What is Domain Authority and Why is it Important?
What Is Domain Authority & Why Is It Important?
The Domain Authority (DA) is a measurement developed by Moz that assesses how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). Scores of one hundred correspond to a greater chance of ranking.
Domain Authority is a key component of Moz’s popular Open Site Explorer service. Websites with higher DA have been proven, time and again, to rank higher in SERPs than those with lower DA scores. In fact, DA has been shown to very closely track Google PageRank for individual pages as well as entire websites.
How Does Domain Authority Work?
So what is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority uses the same machine learning model that powers Moz’s toolbar (pro) by looking at dozens of ranking signals to predictively find “the best fit” algorithm that correlates most strongly with real-world search engine rankings on thousands of different keywords across multiple search engines (Google, Bing etc.).
The underlying math is complex but Domain Authority isn’t actually based on any one individual ranking metric. Instead, domain authority integrates dozens of metrics related to the quality, quantity, and diversity of inbound links pointing to a domain. When all these metrics are combined into an algorithm that predicts how well any given domain is likely to rank for any given keyword across multiple search engines, it’s called domain authority.
As with most SEO terms, there is some controversy over exactly what DA really means. Moz’s definition likely comes closest at the moment but other entities have tried joining in on the fun as well (including Search Engine Journal).
What Is a Good Domain Authority Score?
There really isn’t an average DA score that we can refer back to when trying to assess “how good” or “bad” any particular domain’s domain authority will be. That’s because domain authority doesn’t try to reference other domains and their domain authorities in relation to itself (in other words it doesn’t say domain X has domain authority of 70 and domain Y has domain authority of 30 so domain X is twice as good). Domain Authority just gives you a “score” that says how likely it is that domain, for example, will rank well.
Why Should Your Business Care About Domain Authority?
In a perfect world, DA wouldn’t matter. In the real world, domain authority is correlated with rankings and helps determine how well a website will rank in SERPs. That’s why domain authority is important for businesses – being more likely to rank higher in search results means more traffic and increased conversions which almost always leads to increased revenue.
Here at Momentum Digital we care a lot about the authority of our website as well as our clients because it’s such a core component to Search Engine Optimization and getting more organic traffic.
What Could Decrease My Domain Authority?
DA can be lowered by spammy-looking backlinks, a lack of high-quality backlinks from diverse sources, or simply having too few or too many low-quality links pointing to your domain from bad neighborhoods on the web (places that Google might consider you linking out to “unnatural” destinations). In some cases brand new websites may find domain authority to be lower than expected for their first few months of existence which is normal and expected.
What Could Increase My Domain Authority?
The best approach to improve your site’s DA rating is to improve its overall SEO health, with a particular emphasis on the quality and number of external links pointing to it.
It’s difficult to influence directly because DA incorporates so many pieces of data. This metric is intended to forecast how competitive a site will be in Google search results, and since Google uses so many ranking variables in determining rankings, a metric that tries to approximate its determinations must include a comparable number and degree of factors.
What Do High Domain Authority Scores Indicate?
The DA score isn’t useful for determining how any particular domain’s pages will rank across search engines, but it is a good indicator of relative quality and competitiveness in SERPs. This can be helpful when comparing or assessing the strength of your own domain against competitors.
Does Your Authority Measure Backlinks?
DA doesn’t directly measure links and isn’t intended to guess how many links you have or who might link to you. It does include many factors related to the quality and quantity of inbound links pointing at a domain, but it doesn’t attempt to quantify these data points for individual domain names. The point behind DA is that not all links are created equal and there is no one metric that will tell you how strong a domain is or isn’t.
What Does Domain Authority Mean for My Business?
If you want to appear at the top of search engine results, your DA score needs to be high. High domain authority scores are hard to get, but once they’re achieved Google takes notice and ranks your site higher in search results than sites with lower domain authority scores.
The length your website has been around and indexed also increases domain authority. NeedMomentum.com has been around 6 years now and we always review our SEO and DA score. Typically we like to use UberSuggest chrome extension to review these organic scores. See the screenshot below and use this link.
How Is Domain Authority Calculated?
Domain authority’s algorithm uses machine learning techniques to predictively find what it believes is the “best fit” algorithm for correlating link metrics with rankings among actual search result data. There are dozens of factors involved in its calculations so DA is always changing every time you check it because so many pieces of data are constantly being updated.
Why Did My Score Change?
It’s quite difficult to pinpoint the precise reason for a boost or decrease in DA. If your score has improved or decreased, there may be a number of external factors behind it, including:
- Your link profile has yet to be indexed
- The most authoritative sites saw a large increase in links, distorting the scaling process.
- You obtained links from Websites that don’t influence Google rankings.
- Your authority is on the lower side of the spectrum, and as a result, it is more susceptible to fluctuations in scale.
Domain Authority vs. Page Authority
DA and page authority are very similar metrics calculated by Moz – DA measures the strength of a domain as a whole, while page authority measures the strength of individual pages. Sites with higher DA scores tend to have pages that also score well on page authority rankings.
Why You Should Care About Domain Authority?
As competition for top rankings is heating up, DA is becoming increasingly important in search engine optimization efforts. The higher the authority, the more likely it will appear at the top of organic search results.
A site’s domain and page authorities are dependent upon backlinks from websites that have their own domain/page authorities. A site can improve its domain/page rank by earning high-quality links from domains/pages with domain and page authority. Websites with domain and Page Authority also benefit from this phenomenon by getting more links, thus creating a positive feedback loop that can boost domain and page authority over time.
DA vs. Other SEO Metrics
DA is more closely related to trustworthiness than other page-specific metrics like on-page optimization or backlink profiles that might provide some indication of SEO strength but don’t measure domain strength independently of these factors. A domain’s authority won’t change based on how it performs against any specific search engine query because domain strength is an aggregate score representing the history of the domain in all the major search engines.