Your website - your baby, your bane of existence, maybe - works hard for you. All you want in return, most likely, is for it to make your phone ring. The only way it can do that, though, is for you to maintain it so that its pages show up in search engine results.
A few ways to guarantee it gets served up in searches is to make certain it ranks for certain keywords, employs things Google likes (there's a long list) and has quality backlinks, which weigh heavily when it comes on your site's Domain Authority or DA.
DA is a non-official ranking metric developed by the Seattle-based SEO software powerhouse, Moz. Moz domain authority predicts how well a site will rank. Again, it's not a Google-verified ranking factor, but many professionals in the SEO world believe it does have an impact. Besides, having another data point on your side can be useful in providing a more wholistic view of a site. DA is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. The closer you are to 100, the more traffic and better ranking you'll have. Thus, higher scores correspond to a greater ability to rank, however, improving your DA score doesn't necessarily mean your rankings will improve.
It's just one way to measure your domain's quality, popularity, and strength relative to ranking. Recently in an effort to keep pace with Google's changing algorithms, Moz jiggered with DA so that it would be a better predicter of a site's ranking ability. This updated model, Moz says, considers several metrics such as its proprietary spam score along with link count and quality information into its own algorithm that mimics how Google weighs domains.
According to Moz, you'll be able to gauge the value/strength of your site and that of your competitors more accurately than ever. And if the change caused a fluctuation in your DA: no worries. Your competitors' scores will likely have moved too. What matters isn't whether your site's DA drops or increases - it's whether it drops or increases relative to your competitors. Plus, your score is now supposed to be more reliable, relevant and useful anyway. One more note on this: DA 70 means nothing without knowing your competitors' DA. If they are in the 30s, you are doing great, but if they are in the 90s, you better get to work on trying to improve yours.
Three ways to increase Domain Authority
Increasing your site's DA is a long-term process. Here a few things you can do to send it north.
- Grow and clean up your link profile. Disavow any bad (spammy, irrelevant or unwanted) links.
- Build relationships with other site managers to quote or repurpose information from your site and link to it. Try to build your links from authoritative websites.
- Stay vigilant with SEO best practices. Use Google Search Console to manage your website's search functionality and to satisfy several of Google's bucket of signals - there's 200+ ranking factor algorithms - that determine your site's search engine results and authority.
More about your link profile
External links leading back to any page on your website have always been important, but years ago people would buy links or acquire them is other shady ways; Google didn't care. Nowadays, Google recognizes that if multiple websites link to yours, you must be producing strong content that people want to read, which helps boost your DA. And the higher the domain authority of the linking website, the more of a lift it'll give your website. Obviously, the strength of your overall domain in the eyes of search engines can help or hinder your specific pages from ranking over other sites. Therefore, if you don't rank for as many keywords as your competitors and want a better DA score, you can reasonably assume you have to focus on earning links to improve your backlink profile and consequently increase your rankings.
Google likes link profiles that have a lot of variety, which means lots of links pointing to your site give it authority, and that's a sign of a good, trustworthy site that follows Google's guidelines.
Indirectly, then DA matters. But don't let it distract you. Put your nose to grindstone and continue to work on your backlinks with the purpose of building third party credibility for your website. Quality sites offering great audience experiences is what Google truly values. Quality sites are trusted sites that with expert, authoritative information.
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