Domain Authority & SEO: Everything You Need To Know

If you have been poking into the SEO sphere, you may have unsuspectedly come across a thing we call Domain Authority, DA for short. 

In Australia, many businesses across all industries compete in ranking higher for competitive search terms.

If you find that your top-ranking SEO keywords are dropping and are curious about how Domain Authority impacts your digital presence, we got you covered.

What is Domain Authority?

In a nutshell, Domain Authority is a well-known SEO metric that indicates a website or a domain’s overall strength, aka ‘Authority Score’.

Domain Authority runs from a scale of 1-100, with a higher score indicating that your website will have a better chance of ranking competitively in search engines.

Moz developed this SEO scoring system to approximate how well a website performs or ranks in Google SERPs. This came as a result of Google officially removing their famous PageRank scoring system from public view.

Types of Authority Scores in SEO

Over the years, many leading SEO tools have also come out with their variations. See below for the most popular ones.

Generally, most SEOs use Moz’s domain authority as the main metric to track. This is mostly because it was the first to launch and the metric to gain widespread market adoption.
Since then, the growth of Ahref’s link database has grown significantly (Ahrefsbot, comes in 2nd just after Googlebot for most active crawler), therefore making their domain rating score a top choice to measure against for many SEO experts. 

Why is Domain Authority Important?

Calculating your website’s Domain Authority will help you assess your position and strength in the market.

To check your site’s Domain Authority, the scoring platform will compare your data with millions of others through many significant ranking factors. 

Moreover, calculating Domain Authority involves complex machine learning that uses a bespoke set of algorithms to benchmark your site ranking across thousands of others properly.

See the graph below, showing how domains with higher Domain Authority tend to rank for more keywords on Google.

Ahrefs Domain Rating & Ranking Keywords

How is Domain Authority Calculated?

DA calculation assesses several ranking factors into one score, including internal/external links and linking root domains. But remember that Domain Authority isn’t one of Google’s official ranking factors and doesn’t affect your rank on Google SERPs.

These scores will only reflect how well your website performs compared to your search competitors. Our Sydney SEO specialists use them, among other reliable metrics, to measure your ranking strength and gain data-driven insights over time.

The scoring system also uses a machine-learning algorithm to predict your domain’s popularity on Google’s search results. In other words, if your website appears more on several Google SERPs than a different site, then expect your overall DA score to be higher than the competitor.

Additionally, your Domain Authority score will fluctuate in real time since it results from machine learning having to process new, incoming links in real time. That means as new data and metrics get incorporated, the more likely your score will change.

Say a competitor site named Brand B acquired one million new links. In that case, Brand B will climb up the charts as they score a higher DA than others. As a result, your score and others below Brand B will slightly decrease, relative to how much it increased.

The sheer competition on the upper hand is why growing your Domain Authority from 10 to 30 is more manageable than ranking from 80 to 90.

DA scores are highly subjective and do not affect your Google SERPs. That’s why we use them for comparative analysis instead of an absolute metric.

How to Check Domain Authority Score?

To assess your site’s Domain Authority, you can check out the free Link Explorer tool from Moz, or the Website Authority Checker from Ahrefs.

Ahrefs Domain Authority Checker

If you only have so much time and knowledge to assess your brand properly, our SEO specialists will gladly help you. We can evaluate your SEO health accurately and give you insights that you and your team will understand.

What is Considered a Good Domain Authority?

Domain Authority scores are generally broken up into a few key ranges. The ranges include:

  • 0-20, growing domains that possess very little authority
  • 20-30, can be considered to be established domains that possess some authority
  • 30-50, established domains that possess authority
  • 50-60, established domains that Google is likely to see as an authority within their niche
  • 60+, established domains that are Google is most likely to see as an authority within their niche

It’s important to remember that DA scores act as a general guideline and is not an ‘official’ domain ranking system. While your domain may have a great DA score, it can still rank poorly in Google Search. There are also many other SEO factors to consider and the DA score is just one factor.

How Do I Increase Domain Authority?

The most meaningful way to increase Domain Authority is through link building. This is the process of acquiring relevant, high-quality backlinks back to your website.

It’s important to note that diversification is key to any link building. To ensure your DA is constantly improving and stable, all various types of backlinks should be built, acquired or earned. Putting all your eggs in one basket, in one acquiring one type of link is a dangerous practice.

Keep in mind that there’s no overnight solution to get a high DA score. So take your time reading through this section to prepare an ongoing and long-term strategy.

Here are some tips you can follow to improve your DA score eventually.

1. Earn backlinks from authoritative websites

Getting a valuable backlink from trustworthy and authoritative websites is key to improving your DA and page authority. Think of branded websites that users in your industry have already heard of and follow. 

Backlinks from .edu or .gov websites are considered the most valuable and will have likely have a strong impact on improving DA score.

2. Avoid acquiring backlinks from low-quality or spammy websites

We recommend completely avoiding this type of practice as these links will only boost DA temporarily. 

Often, backlinks from low-quality domains will drop off, causing your DA to increase. Remember, you’re in it for the long-term and temporarily inflating DA score will result in returning to square one.

3. Build links from real websites

It’s typical for webmasters to stumble upon guest posting sites that display fake DA scores to sell backlinks. These types of domains are common in this day and age where link schemes are common. 

Weigh up the risks and rewards when considering such avenues.

4. Build internal links

Building internal links is commonly overlooked, however, we believe it still has a great impact in improving DA score and overall SEO rankings. 

Run through blog articles and implement internal links where relevant. We suggest not overlooking the power of internal linking.

How are Domain Authority and Page Authority Different?

You might hear the word ‘Page Authority along with Domain Authority and switch the two terms. 

However, Page Authority measures the ranking strength of a single webpage. At the same time, Domain Authority evaluates the domain as a whole, including all its subpages.

Hence, if you only want to see how well your latest blog post ranks on your desired keywords, running it in a Page Authority check will be the best way to assess it.

On the other hand, you should do a Domain Authority check to evaluate your entire website’s ranking strength. DA results may involve more metrics and figures than PA, so you need an SEO specialist to sort out the vital insights to make data-driven decisions.

Final Thoughts

With more Australian businesses competing to rank on Google’s first pages, you should leverage every tool in your search arsenal.

That includes comparative metrics such as Domain Authority and confirmed search ranking factors, such as page loading speed and on-page optimisation factors. 

Domain Authority scores fluctuate over time, so you must constantly stay ahead of changes and opportunities to improve your score.

Wondering whether your website will benefit from having a higher DA score? Get in touch with us today to find out more about our SEO services, and don’t forget to request for a free strategy session!

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