What Is Domain Authority? And Why Is It Important?

What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Domain Authority (DA) is a ranking metric created by Moz that assesses a website’s likelihood to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).

It’s given a score between 1 and 100, with higher scores indicating a better chance of ranking.

In this article, we’ll answer the fundamental question of what is domain authority? How it is calculated, and why it is important to website owners.

Takeaways
  • The DA scale ranges from 1 to 100, with a higher domain authority score indicating stronger authority
  • Building high-quality backlinks from reputable sites can significantly impact your DA and improve search rankings
  • High-quality content attracts organic traffic, which, when combined with a strong link profile, can boost your DA
  • Increasing DA is an ongoing process, demanding consistent link-building and content creation
  • Regularly audit your site for bad links and optimize for user experience to maintain a healthy DA
  • The ideal DA score varies depending on your industry and goals, so focus on your unique context and competition

What Is Domain Authority in SEO?

DA serves as a vital metric to predict a website’s ability to outrank its competitors in search engine result pages.

It’s a metric that helps you understand your website’s ranking potential, but it’s important to emphasize that Google doesn’t employ DA as a direct ranking factor.

Note

In other words, boosting your DA score won’t magically propel your website to the top of Google’s results.

Moz’s Domain Authority ranks websites on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a stronger potential for superior SERP results.

The score considers both the quantity and quality of backlinks a webpage receives. If your website earns backlinks from highly authoritative sources like Google, Wikipedia, government sites, or well-known publications, your chances of attaining a higher DA score are significantly increased.

To help you gauge your website’s Domain Authority, Moz provides a free domain authority checker that can assist you in understanding your current standing.

Let’s take a look at a practical example

HostAdvice, a popular website in the web hosting industry, boasts a DA of 52, with an impressive 11,000 linking root domains and an astonishing 36,000 ranking keywords.

Additionally, its spam score is a mere 1%. This means HostAdvice is well-established, with a strong presence in search results, backed by many quality backlinks, and maintains a low spam risk.

Final: What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Source: Moz.com

Alt Text: Screenshot from Moz’s free domain authority checker, showing scores for the HostAdvice website.

Besides Moz, other SEO tools like SEMrush have formulated their own authority metrics, relying on data from backlinks, referring domains, search traffic, and more. While not an official ranking factor, according to Google, it’s a valuable tool for evaluating your site’s overall health compared to competitors.

What Is Page Authority?

Page Authority (PA), also developed by Moz, is a metric that anticipates how well a specific webpage will rank on SERPs.

Scores for Page Authority span from one to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater potential to rank. PA relies on data from Moz’s web index and factors in numerous elements to calculate a page’s potential strength in search results.

Like Domain Authority, Page Authority employs a machine learning model to determine the best algorithm that aligns with rankings across various SERPs, generating Page Authority scores.

Moreover, Page Authority is scored on a 100-point logarithmic scale, meaning that it’s relatively easier to boost your score from 20 to 30 compared to moving from 70 to 80.

It’s essential to recognize that Page Authority is specific to individual pages, while Domain Authority gauges the strength of entire domains or subdomains. These metrics, despite their differences, share a standard methodology.

As a practical example, the screenshot below, courtesy of SmallSEO Tools, reveals that the HostAdvice homepage possesses a Page Authority (PA) of 54. This PA score indicates that HostAdvice’s individual pages have a solid potential to rank well on search engine result pages, further reinforcing their presence in the online landscape.

Final: What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Alt Text: Screenshot from SmallSEO Tools that shows Page Authority score of 54 for HostAdvice home page.

How Is Domain Authority Calculated?

DA is calculated by aggregating factors like link quantity, linking root domains, content quality, and more into a single score, ranging from one to 100. This score aids in comparing websites and monitoring their ranking potential over time.

Following the Domain Authority 2.0 update in 2019, calculation relies on a machine learning algorithm’s predictions regarding a domain’s frequency in Google’s search results. A higher DA indicates a website’s better potential to rank. Key factors include backlink quantity and quality, content, social signals, and SEO performance.

Enhancing a high DA is more challenging due to its logarithmic nature, and it may decrease as authoritative sites accrue more backlinks.

Website’s Domain Authority Examples

Let’s take a closer look at some real-world examples of DA to illustrate its significance.

Consider Seattle Children’s Hospital, which boasts a DA of 68 and an impressive 24.2k linking root domains. This substantial DA indicates a strong online presence and the trust it commands within its niche.

Final: What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Alt Text: Screenshot from Moz Domain Authority checker for seattlechildrens.org.

We also have Moz, the authority in the digital marketing industry, with a remarkable DA of 91 and a whopping 184k linking root domains. This exceptionally high DA showcases the unparalleled trust and influence that Moz wields in the industry.

Final: What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Alt Text: Screenshot from Moz Domain Authority checker for moz.com.

Does Domain Authority Really Matter for SEO?

The importance of DA lies in its indirect relevance to SEO.

Note

Although Google doesn’t consider DA as a ranking factor, a high DA often signifies a well-established and authoritative website. An authoritative website can attract more high-quality backlinks, increase trust, and enhance your overall SEO potential.

In essence, while DA isn’t a Google ranking factor, it indirectly influences your website’s SEO performance by strengthening its online reputation and visibility.

What Should Your Domain Authority Be?

The ideal DA score varies depending on your industry, competition, and goals.

  • A bad Domain Authority for a small business typically falls below 30
  • Scores between 30 and 50 are typically considered average
  • A DA between 50 and 60 can be deemed good, reflecting a stronger online presence Achieving this may take several months, or even up to 9 months
  • Scores above 60 are excellent and indicate a website’s robust authority within its niche

However, it’s important to remember that the specific target DA should align with your unique business objectives and competitive landscape.

Do You Want a Higher or Lower Domain Authority?

You should often aim for a higher DA. A higher DA often signifies a stronger online presence and more trust within your niche. It can lead to better search engine rankings and increased visibility.

However, it’s essential to focus on quality over quantity when building backlinks and improving DA, as spammy or low-quality links can negatively impact your score.

How to Check Your Domain Authority Score

There are various online tools available to check your DA score. Most DA tools update scores monthly, typically every three to four weeks. While many of these services come at a cost, Moz provides an opportunity to check up to three links per day for free.

Simply enter your website’s URL, and these tools will swiftly generate your DA score, allowing you to track your site’s progress and make informed decisions to improve your online presence.

Moz Domain Authority Checker

Moz Domain Authority Checker provides a DA score and offers additional features when you sign up for MozPro.

This subscription, starting at $99 per month, includes not only DA data but also essential SEO tools like keyword research, rank tracking, site crawl, content optimization, link research, and analytics. Pros include comprehensive SEO features, while cons may involve the cost of more advanced plans.

SEMRush Domain Authority Checker

SEMRush Domain Authority Checker offers a free score check when you sign up for a free account.

For more comprehensive SEO, PPC, and research tools, including competitor analysis, keyword research, website audit, backlink analysis, and advertising tools, pricing starts at $129.95 per month. SEMRush is a top-tier SEO tool known for its value.

It offers generous reporting limits, detailed PPC data, excellent search intent features, and CRM-style tools for link-building. However, it only allows one user account, has pricey competitive intelligence add-ons, and provides data for Google only, limiting its scope.

Final: What Is Domain Authority and Why Is It Important?

Source: SEMrush.com

Alt Text: Screenshot from SEMrush domain overview for hostadvice.com.

How to Increase Domain Authority Fast

Increasing your authority quickly necessitates a combination of sound link-building strategies and site improvements. The DA scale can be ascended by attracting quality backlinks and enhancing user experience. Here are actionable steps:

  • Acquire High-Quality Backlinks from Authority Sites: Seek links from reputable websites related to your niche.
  • Create Compelling Content That Attracts Links: Craft valuable, shareable content that naturally garners backlinks.
  • Audit Your Site and Eliminate Harmful Links: Regularly assess your backlink profile, removing low-quality or spammy links that can harm your DA.
  • Optimize Website Structure and User Experience: Ensure your site is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and offers a seamless user experience.
  • Enhance Your Internal Linking: Utilize internal links effectively to improve the flow of traffic and page authority within your site.

Final Word: Achieving a High Search Engine Ranking Score

Understanding “What is Domain Authority” and its role in SEO is vital for optimizing your website’s online presence. Focusing on quality backlinks, valuable content, and user-friendly experiences can help elevate your domain authority and improve your search engine rankings.

To further enhance your online journey, explore the best website builders and best web hosting options available for your website’s success. For more in-depth guidance, continue your exploration of the world of SEO.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Domain Authority

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 25 Domain Authority good?

A DA of 25 can be considered fair, but it’s not exceptionally strong. The DA scale ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating greater authority. To improve search engine rankings and online credibility, aim for a higher DA. Factors like your industry and competitors can influence what’s deemed “good,” but a score above 40 is generally more favorable.

Is Domain Authority of 20 good?

A DA of 20 is on the lower end of the scale, suggesting a relatively weaker online presence. While it’s not exceptionally high, it’s essential to remember that DA should be assessed in the context of your niche and competitors.

For some industries, a DA of 20 might be considered average, but in general, aiming for a higher DA can lead to improved search engine rankings and increased trustworthiness.

Is Domain Authority of 23 good?

A Domain Authority (DA) of 23 falls in the lower-to-mid range on the scale. It indicates a moderate online presence, which may need improvement for stronger search engine rankings and credibility. To assess if it’s good, consider your industry and competitors, as acceptable DA levels can vary.

Generally, aiming for a higher DA, especially above 30 or 40, is often advisable for better online visibility and authority.

Is Domain Authority of 30 good?

A DA of 30 is considered decent. It signifies a relatively strong online presence, although there’s room for improvement. To evaluate if it’s good, assess it within your industry and against competitors. While a DA of 30 is respectable, striving for higher scores can enhance your search engine rankings and online credibility, especially aiming for scores above 40 or 50.

Do aged domains typically have higher Domain Authority?

Aged domains may have an advantage in Domain Authority due to their history, but it’s not guaranteed. DA depends on various factors, including backlinks and content quality, which aged domains should also maintain to rank well.

Is SEO for subdomains different from SEO for the main domain?

SEO for subdomains shares similarities with main domain SEO, but it can require distinct strategies. While subdomains inherit some domain authority from the main domain, optimizing them separately may be necessary for targeted content or segmented user experiences.

Sonja Vitas
Edited By:
Sonja Vitas
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