Domain Authority: What is Domain Authority?

For your site to appear on the first pages of search engines, there is a lot of work in natural referencing that must be done.

You must “convince” Google that your site is of quality and that it can trust you.

This is where, among others, the Domain Authority (or DA or Domain Authority ) comes into play. It is a way to assess the quality of your website and to know what are its chances of being well positioned on Google.

The higher your domain authority , the more credibility your site will have and the better it will be referenced.

However, the simplicity of this reasoning is deceptive. Improving the authority of a domain through a quality netlinking campaign is a good thing but is not the ultimate solution and should not be a goal in itself.

What is the Domain Authority (DA) of a website?

The domain authority of a website is an indicator developed by Moz (a software company specializing in SEO).

The Domain Authority tries to simulate the behavior of Google’s algorithm and to predict the positioning of a site in search engine results.

This score ranges from 1 (worst score) to 100 (highest score) and is on a logarithmic scale. In theory, the higher your DA , the higher you will appear in the first pages of search engines.

You should keep in mind that Domain Authority is only one indicator among others. It should not be the only indicator to assess the quality of a site.

How is Domain Authority calculated?

Moz tries to simulate Google’s ranking algorithm. It retrieves data from the web and calculates domain authority by evaluating over 40 factors like:

  • the number of links (backlinks) pointing to your site
  • the quality of these links
  • the quality of the content of your site
  • the quality of the natural referencing of your site
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The score obtained (from 1 to 100) is on a logarithmic scale. It will be easier for a site to earn 10 points between 10 and 20 than between 70 and 80.

Does Google use domain authority?

The Domain Authority is not an official measure of Google and the latter does not use the DA in its algorithm.

Here is John Mueller’s response when asked the question:

“We don’t use domain authority at all in our algorithms.” (Source)

Why is domain authority important?

Why is domain authority important?

Google does not use Domain Authority , yet this indicator is commonly used by SEO experts.

The DA is important because it is strongly based on the number of backlinks and the quality of these. Since backlinks are one of the most important SEO factors, this is where domain authority comes into play .

This is a good enough approximation to use in SEO. It is particularly useful for netlinking campaigns, such as for evaluating the quality of a backlink

How to interpret domain authority?

Domain authority is a relative metric. It is therefore impossible to say that a value of 50 or 60 is good. 

Your website’s score is only good if it is higher or comparable to websites similar to yours.

Important reminder

Domain Authority is not an official measure of Google. It should be used for what it is: a simple indicator.

  • You should not judge the quality of a site or solely by its DA or DR (Domain Rating).
  • Your site’s domain authority may decrease if another site sees its score increase. And that without you losing any backlinks.
  • The comparison must be made between sites of similar sizes with common themes.
  • A low DA does not mean that your website is not well ranked on Google.
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What is Page Authority (PA)?

Google does not position websites (domains) but web pages.

Page authority is therefore similar to domain authority in terms of calculation criteria. It measures the performance of a specific page.

Why are there low authority pages that rank better than high authority pages?

Domain or page authority are important, but they are not the only factors that determine search engine positioning (Google has more than 200).

The Domain Authority is not the guarantee of the first position on search engines. Besides, we regularly see pages with a lower authority surpassing other pages with a high page authority. This can be due to several factors like:

  • the page is more detailed and in-depth,
  • the page is more relevant to the search query,
  • the page encourages users to stay longer,
  • etc.
The Domain Authority is not the guarantee of the first position on search engines

Are there other metrics to “evaluate” the authority of a domain?

Initially, Page Rank is the algorithm used by Google to measure the popularity of a site or web page.

In order to avoid “black hat” referencing techniques, Google has decided to no longer communicate the Page Rank score publicly. This caused major SEO tools to develop their own versions, like:

  • Domain Score or Trust Score by SEM Rush
  • le Trust Flow (TF), le Topical Trust Flow (TTF) et le Citation Flow (CF) par Majestic
  • the Domain Rating (DR) or URL Rating (UR) by Ahrefs

What is the Domain Rating (DR) of a website?

DR is somewhat similar to Domain Authority (DA) except it was created by Ahrefs.

The Domain Rating measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile based on the quality and quantity of links pointing to it.

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Which indicator should be favored to evaluate the Domain Authority?

However, the Domain Authority is not used independently. Other criteria such as traffic, TF, CF or TTF are involved in our netlinking campaigns .

Etude Backlinko

According to the Backlinko study ( source ) which analyzed 11.8 million Google search results with the aim of answering the following question:

“Which factors most correlate with top rankings on Google?”

Domain authority (DR – as measured by the ahrefs tool) is strongly correlated with top positions on Google.

correlation domain authority and positions on search engines

Warning

A correlation study does not prove that there is causation.

And at the risk of repetition, the metrics of these third-party tools should be used for what they are: indicators.

You should not judge the quality of a site or the price of a backlink solely by its DA or DR.

How to find the domain authority of your company’s website?

Indicate the url of your site in one of the main tools in order to discover the domain authority as well as the authority of the specific page.

Domain Authority (DA) with Moz Explorer Tool ( following this link )

find the domain authority of your website with MOZ

Domain Rating (DR) with Ahrefs Site Explorer  ( follow this link )

find the domain authority of your website with Ahrefs

Conclusion

Domain Authority is a concept created by SEO tools that assesses the quality of a website’s backlink profile . Its importance is relative and you should not aim to increase the domain authority of your website .

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

The blog of a computer enthusiast who shares news, tutorials, tips, online tools and software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Web designer and Video games.

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