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What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is the measure of how well a site/website is likely to perform in the results of the search engine. It’s the ranking score of the search engine to give an overview of site performance. After Google depreciated and then stopped PageRank, Domain Authority (DA) became one of the go-to replacements.

Domain Authority (DA) is a good and quick way to tell if the website is likely to rank well. However, Google doesn’t rank by site, it ranks by pages. And as Danny Sullivan says at Search Engine Land: Google has no single “authority” metric. Google uses a ‘bucket of signals,’ Sullivan says. Similarly, DA which is developed by Moz uses its own collection of metrics to arrive at a site’s DA (over 40 of them). These factors include MozRank, MozTrust, and other Moz-proprietary factors. It’s a complex algorithm and it is logarithmic.

Why Good Domain Authority Is Important?

DA is good for giving you a glance of a domain’s value as a link. And it’s good for predicting likely search placing. Domain Authority does a good job of predicting how well a site will rank. We can see ranking jump around DA in the graph, but the trends track.

Higher DA mostly = higher rank. If you are working on; inks, DA can let you identify the value of a site in terms of its ‘quality’ and therefore the likely value of that link. The links from high authority sites are both better for SEO and more likely to translate into traffic, and DA reflects that. Domain Authority also helps you to know how a site will probably place in search, though of course, different pages will place differently and if you want to get into that, you’ll want Page Authority, not Domain Authority.

Things to know about Domain Authority (DA):

  1.     It is very difficult to change your Domain Authority score. It is not a thing that you’ll do it on your website today and see the increase in domain authority immediately.
  2.   DA is based on a Log scale. This means it is much more difficult to increase the score from 70 to 80 than it was to increase from 20 to 30. As the scale goes higher, it becomes more difficult.
  3.   Nobody knows exactly how many factors Google ranking algorithm considers ( there are more than 200 according to some predictions) while domain authority takes only 40 factors into account.
  4.   DA is not a metric to evaluate your SEO performance over time as it changes frequently but rather a website to use for domain comparison purposes.
  5. DA doesn’t take Google penalties into account. A domain that is under a Google penalty naturally loses its ranking but if this is not necessarily known to Moz. So, the domain authority will be high though the domain is under penalty

Calculation of Domain Authority (DA):

According to Moz, Domain Authority calculation considers a number of signals ( 40 in total ) including:

  • The quality and relevancy of incoming links
  • The quality of the website’s content
  • Social Signals (the popularity of the domain and contain in social media networks)
  • The website’s SEO performance in general
  • The number of incoming links pointing to the website
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Steps to improve Domain Authority (DA):

Now as it is clear what domain authority is and how it is calculated, let’s now see how we can improve the domain authority.

Below are the steps to follow to increase Domain Authority score:

  1. Work on your Off-Page SEO
  2. On-Page SEO optimization
  3. Work on your technical SEO
  4. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
  5. Improve your page speed
  6. Increase your social signals
  7. Be patient

Work on your Off-Page SEO

The most important metric of all is the profile link. The websites that have a strong, clean profile will have a higher DA score than websites with a not so good link profile. A website has a strong link profile when:

  • It doesn’t have bad links (low-quality links)
  • It has links from a number of unique domains
  • Incoming links are from related websites
  • It has incoming links from high authority websites

The process of improving link profile is known as Off-Page SEO and it is related to techniques used to acquire good links that will eventually improve your ranking.

On-Page SEO Optimization

On-Page SEO has to do with optimizing the page and content. The most important factors to achieve this are:

  • URL structure and SEO optimized permalinks
  • SEO Optimizing your images, videos, and other media elements
  • Using keywords naturally in your content
  • Adding Internal Links to content
  • Formatting content in a way so as to have more chances raking in Google’s featured snippets
  • Optimized titles and Descriptions
  • Proper use of Headings within the content

It is important to note that the quality of the content is the biggest ranking factor of all for both On-Page and Off-Page SEO.

Work on your Technical SEO

Technical SEO is related to low-level SEO tasks and usually, once the technical SEO is correct from the beginning, it need not be dealt with. If the technical SEO aspects of the website are not correct, this will have a huge impact on the Domain Authority and rankings. The critical SEO settings are:

  • Consider migrating website to https
  • Add structured data information to help search engines understand the context of the content.
  • Make proper use of HREF Tag
  • Register the website with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools
  • Create and optimize your XML sitemap and submit to Google

Make sure your website is Mobile Friendly

Having a mobile-friendly website is no longer optional or nice to have but it’s mandatory. Here are a few reasons:

  • Most users start their search on mobile and then continue on Desktop
  • Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor
  • Google is working on a mobile-first index and website’s that are not mobile-friendly will simply not be included
  • Mobile searches are now more than desktop (about 60%)
  • Not having a mobile-friendly version of your website, has a negative impact on your overall Domain Authority score

Improve your page speed

One of the known ‘signals’ of the Google ranking algorithm is page speed. The website’s that load faster, have an additional advantage over slower websites. Improving the speed of the page will not only improve the ranking and domain authority but it will make the user experience better and this translates to more sales, signups, etc. The following can be used to increase the speed:

  • Optimize the file size of the images
  • Use a caching plugin
  • Remove unnecessary plugins

Increase your Social Signals

Google has many times stated that social signals are not part of the Google Ranking algorithm, there is coloration between social signals and the pages that rank high on Google. Pages that are popular on Google tend to have many likes, shares, and tweets. Steps to increase domain authority:

  •  Have a social media button on the page to make it easy for the readers to share the content.
  • Work on Facebook business page and try to increase followers
  • Check the contents look good when shared using social sharing.

BE patient

As mentioned earlier the domain authority cannot be increased overnight. It’ll take time for Moz crawlers to read and evaluate your website after you apply the above changes, so you need to be patient. Systematically working on improving Google rankings will also have a positive effect on domain authority score.

To conclude this, domain authority score is not something to be too obsessed about. It just shows how strong your website is in numbers. A low score doesn’t mean the website will not perform well on Google. A high score indicates you are on the right path, but it doesn’t guarantee better rankings and traffic, it’s just a prediction.

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