How Exactly is Domain Authority Calculated?



How Exactly is Domain Authority Calculated?d-tags
14 September 2021
In SEO you can really get lost between different metrics and terms defining your website's quality. The term that is often problematic, calculated differently by some tools is domain authority. Keep reading to find out how domain authority is calculated & learn its full definition.



Table of contents

What Is Domain Authority?

Developed by Moz, Domain Authority is a ranking score that can predict how likely a website is to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs) of various search engines. This score is given on a scale of 1 – 100, with the higher the score being preferable and denoting a greater chance of ranking.

How domain authority is calculated in this way is based on data from Moz’s Link Explorer index and uses a variety of factors in determining the final rank. By utilizing the calculations of machine learning models, a predictive ‘best fit’ algorithm correlates this data across thousands of search results and serves as the basis and standard of ranking.

So Just How is Domain Authority Calculated?

By taking various attributes of a website, such as investigating linking root domains and link number totals, Domain Authority can be condensed into a single ranking. This ranking is used to compare websites and will allow tracking progress over time with regard to the website’s contextual strength.

With a major update to the algorithm in 2019, Moz modified the DA system to incorporate a machine learning algorithm’s predictions focused on how Google ranks domains in search results. With more data points available for the learning software, DA can score your site as it fluctuates with more (or less) data being entered into the system.

If a large site were to somehow gain a massive number of links, for instance, the DAs of other websites would go down, since the machine learning aspect of DA is relative to other sites. This ensures that sites are always ranked in a realistic way as no site will exist in a vacuum independent of itself.

Domain Authority definicja

Since these large websites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more, will all have larger DAs naturally just based on their overwhelming web presence, it’s important to understand DA in terms of relative value instead of absolute value.

While it might be almost impossible for you to get a DA score of 90 for your personal artistic profile website, you might be able to understand how you can get a similar ranking to your famous, favorite artist that you follow.

By following DA guidelines in this way, you can drastically improve performance for your own material!

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How Do the Most Prominent Tools Calculate Domain Authority?

Two of the most prominent DA tools, Moz and Ahrefs, compete in order to tell us how to better raise our website DAs and how to track gain and loss of ranking status. These tools are both used by industry professionals and have stood the test of time in terms of providing viable data pertinent to improving site visibility.

By using one of these tools, you are sure to be able to better understand what your site is doing right and wrong when it comes to improving your web presence.


Shying away from the idea of Domain Authority, Ahrefs uses a concept called Domain Rating (DR) which runs on a scale of 0 – 100. This is a relative value, like Domain Authority, but unlike Domain Authority, Ahrefs has distinct criteria to determine its rating system.

The way they calculate DR is as follows.

1)    Analyze how many unique domains connect the website.

2)    Look at the pre-existing rankings of those connected domains.

3)    Track how many unique sites these domains link to.

4)    Apply various metrics to calculate a base DR score.

5)    Plot these scores onto a scale of one hundred.

This process, unfortunately, does not take into account a variety of variables, such as spam, domain age, pre-existing traffic, and others.


Working similarly to Ahrefs while still providing a wholly distinct service, Moz wrote a whitepaper outlining exactly how their code functions. In short, Moz operates on a machine learning level that continually accepts and analyzes data about your website and in real-time feeds it into a model which provides your DA.

With substantial updates in 2019, the service is as powerful as ever and a potent tool for managing your web presence.

How to Know if Your DA Is Good?

One of the best ways to tell if you have a good Domain Authority ranking or not is to compare competitor sites and see how they are doing. While you will probably never get a ranking the same as a website like Facebook, you can be somewhat assured that if you have a similar small-time product to another pre-existing website, your DAs will align.

From there, simply by direct comparison with your competitors, you can usually determine your standing and what you need to do to increase your presence!

Domain Authority is a Huge Asset

With new ways to determine how your site gets ranked on search engines, it has never been easier to boost online performance! Domain Authority and Domain Rating both are assets that any webmaster can use to improve the visibility of their online presence and translate that into direct success.

By understanding the variables with the information above, you can rank and analyze your standing on the web and take the required actions necessary to fully succeed.

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Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.

Logo Delante

Delante is an online marketing agency specialized in generating website traffic from search engines and paid ads (SEO / SEM). Over 80% of our clients are from rapidly growing e-commerce industry.


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