The term “Domain Authority” (DA) isn’t something new – it’s been around in the SEO world for a while. However, for many newcomers, this may be a phrase they are unfamiliar with; however, it is a term that has significant importance.
Let's explore Domain Authority in detail and explain what it means.
Created by the renowned Software As A Service (SaaS) company SEOMoz, Domain Authority is a measure of a website’s credibility amongst its online peers. It uses over 40 unique signals, and is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 representing the worst, and 100 representing the best score possible.
Two key components of DA are MozRank and MozTrust. Understanding these two pillars can help you take control of your own domains’ DA.
SEOMoz uses a complex 10-point mathematical algorithmic calculation to compute what’s known as the MozRank which forms the basis of any website’s DA score. The algorithm takes into consideration several factors, including the number of sites that link back to the target site, and uses that information to rate the target site in terms of link popularity.
Link popularity is rated in terms of:
- Quantitative authority
Number of links that a site commands from external websites
- Qualitative authority:
The reputation and authority of the sites linking to a site
Together, both these elements determine the credibility and importance assigned to a particular website in relation to its peers. On a scale of 1-10, the higher your site’s MozRank, the better its DA will be.
An average MozRank rating for a webpage on the Internet is 3.
How is MozTrust Calculated
Yet another 10-scale based link-related measure used to calculate DA is called MozTrust, which is a metric to evaluate how closely a website is connected to other trusted sites on the internet.
To get a better sense of how MozTrust works, think of your everyday relationships: If your friend introduces you to someone, that person will trust you more than if a friend of a friend who knows your friend introduced you.
In summary, if your site has a single hop link to a trusted website like a Government or educational site, then your website will automatically have a higher MozTrust rating. For example, the trusted site links to site “XYZ”, and site “XYZ” links to your site. Factors that influence your MozTrust include:
- Your domain’s age – the longer it’s been around, the more trustworthy it will be rated
- The links on your website – The higher quality sites you link to, the better your MozTrust will rank
- Domain registration information – Owners of multiple domains in the same niche should beware that “poor” rankings of other domains could impact MozTrust rankings of all other domains
How you manage these, and other signals, could very well have an impact on your overall Domain Authority ranking.
Improving Your Domain Authority
Websites and blogs with higher DA automatically increase their likelihood of being included in search engine queries related to their domains. Webmasters should consider the following:
- Look for factors that can improve your DA
- Only link to credible sites within your domain of expertise
- Seek links from authoritative sites; if possible from within your niche domain
Here are some action items to focus on to improve your Domain and Page Authority:
- Days To Expire: Search engines assign higher DA to domains that are likely to be around for a long time. If your domain is about to expire in a matter of months (or even a year), extend it by 3 to 4 years NOW.
- Links Matter: This is one of the most critical element for improving your DA. To make this work, focus on both in-bound and external links, and ensure they are to credible and authoritative sites. See Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for more details on what to do.
- Diversity of Links Count: While you are building your link-strategy, make sure your links come from diverse sources – different geographies, different domain extensions, and sources that are not inter-related.
- Internal Links Matter: Make sure all your internal pages are well linked to each other. A good rule of thumb may be to link each page in the site to at least 2 or 3 other relevant pages. This will ensure that, each time a new page is added, you’ll be able to tap into link juice from existing pages.
- Bad Links Are Spoilers: Bad links, both within your own domain and those (external links) to which you point to are bad for DA scoring. Make sure you remove them immediately. Use tools like OpenLinkProfiler, or Google’s Disavow backlinks feature to address the issue immediately
- Be An Authority: Excel in your niche and that will automatically lead you to a higher DA score by search engines like Google. Content is king, and high-quality content (not quantity!) is absolute dictator within a domain. Creating great content, and consistently producing it, is the easiest way to improve your DA.
- On-Site SEO Matters: Search engines like Google and Bing give great credence to on-site SEO. Start with Headings and Tags, and Use Google’s Webmaster Tools Console to stay on top of your SEO strategies. If you are new to creating websites, a great place to start is by taking a FREE course at Google’s Webmaster Academy.
- Speed Matters: Make sure your web pages aren’t built around unnecessary content that are a drag on speed – especially on mobile devices. Your sites DA could hinge on this metric. Use this Google PageSpeed tool to analyze and optimize your pages
- Marketing and Branding Matters: Leverage your social media presence to market and brand your domain. A domain that’s well regarded in Social Media circles could help to make your domain an authoritative source of domain-specific news and information
If you have never focused on your site’s domain authority score, it’s time for you to use some of the above mentioned domain authority checkers, and check your DA score.
If your DA score is low, you should start working on the above tips to get higher DA score.
Following the tips provided above will ensure that over time, your DA inches above your competition.
However, efforts to improve your DA should be ongoing and not restricted as a one-time initiative!