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What is Domain Authority and Why is it Important?
Written by Stephen Scammell on Mar. 3rd 2022

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Trust and credibility have long been known to be an important metric online, well Domain Authority is another metric that helps businesses assess how well their website is viewed by Google and acts as a tool that can be used to compare against their competitors.

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by a provider of SEO tools named “Moz”. It predicts how likely a website is to rank on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). A DA score ranges from 1 to 100 with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. DA is determined on a logarithmic scale. This means solo metrics won’t always increase or decrease the score to the same degree. Hence, the highest-ranked websites are considered far more authoritative than lower-ranked ones.

DA is used as a predictive measure for PageRank, Google's proprietary algorithm that plays a major role in determining search engine results. DA is created by combining more than 40 individual signals which are tracked and measured by Moz, many of which are Moz's own inventions. Due to the shroud of secrecy around PageRank, Moz's DA metric is widely considered to be one of the best third-party tools for evaluating domain strength.

As a business owner, Why Should I Care About Domain Authority?

Although Google doesn’t use DA in their rankings, but a study by Ahrefs found a correlation between DA and SERP ranking. The results of this study suggest DA may be a useful metric by which to gauge how much organic traffic you may receive from Google compared to your competitors.

In the eyes of Google the authority of your website influences how well you can rank in search engine results. Google wants to provide its users with reliable information and results. This means that the more authority you have, the more customers you can attract through organic search.

If Google doesn’t consider your website important, you will rarely make it to the top of search engine results for any of your target keywords. Consequently, the authority of your website has a direct impact on your ability to reach customers online. This means that improving your reputation and building trust with search engines should be important factors in your SEO strategy.

In the search engine world, authority depends primarily on how much credibility your website has built up online. Google’s ranking algorithm is believed to depend on “link authority characteristics,” being the number of links to a domain and the quality of those links. Additionally, a significant factor is said to depend on page-level link characteristics, being, the number of links to a particular page.

Based on this understanding, the most important factor in your site’s authority is the quality and quantity of links it gets from other sites. Again, Moz’s data has shown that getting external links is the single most important objective for attaining high rankings. This stems from the idea that external links are one of the hardest metrics to manipulate and thus, one of the best ways for search engines to determine the popularity of a given web page.

As with Google search results, a page's DA will fluctuate daily. Those relying on DA in their metrics generally track it consistently and take drops in DA as a sign that they need to fix a problem in their SEO.

How to influence — and interpret — Domain Authority

The best way to impact your website's DA is to institute best SEO practices. Link building, on-page optimizations, generating useful information and the use of social media marketing, will slowly help a domain build authority.

When looking at opportunities to improve Domain Authority, consider:

Internal linking: Improve site navigation and make sure content is linked from relevant pages.

External links: These are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on (source). In layman's terms, if another website links to you, this is considered an external link to your site. Similarly, if you link out to another website, this is also considered an external link. How many incoming links your website has? If your website has lots of links from other credible and reputable websites, search engines can determine that your website is also reputable.

Provide a Great User Experience: Make sure the site loads super-fast, is easy to navigate and is compatible with mobile devices.

Educate your Market: Make sure to have relevant and useful content that is informative and valuable. Blogs are a great way to do this as lots of high-quality content shows that your company is an authority in your industry.

Social Media Marketing: Build brand awareness and credibility and at the same time drive more traffic to your site.

Reviews and Testimonials: Lots of positive testimonials prove that your business has satisfied customers.

DA is not an absolute measure of your website's search engine standing. Use it as a directional tool to monitor overall SEO progress. Keep an eye on traffic and rankings; when those metrics improve, your DA should generally follow suit.

As a final note to improve your rank part of your ongoing strategy must be to continually grow your external links and continue to regularly create useful content in the form of blogs / posts etc.

About Author: Stephen Scammell

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