the better for your content marketing efforts.
Articles and blog posts that are 2,400 words or longer tend to rank more highly in search engines. While publishing content every day will take a lot of work, you will find that it will pay off significantly. However, be certain that you focus on quality and not just quantity. It is better to publish a quality post every few days than to publish bad content daily. Your content needs to have value, power, and authority. If you don’t have the time or ability to produce excellent content regularly, you should hire a writer to produce content for your website regularly.
3. Focus on Internal Linking
While it’s important to form high-quality backlinks to your website, you also want to focus on creating high-quality internal backlinks. Not only will internal linking make your website easier to navigate, but it will also help improve the website’s domain authority. Internal linking is a great way to create a network within your website that benefits your users and the robots that index and crawl your website for search engines.
If your website lacks internal links, it will be viewed as weak and disconnected. However, a website with strong internal links will be viewed as unbreakable and interconnected. You will find it easier to achieve strong internal linking if you have more content. This is because you will have more content to link to other pieces of content. Also, you may get more views for your content as your readers will be more likely to move on to the next blog post instead of leaving your website.
4. Be on the Lookout for Toxic Backlinks
Undoubtedly, search engine optimisation is not all fun and games. SEO can be a lot of repetitive work and analysing data. While SEO is not easy, the results of SEO make the hard work worthwhile. Therefore, you need to audit your site for toxic backlinks constantly. Once you’ve identified spam backlinks, you need to work on removing them immediately. If you regularly clean your website’s link profile, you will enjoy a major competitive advantage.
The last thing you want to do is wait until you experience an algorithm or a manual penalty to start monitoring and cleaning up your link profile. You should check your link profile at least once or twice a month so that you never have to experience a penalty. Also, remember that having the best backlinks in the world will not negate the bad impact of having many spam backlinks leading to your website. If you fail to remove the bad backlinks, you can count on the DA of your website remaining low.
5. Patience Is a Virtue
Patience is a virtue, which is certainly true when improving your domain authority. As long as you follow the tips and steps discussed above, the DA of your website will rise over time. One factor that determines your DA is the age of the domain. Unfortunately, this factor isn’t discussed frequently regarding achieving a higher DA. The older a domain is, the higher the website’s domain authority will be. A historic domain is far more likely to have a high DA than a brand-new domain. You can use the Domain Age Tool created by Webconfs.com.
However, you should remember that domain age does not guarantee domain authority. If the domain is not maintained, does not have fresh content, and has a bad link profile, it will lose domain authority. As long as you are persistent in content marketing, you can expect the DA of your website to rise over time. Be patient and know that wins regarding search engine optimisation don’t occur in a day. They can take months or years to occur.
Conclusion: Getting A High Domain Authority Takes Time
You will find plenty of information and guides on the Internet about how to build domain authority for a website. While you should follow this advice, you should also keep the bigger picture in mind. You won’t be able to tweak a few things and suddenly improve the DA of your website drastically. You need to improve the ranking, traffic, and organic search results of your website before you will see results when it comes to domain authority. Some related articles that will help you understand more about the Google Algorithm and domain authority:
- Google’s Caffeine Update
- Google EAT Update
- Google’s Your Money or Your Life Update
- Google’s Bert Update
- Google’s Medic Update
- Google Rankbrain Update
- Google Hummingbird Update
- Content marketing is the best way to go when it comes to improving the domain authority of your website.
How Domain Authority is Calculated
The exact formula that each domain authority metric uses is a secret, but we know that they all take into account the following factors:
- The number and quality of backlinks to a website
- The age of the domain
- The website’s overall popularity and authority
- The website’s content quality
- The website’s technical SEO
- The website’s social media presence
Backlinks are the most important factor in domain authority, so it is important to focus on building high-quality backlinks from other authoritative websites.
The Factors that Affect Domain Authority
The following factors can affect a website’s domain authority:
- The number and quality of backlinks to the website
- The age of the domain
- The website’s overall popularity and authority
- The website’s content quality
- The website’s technical SEO
- The website’s social media presence
As mentioned above, backlinks are the most important factor in domain authority. However, other factors also play a role. For example, a website with high-quality content and good technical SEO is likelier to have a high domain authority than a website with low-quality content and poor technical SEO.
How to Measure the Impact of Domain Authority on Website Traffic and Rankings
Domain authority is a correlated ranking factor, which means that it is correlated with higher website rankings in SERPs. However, it is important to note that domain authority is not the only factor that affects website rankings. Other factors, such as content quality and technical SEO, also play a role.
To measure the impact of domain authority on website traffic and rankings, you can use various tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You can use these tools to track your website’s traffic and rankings over time to see how they change as you improve your domain authority.
Recap on Domain Authority
Creating high-quality content is the best way to attract backlinks from other websites. When you create high-quality content, other websites are likelier to link to it.
You can also build backlinks by guest blogging on other websites and participating in social media.
When you use relevant keywords throughout your website content, you are making it easier for search engines to understand what your website is about. This can help to improve your website’s rankings in SERPs.
Finally, it is important to optimize your website for search engines. This includes ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly, has a fast loading speed, and has a clear and concise structure.
Domain authority is an important factor in SEO, but it is not the only factor. By creating high-quality content, building backlinks, and optimizing your website for search engines, you can improve your domain authority and boost your website’s rankings in SERPs.
Domain Authority FAQ
Q: How can I quickly improve my domain authority?
A: Focus on building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites for a quick DA boost.
Q: Does domain age impact authority?
A: Yes, typically, older domains that have accumulated links over time will have higher DA.
Q: Is domain authority the only ranking factor?
A: No, it’s one of many factors search engines consider – content, page speed, and on-page SEO matter, too.
Q: How often is domain authority updated?
A: Moz recalculates DA scores monthly, but metrics like backlinks impact it in real time.
Q: What is a good DA score?
A: Most established sites have a DA of 20-50. Anything above 50 is generally excellent.
Q: Can I lose domain authority?
A: Yes, if you lose backlinks, produce lower-quality content, or get penalized by Google.
Domain Authority Conclusion
Domain authority provides a benchmark for comparing the relative strength and trust of websites. While not a direct Google ranking factor, optimizing DA can have a significant positive influence on SERP rankings and visibility. By consistently publishing quality content and building natural backlink profiles, sites can steadily improve their domain authority. The higher the DA, the more authoritative a domain appears in the eyes of search engines and users.