Website positioning consists of many factors which aim to improve site visibility in search results. One of the mentioned factors is domain authority (DA) worked out by Moz, which simply means the search engine ranking score. During analyzing a website, Moz’s algorithm takes many parameters into consideration and determines the competitiveness of the entire domain. Now, you will learn what exactly the domain authority is and what is its role. Keep reading!
What is domain authority?
Domain authority, DA in abbreviated form, is a ranking factor of every website on the Internet. The DA is calculated primarily on the basis of the quantity and quality of backlinks. Both, localization of the link referring to our site and the quality of the domain it comes from, are very important factors affecting the DA, one of the ratings used in the SEO industry to determine the position of the page in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This factor varies according to the changes introduced to the algorithm by Moz.
How to check domain authority?
Below you can find different ways to check the DA of any website, including ours. They are relatively quick and allow you to get an additional piece of information about the site.
- Installing MozBar, a free plugin, is a first option. Here, only one click provides you with information concerning PA (page authority), DA (domain authority), spam score and many more.
- The second option is even simpler, it only requires creating a free account on moz.com and then you will be able to analyze any site thanks to the functions of Link Explorer and Keyword Explorer. Plus, by using this method you will get much more data than by simply using the plugin.
What is a DA score?
Every website can get the result ranging from 1 to 100 and the higher the result, the better. The DA can be used as a tool comparing competitiveness of various websites. Thanks to the domain authority which, according to Moz, is calculated by evaluating numerous factors, we can also monitor impacts of positioning. As the DA creator states, the best way to improve the DA parameter is to improve the overall SEO of a website.
What are the benefits of a high DA score?
High DA score websites have many high-quality external links that lead to the site and are at the top end of a domain authority scale for specific keywords. On the other hand, sites with a lower domain authority score have much less inbound links and are showed in lower positions. Websites may have significantly different DA results, but because it’s only a comparative tool, there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” domain authority score. It’s a comparative metric used while doing research in the search results to analyze link profiles from various websites. So what to do? An advisable solution would be to observe the results of the DA of our rivals on the market – companies we compete with in the search results.
PA (page authority) vs. DA (domain authority)
Page authority (PA) is an indicator that was also developed by Moz. Its purpose is to show how a given page, rather than the entire website, will compete in the search results. Similarly to the domain authority, the scale of the page authority ranges from 1 to 100. When calculating this parameter, more than 40 different factors are taken into account. Contrary to the domain authority, the PA parameter doesn’t take into account the frequency of keywords and the quality and content optimization. Page authority depends only on the quality of the inbound links. The better and more influential source, the better and more powerful our page, because the search engine receives a signal informing about valuable content. PA likewise DA is a comparative parameter determining which of our rival’s sites has more power and more high-quality links. Both of the discussed parameters, the domain and page authority, have a lot in common.
Factors affecting quality of the link:
Every website interested in reaching top positions in search results should constantly improve to achieve a higher domain authority score. There are many factors affecting the DA increase and decrease. One of them is an appropriate profile of valuable links. The factors that influence the quality of links include:
- Link localization on the site – link placement on the website affects its power and influence. Those placed directly in the content are more influential in comparison to the lower quality links in a footer or website navigation.
- Keywords in the anchor text – phrases in the anchor text (the content placed in the html code between the <a> and </a> tag displayed as a link) are one of the most important factors that Google robots observe when determining the value of the inbound links. This method can bring better results than the pure URL itself. However, it is easy to cross the line and overuse the number of links, which may draw Google’s attention and result in a fine. That is why while creating inbound links you should keep a balance between the places from which you link and anchor texts you use.
- The authority of a linking site – each page which links to our site has a given authority score. This is an important factor affecting the power of the link, because the greater the authority of the page from which the link comes, the higher the quality of the link. You should avoid having a large number of positioning links from low-quality sites, as this may have an impact on reducing the visibility of your site in the search results.
- Topical links – you should focus on links coming from websites that are thematically similar to yours. After many updates of search engine algorithms, Google is able to recognize what the page is about.
- Link profile diversification – it’s important to diversify the origin of links, because many links coming from one site have a much lower value than a few links from high-quality domains. If we insist on getting links from low-value sites, we can only do harm to out site.
- Content surrounding the link – Google’s robots take into account correctly submitted and thematic text that accompanies the link when they evaluate the link quality. Therefore, a unique content is as important as links themselves.
How to increase your domain authority score?
Increasing the DA score brightens your chances of improving the position of your site in the search results. The higher the score, the harder it gets to improve it. For example, it will be much easier to upgrade the result of the domain authority from 20 to 30, than from 60 to 70. Therefore, it is essential to try to obtain backlinks from valuable domains. Below are the factors that affect both the DA and PA parameters:
- The number of days left until the domain expires is one of the simplest things a site owner can take care of. It would be perfect if the site didn’t expire in the following year and its expiry date would be extended by at least another three or five years.
- Optimizing the page content – your website should be optimized for SEO because it has a direct impact on showing how powerful links are, moreover, the page content optimization makes indexing easier for Google robots and affects how the content is passed along to the user. If you want to be successful, pay particular attention to:
- optimizing the page code, which means setting appropriate title, meta and alt descriptions as well as the content itself;
- uploading a sitemap and robots.txt files;
- keeping a proper structure of headers within the entire site;
- creating a blog or place where the content will be regularly published – it goes without saying that high quality content is read, recommended and shared by users visiting the site more enthusiastically.
- Boosting the internal linking structure – this factor helps visitors finding the place they are looking for. It also accelerates and simplifies navigation of users and Google robots when they browse posts, product pages, and categories. By creating appropriate internal linking we can easily convey the power of links and make it easier for search engines to index the entire site.
- Removing any bad links on the page – it’s a good habit to regularly check backlinks pointing at your site. Thanks to this you can find and remove backlinks that are toxic and can have a negative impact on the domain authority. It also applies to broken links and references to incorrect sites. To check the state of links you can use tools such as: SEMRUSH, Ahrefs, OpenLinkProfiler or Open Site Explorer. One of the ways that allows to report invalid links to Google is to use Google Disavow Links tool.
- Responsive web design – year by year more and more users use mobile and portable devices for browsing websites. If you don’t have a responsive web design, then it means that your site isn’t displayed correctly and consequently, not only the traffic is lost but also the bounce rate increases. To check whether the site will be displayed properly on mobile devices, you can use the tool available in the Search Console called Mobile optimization test.
- Speeding up your website – this is another factor that has a significant impact on the bounce rate. In a busy world we live in, users want to see the content of the site as soon as possible and are rather impatient. If the page doesn’t load in a few seconds, the user will probably leave it. You can easily check the speed of your site with Page Speed Insight. This tool also gives tips on what should be changed to make the page load faster.
- Making use of social media – social media is a very important element for the domain authority because they have a big impact on content ranking. If you want to improve your DA, you should be present in the most important and influential social media. Likes, comments, shares or any other reactions to the content you post result in the increase in the ranking and improve website indexing.
Impact of Page Authority on positioning
The page authority is undoubtedly a factor that influences the order in which the page appears in search results. Despite the great content and a large number of links on your site, it can be ranked lower in the SERPs than your rivals’ on the market with a higher DA score. Building high-quality backlinks and optimizing the website will have a visible impact on the growth of DA and, consequently, will also increase organic site traffic.
The domain authority is a variable that can easily increase and decrease because many factors influence it. Trying to improve the SEO activities both on-site and off-site will have a noticeable impact on the long-tail traffic and visibility of your website in the search results. Building the domain authority requires taking care of high-quality backlinks from the very outset. If you haven’t paid attention to the DA parameter so far, it’s a good moment to take advantage of the abovementioned tips and tools and finally check your domain authority.