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The authority on Domain Authority

This weekend saw another update to Moz.com’s Domain Authority (DA) score. What began as a third party metric to help users understand their chance of ranking on Google is now an intrinsic metric for bloggers and webmasters. The higher your DA, the better — or so everyone thinks.

But what exactly is DA, why is it important and what can you do to increase it? We’ve got the answers you need…

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is a metric invented by Moz, one of the world’s leading authorities on SEO. DA is presented as a 1-100 point logarithmic scale that indicates how successful your site may be at ranking in Google searches. It is generally based on age, popularity and size.

Think of DA as a strong guess at how well your site may rank and an indicator of its overall influence online. These metrics are generally good indicators of the scale and quality of your site.  For example, a good personal blog tends to have a DA score of 20 or above, while a news website is usually over 60.

Page Authority (PA) is a similar metric. Scaled between 1-100, it measures specific pages rather than your whole site.

Why is Domain Authority important?

While it’s not an official metric vetted by Google, DA provides a good indicator of your overall online authority. Influencing your DA can be tricky, but the benefits are numerous:

  • Bloggers can attract brands and PR representatives who will be keen to work with authoritative voices
  • Websites with stronger DA metrics tend to attract more organic visits — although this isn’t always true

How do you check domain authority?

Checking your site’s DA is fairly simple. Use Moz.com’s Open Site Explorer tool and paste in your URL. You can also use this tool to see your page authority. For a more pro-active way to measure your authority, use the MozBar tool, which can be installed on Chrome and Firefox browsers. Once installed, the bar can be activated at any point to see a site’s Domain Authority.

How to increase Domain Authority

Increasing your DA can be tricky, as it’s a metric made up of a number of factors. Increasing or decreasing your DA won’t have a direct impact on your performance as a business but it can be used as a benchmark to gauge improvements. There are a number of things you can do to try and influence your DA.

  • Build trust by outreaching to other websites. Creating linking domains from relevant websites to your own site increases how trustworthy your site is in the eyes of Google. A few links from higher authority sites that are relevant to your topic are better than lots of links from other domains.
  • Social signals such as shares are a good way to increase your domain authority. While not an exact science, generating more shares is a good goal to have, as it means more people are engaging with your content.
  • Ensure you have a clean link profile, disavowing or removing links from untrustworthy websites. If you’ve ever bought links or had a negative SEO attack, you may be at risk. Use Google Webmaster Tools to see who is linking to you.
  • Make your site user friendly. It should load quickly and be multi-device compatible, without featuring too many ads.
  • Build a solid internal link structure. Don’t be afraid to link out to other websites if you mention them in posts, as this will only increase your authority. Your links should not overload a page but should be relevant and contextual.
  • Create great content. As the web shifts more and more towards user experience, your own site needs to provide fantastic content. Anything less means you’re losing out.
  • Be patient. DA is an unreliable factor at the best of times and any changes you make can take a while to come into effect. Assuming you follow best practice, your DA also grows naturally as your domain ages.
  • If you’d rather put someone else in charge of building your DA, find a brand that specialises in Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the practice of optimising a website in order to perform well in search engine rankings. As a result, good SEO services should slowly and holistically increase your domain authority.

Remember: domain authority is not an official score and as such, you shouldn’t worry too much if your site is fluctuating. Stick to good practices and it will grow.

 

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