What is a Domain Authority?

A domain authority is a number that is used to predict a website’s ability to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs). Designed by Moz, it provides a quick overview of your website’s potential performance on search engines.   

It ranks sites from 1 to 100 based on the overall success of the site, the higher the number, the greater the overall success of the site. 

The benefit of knowing your score is that you can build your brand and develop a website that you believe is engaging to your clients and customers. The result will be your business grow more. 

You will also be able to see what areas need improvement so that you can take steps to fix them as soon as possible.  Also, it is a very useful metric that allows a website owner to evaluate the status of a website in comparison with similar sites from competitors. 

However, it’s important to highlight that Google doesn’t use Domain Authority as a ranking factor to decide how to rank websites. Hence, it’s not a metric that improves your SERPs (search engine results pages). 

However, domain authority is a good indicator that will help you assess the performance of your website compared to your competitors. As of today, Moz is not the only company that uses this metric. 

Various SEO tools use their authority metric to measure a website’s influence based on backlinks, referring domains, or search traffic. While it’s not Google’s official ranking metric, it’s a good way to see your site’s performance.  

How Domain Authority is Calculated?

A domain’s authority is determined by several factors, but the most important are: 

  • How many domains are linked to your website? 
  • How many links does your website have? 
  • How often your website shows up on Google. 

Using this score, you can compare websites or track a website’s ranking strength over time. Following the Domain Authority 2.0 update early in 2019, DA scores are calculated using machine learning algorithms that predict how often Google refers to a domain. 

Think about it this way: let’s say domain X is more likely to appear in a Google SERP than domain B. Accordingly, domain X would have a higher DA than domain Y. Additionally, it clarifies a misconception that a website with a high DA will perform well on Google. 

It is the opposite. When a website is performing well, then it will have a higher domain authority (DA). We all hope domain authority scores go up, but they can go either way. 

Domain authority scores are not only relative but they are also recalculated frequently. As a result, they can increase or decrease. Moz crawls the internet constantly and adjusts DA according to changes in backlink profiles.

(Read more about How do you increase your domain authority?)

Earlier, I talked about domain authority being a relative metric. This means that if a high-scoring website grows in links, it could affect scores down.  

Similarly, when a site has lost backlinks, has links to spam or malicious websites, or has broken links its DA will decrease. It’s also worth noting that Moz constantly updates the way it determines domain authority. 

So you might need to update your content or get links from more relevant, high-quality sites if your score drops.

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