Domain Authority
  • 24
  • March

The Importance of Domain Authority and How to Check It

Properly evaluating the progress of a company’s digital strategy includes being aware of the domain authority held by its website. Domain authority (DA) is a comparative web-based metric that allows business owners to quickly and reliably measure their brands’ standing relative to the main competition.

A site’s DA is a value that tells the owner how visible it is in the desired search results. Each site’s own domain authority is reached by computing a wealth of site data to calculate its overall standing compared to its competitors. It’s a score that’s based on dozens of factors, especially the DA held by each of its external links and backlinks.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at what domain authority means, along with what it doesn’t do, so the concept and instrument can be better understood and effectively optimized.

What is Domain Authority?

First developed by Moz, an SEO software company, domain authority is a data-based indicator of how a site stacks up against its competitors.

More specifically, DA is a tool to gauge the actual odds that a site will land on search engine results pages or SERPs. It’s especially useful for assessing a brand’s online performance.

Domain authority is a great way for business owners to evaluate and build their online presence relative to their competitors. Google does not use DA in rankings. Rather, domain authority is a site health metric used to identify a site’s standing and inform strategies for improving online visibility.

How to Check Domain Authority

The DA score for a given site is a predictor of how likely it is that the site will appear in the SERPs, so building a successful digital strategy requires a solid understanding of checking domain authority.

Various domain authority metrics exist across the web, applying algorithmic data to determine how a site compares to its competition in searchability.

Online DA calculator tools are simple to use: just enter the URL and submit to receive the score. Some factors used in the calculation are search traffic, referring domains, and backlinks.

Additionally, leading digital assessment tools for DA scores will often include extra features and metrics, such as in-depth evaluations of all linking domains and inbound links, keyword ranking assessment, and more.

How Does a Domain Authority Score Work?

Domain Authority ScoreDomain authority is typically scored from 1 to 100, with higher scores linked to a greater likelihood of appearing in the SERPs.

As more data is accumulated for DA algorithms to consider, your score will inevitably fluctuate. The strength of each domain and its linked sites is always relative to the digital spaces in which they exist. Increases to a site’s DA score will become more difficult as the score gets higher.

Domain authority is a comparative tool that never exists in a vacuum. Each site’s associated links and their strength will vary by business and market.

Quality Over Quantity

Domain authority tools evaluate a web page’s quality and quantity of backlinks, along with the DA of each. If its backlinks have a high DA, it tends to improve the web page’s score. Each industry and niche will have its own set of high-quality backlinks.

Typically, high-traffic and respected sites like government domains, academic and university websites, and national publications have higher DAs. Sometimes, regional backlinks may hold greater value despite possessing lower domain authority, like when used by local businesses.

What’s a Good Domain Authority Score?

Usually, sites at the higher end of the DA scale possess many external links of high quality. Conversely, smaller businesses’ sites with fewer external links of lower quality will have lower DA scores.

A site that’s just been launched will start with a DA score of 1. Its DA score will increase over time as the site gains popularity, especially with the inclusion of high-quality backlinks possessing strong domain authority of their own.

It’s All Relative

Domain authority scores are primarily tools for comparison, so their individual number is less valuable than how it performs within its own unique landscape. Scores are relative rather than good or bad.

Familiarizing yourself with the competition is integral to assessing your own company’s standing and can aid in the awareness of what’s most relevant to the field, as well as in identifying where new opportunities exist to stand out.

By comparing a site’s DA score to its top competitors, business owners can form the smartest strategies to move into their target SERPs.

Example of Comparing Domain Authority Scores

To better understand how domain authority scores work, consider two example domains: site one and site two.

Using an algorithmic online calculator, site 1’s domain authority is determined, revealing a numeric prediction between 1 and 100 to represent the site’s frequency of being used in search engine results.

Next, site 2’s score is calculated, showing it possesses a lower DA score than site 1. These results tell us it’s less likely that site two will appear in the SERPs than the probability that site one will.

Tips to Build Domain Authority

Since domain authority lets business owners know how their site is ranking compared to their competitors, the next step is knowing how to boost it.

When it comes to inbound and backlinks, quantity is not as important as quality. Speaking to the appropriate audience goes a long way in improving a site’s DA. It’s best to keep the links as relevant as possible. Backlinks can be analyzed to evaluate their strength.

Create Quality Content

Generating authentic, high-quality backlinks doesn’t happen overnight and tends to be the product of producing high-quality content. When the content on your site is focused, speaks to, and resonates with the target audience, it can attract more attention and gain momentum.

Seek out creative ways to share your content. Through publicizing your site via unique channels, you can cast a wider net to reach more of your audience. Going back to add more recent and interesting information to older posts can also help your content get noticed.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

There’s tremendous value in learning from the mistakes of others, and of course, from their successes, too. Observing the competition will ultimately provide useful information to boost your own site’s visibility.

Being aware of your competitors is fundamental to building a strong brand, so pay attention to what attributes you share, along with what sets your brands apart. Don’t forget to assess their backlink sources and their strength in your research. If tactics are useful for them, how can you obtain similarly beneficial ones?

Be Patient

Be patient with domain authorityDomain authority is built over time, so usually, a long-term plan is necessary in order to develop and produce gradual results. With the ultimate goal of boosting site traffic through improved SERP rankings, assessing and building your DA is an ongoing practice that never ends.

Building your domain authority requires applying these fundamentals and tracking their progress over time. Note which strategies yield the greatest results, so they can be prioritized and, when possible, replicated in various ways.

Ultimately, the goal should be to improve the overall quality of the site as a whole. Then, the DA and search results ranking can follow suit.

What is Page Authority?

A similar tool, not to be confused with domain authority, is page authority. Page authority speaks specifically to each individual page of the website’s likelihood of ranking. Domain authority, on the other hand, refers to the complete domain’s probability of ranking in the SERPs.

Page authority, then, is a way to evaluate each individual page’s performance. This allows domain holders to assess how each product page, article, or blog post ranks on its own. It can aid in determining where the most attention is needed for overall improvement.

The Takeaway

Domain authority refers to a predictor of a site’s likelihood of ranking in search engine results pages. If you’re currently unaware of your site’s DA, you can use a free online tool to obtain its score based on multiple factors, such as web traffic and the quality of its linked sources.

Scores for DA that are closer to 100 represent a greater likelihood of appearing in SERPs. These scores are calculated through predictive algorithms using site data along with real search results.

Google rankings don’t use DA as a factor, and DA itself doesn’t impact SERPs. Instead, a site’s domain authority is calculated to identify its odds of appearing in SERPs and its standing among the competition. Then, the DA can be used to track any progress of strategic efforts to improve the site’s ranking over time.

A solid understanding of domain authority can make a huge difference in boosting your site’s SERP rankings. Remember, the best way to use this digital metric is to gauge your site’s online visibility relative to your main competitors.

To improve your domain authority and, ultimately, your visibility, focus on implementing these specific tips and practices. Then, use regular DA score assessment as a tool to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts over time.

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