Imagine if you could predict your website’s search engine ranking? Or perhaps, where your direct competitors could be ranking? Thankfully, no crystal ball is needed (for this anyway) because we have Domain Authority. Domain Authority (or DA, as it’s lovingly known) is a score calculated by Moz, an SEO software developer, to predict a site’s search engine ranking ability.
The scoring ranges from one to one hundred, with sites that receive a higher score having a greater ability to rank. DA scores are mostly based on the quality of external links going to your website and are calculated using a number of factors including, but not limited to, the number of total links and the number of linking root domains. Using a machine learning model, it utilises an algorithm to find what correlates closest to the link data rankings from heaps of search results that are used as standards to scale against.
Make sense? Put super simply, a site which has a high number of (high quality) external links will have a higher DA score - think of sites like YouTube.com, Google.com or Apple.com. Whereas, sites with a low number of external links will have a low DA score. Fun fact - brand spanking new websites will always start with a score of zero.
Note: External links, also known as inbound links, are when another website links to your page or vice versa.
First thing’s first, you can easily find your site’s DA score using a web tool like the SEO Weather Domain Authority Checker or Moz Link Explorer. With these secret weapons (available to anyone online) you can find your website’s DA score and use it to compare to your direct competitor’s DA scores. This will allow you to see where they may be sitting in comparison to your website, and possibly give you a benchmark to aim toward.
It’s important to keep in mind that domain authority scores are a prediction tool and can be fluid due to changing industry factors.
Good news, your site’s Domain Authority can certainly be increased. While it’s tricky to influence directly due to the calculations used to work out your DA, here are a few ways to increase Domain Authority;
Work on building your link profile by linking to websites that are “well-linked” and already have a high Domain Authority (kind of like climbing the social ladder by hanging out with the cool kids). On the flip side, getting rid of bad links can also help to increase your Domain Authority - so get all Marie Kondo on those bad links. Examples of bad links could be anything search engines (for example, Google) see as being disreputable sites or spam comments - big no-no! To find where your site has been backlinked, use a backlink checking resource like Linkody or Google Search Console.
Create loads of really great linkable content that other relative sites are likely to include. Don’t be afraid to link internally as well, yes this is fine to do. Linking to your own content on your own site is another easy way to build good links, a site that does this really well is (don’t laugh) Dailymail.co.uk with a DA of over 90, by linking their own articles within their articles.
Make sure all of your links are working so that you can avoid anyone being taken to the terrible “404 error” page and therefore missing the opportunity to bring them to your site. Page names or URLs can change and move, so you will need to ensure that if there is an updated URL that either the old link is redirected to the new link, or you ensure the new link is updated across all pages that the link appears by contacting the site. You can find where this has been backlinked by using a backlink checking resource, as mentioned previously.
Yes, to be frank, Domain Authority is incredibly important. And here’s why you should look into building your DA score;
While you’re on your wonderful journey to increase Domain Authority for your site, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember that internet updates and changes to search engine algorithms can change how DA is calculated, it could decrease or increase due to no direct impact from yourself or your competitors. Don’t compare your Domain Authority to sites that are irrelevant to your industry or product, for example, a residential painter shouldn’t compare their DA to Amazon.com. And finally, patience is a virtue, even after taking steps to increase your DA it takes time for this to take effect. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
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