January 29, 2018 Lucie Towndrow

A Guide to Domain Authority and Page Authority

guide to domain authority

What is Domain Authority?

When we analyse a client’s site for the first time, one of the main things we look at is their domain authority and page authority. Developed by Moz, domain authority is a score predicting how well your website will rank on search engine results pages. The score can be anywhere between 1-100, with all new sites starting at 1. The higher the Moz domain authority score you receive, the higher you are likely to rank on SERPs.

So, How is Domain Authority Scored?

Moz score domain authority on a 100 point logarithmic scale. It is based on the website’s popularity as well as MozRank and MozTrust. For any site, you want the DA is to be as close to 100 as possible. The higher the domain authority score, the more likely you are to rank highly! You can work to improve your score by implementing an effective SEO strategy. This is because domain authority is calculated by evaluating linking root domains, backlinks and more. However, it is worth noting that growing your DA as a brand new site from 0-20 is far easier than growing it from 70-80.

what is domain authority

Generally, it is hard to say what is a “good” or “bad” domain authority. From industry to industry, the average DA varies. For example, the retail industry average is at around 65, whereas media and publishing have an average of 86. The higher the number of high-quality external links you have going back to your site, the higher up the domain authority scale you will be. If you’re a new business just starting out and haven’t undertaken much SEO work before, it’s likely you’ll be at the bottom end of the scale. This is because new sites have fewer inbound links.

How Does it Help?

Domain authority gives you an idea of how your website will score on SERPs. But, it does not factor in all of your SEO efforts. A good way to view DA is as a comparative metric against other sites. If you’re not at 80 for your domain authority score, that’s fine! Just make sure that your DA is higher than your competitors, and you’ll get a solid idea of who will rank higher. Use the scores to figure out who has more powerful link profiles. If your competitor is winning – work on your backlinks and write engaging content for people to link to. This should improve your overall domain score.

backlink list

How Do You Change Domain Authority?

Fluctuating domain authority is nothing unusual. The score is not constant and depends on your backlink profile and the quality of those backlinks. If you have a high percentage of low-quality toxic backlinks, this will negatively affect your score. Actually influencing your domain authority directly is hard to do. There are 40 ranking signals that help determine your score, and any of these can lead to a higher or lower score, making it hard to change domain authority directly. As the score depends on many positive and negative factors, even if a site improves its SEO, its Domain or Page Authority score may not always reflect it.

If your domain authority changes, however, and you’ve done nothing to make it do so, this could be why:

  • Newly acquired links have not yet been registered in your link profile
  • You’ve received poor backlinks that don’t contribute to Google ranking.
  • Moz has crawled and included more or fewer linking domains than they had previously.
  • The highest-authority sites experienced substantial link growth, skewing the scaling process.

If your website is new, or you’re just starting out, you might need some help improving your DA score. Well, we’re here to help. Improving your domain score largely depends on your SEO strategy. There are a few things you can work on to improve your DA, however, if you feel out of your depth, why not contact us.

Why is My Site’s Domain Authority Poor?

These are some reasons your score could be low. Some of them carry more weight than others, but work to improve them all in order to increase your score!

  • If your domain is set to expire in the near future, Google or other search engines may not see your site as trustworthy. Sites that are long-lasting can be trusted by search engines.
  • Not having enough links to your site will affect DA the most. Your aim should be to improve the number of backlinks to your site from high-quality sites. Buying backlinks from low-quality sites may seem tempting but this can do more harm than good. Build backlinks authentically through directory listings and recommendations or guest blog posts.
  • Monitor your backlinks regularly to keep an eye on bad backlinks or spam that could be negatively affecting your domain authority score. If you spot bad backlinks, get them removed or disavow them.how to disavow spam backlinks
  • Having links from a few sites isn’t enough. You need links from a diverse variety of sources in different locations and domains to ensure improved DA.
  • Linking your posts and pages to each other helps pass link juice between them. A strong and effective internal link structure can really help to improve your domain score.
  • Produce high-quality linkable content. This is one of the best ways to create legitimate high-quality backlinks. If you write content that people want to share and read, your site will be linked to. Try and publish around 2-3 high-quality posts a week.
  • Your onsite SEO can really affect your DA score. Ensure that your meta descriptions, and headers etc are all up to scratch. SEO is probably the toughest thing to change on this list if you’re not sure what you’re doing, so contact us if you need assistance.
  • You might not know it but page speed can also affect your domain authority. To improve this, install a caching plugin on your site, and remove and slow to load non-optimised video or imagery.
  • By sharing your links and content on social media, in the hope more people will see it, your domain authority is also more likely to improve! Having a strong social media presence can help show search engines your business is trustworthy and worth ranking higher than your competitors.

It may seem like an overwhelming amount to do in order to improve your DA, but it’s all worth it. When you start appearing above your competitors and ranking higher for your keyphrases, it’ll be well worth the work. A steady, high domain authority score is now “the most trusted way to measure the rank and authority of a webpage on the internet”.

Now, Let’s Talk About Page Authority

Whereas domain authority measures the authority of the complete domain, page authority measures the authority of an individual page. The score predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine results pages and goes from 0-100. As with DA, websites with higher PA scores are more likely to rank higher than those with low scores.

what is page authorityThe method by which page authority is calculated is the same as which domain authority is calculated. They are more alike than they are different, but both are equally important to pay attention to. However, unlike domain authority, it does not take into consideration specific on-page elements like keyword use or content optimization.

According to Moz, “the best way to influence a page’s authority is to improve its link profile”. Getting external links from other high-authority pages, in turn, act as “votes of confidence” for the authority of your page.

For more information on how to improve the vital scores of domain and page authority for your site, don’t hesitate to get in touch. With a complete SEO, content marketing and social media strategy, we can help your DA and PA scores grow, meaning your site will start to rank higher against your competitors.


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