What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score created by Moz that estimates how likely a website is to rank on search engine result pages. A Domain Authority score spans from 1 to 100, the greater the score, the higher chance a website has of ranking well (theoretically).
It is worth noting early on that Domain Authority is not a Google metric. Moz themselves say “Domain Authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs.”
Why Does Domain Authority Matter?
So if Domain Authority doesn’t come from Google, why does it matter? Domain Authority is calculated through multiple factors, including linking root domains and the number of total links a website has. This single DA score can then be used when comparing websites or tracking the ranking progression of a website over time.
Domain Authority matters because it is an insight into how a website ranks on a search engine. It helps website owners better grasp site credibility in the eyes of search engines and also allows for better competitor analysis.
That being said, Domain Authority is not the be-all and end-all. It should be considered, but it shouldn’t be your only focus in SEO. Furthermore, it shouldn’t be used as the only indicator of a website’s performance.
How Do You Measure Domain Authority?
There are lots of tools out there to measure different forms of ‘domain authority’. The most natural tool to be used for Domain Authority on its own is from Moz themselves, the MozBar.
On a side note, Majestic is another SEO tool that has its own way of measuring websites. To determine the overall quality of a site, Majestic implements its own scoring system featuring bespoke metrics called ‘topical trust flow’ and ‘citation flow’. Citation Flow determines how influential a site is while Trust Flow determines how trustworthy a site is in terms of its neighbourhood along with outgoing links and other metrics. Both tools have their benefits, so we like to take both into consideration when measuring websites.
Domain Authority vs Page Authority
You will see in the MozBar both Page Authority and Domain Authority scores. Domain Authority indicates the estimated ranking strength of entire domains or subdomains, Page Authority measures the strength of individual pages.
We would recommend that you start with a focus on Domain Authority and follow this with individual Page Authority work.
5 Ways to Boost Domain Authority
So how can you boost Domain Authority? To put it simply, the best way to influence Domain Authority is to improve and nail your SEO as a whole. Look at the full scene, not just one part of it.
There is no black and white formula to improving your Domain Authority, but there are proven methods that when done right, are likely to help you give it a boost.
- Build more high-authority links – This really is the essence of Domain Authority. Having a strong backlink profile with credible links from other websites will help to strengthen your ranking.
- Reduce spammy links – Avoid low quality, low relevance links. Don’t blitz every low trust website that’s linking to you, but have a sift through and consider removing those that might have a negative impact on your website if they look spammy or totally irrelevant.
- Build links that will drive traffic and results – It’s one thing to have links from high Domain Authority websites, but again, the links need to be targeted and valuable. Aim for websites that will drive relevant traffic to your website and service offerings.
- On-page SEO – As mentioned above, you have to nail SEO across the board. On-page SEO will always be a key factor in the success of a website. Think meta, headings, URL structure, image optimisation, relevant content, internal links, the lot.
- Technical SEO – As with on-page, technical SEO is key to make sure your website is fully optimised. Optimise your page speed, ensure your website is mobile-friendly, ensure there are no broken links or pages, add extra boosts such as structured data and thoroughly audit your website technically across the board.
You can’t fake Domain Authority, you have to do the hard work to see long term results. There is no shortcut to having a fully optimised website, nor is there an end. Real authority needs to be built and nurtured for both Moz and Google, as pretty much every SEO tool out there. Data doesn’t lie, if you have done SEO right, you will see positive numbers anywhere you look.
Don’t be obsessed with your Domain Authority score, it is just one ingredient in the very large recipe for SEO. A low DA does not necessarily mean that your website won’t see success, and a high DA does not guarantee results, it is simply an estimate and an indicator worth being taken into consideration.
The bottom line is that you cannot judge a website on one metric. Neither SEO nor website analysis is black and white, several factors have to be taken into account. Always keep the bigger picture in mind, which is ultimately to craft a website over time that will achieve strong rankings and drive traffic in Google. Do that, and your Domain Authority is bound to be good.