When we’re talking about blogging, SEO, and websites, there are only a few things mentioned more than Domain Authority or DA for short. New bloggers often wonder what exactly the term refers to and if they should even pay attention to it. So, let’s dive in a bit deeper and find out what the term domain authority means and who coined it.
Domain authority is an industry-specific term that Moz coined, and that refers to the number of backlinks (links pointing to your website) that your website attracted from other more or less reputable sites. After Moz, many other SEO companies developed their own domain or website authority metrics.
Domain authority is a score from 0 to 100 given to websites that incorporates the number of links + linking root domains. It is a so-called logarithmic scale, meaning that it’s much easier to grow from 10 to 20 or 30 than from 70 to 80.
DA = number of links + linking root domains
Typically, small business websites and starter blogs, have a much, much lower DA score than established and well-known websites, thus making it harder for them to rank high in the search engine results or SERPs. The more high-authority websites (think cnn.com or Wikipedia) point to your website, the higher the DA score your website will have and thus your posts will rank higher more easily.
You can check the DA score for any website, including your own, on Moz. You get one or two checks before you have to sign up.
Why is Domain Authority Important?
Now that we know what DA is, let’s find out why it is important to you. While it is true that you can rank high for less competitive terms, the more competitive ones, and thus the ones with more traffic and/or money can be extremely hard to break through.
Although domain authority isn’t a ranking factor for Google, there is a strong correlation between DA score and ranking in SERPs. It might seem difficult at first, or even impossible to increase your DA score, but as time goes on and you keep pushing out high-quality content on a consistent basis, you will eventually see backlinks coming in or even pouring in.
You only need a handful of high-authority websites pointing to your site in order to tip the scales in your favor and to start seeing many or even all articles climbing in the SERPs.
It is, for this reason, that guest posting is so attractive to many website owners and that many websites out there barter links or even outright demand payment for them. It has become a lucrative business where agencies charge thousands of dollars for a handful of backlinks from reputable brands and websites.
It is not a game you should jump into without a great deal of research as it is not a white hat method and Google frowns upon it if it figures out what is going on. Many websites have tanked in rankings because they engaged in over their heads into link building.
OK, your website’s DA is important if you want to have success with organic traffic, but there is another metric (again from Moz) that can help you determine how an individual page, opposed to an entire website, will rank on SERP. It’s called page authority and it does what it says on the tin – determines the chance of a single page to rank on Google.
Page authority is a score from 0 – 100, same as DA, but they say that it’s not a concrete score but a comparative metric or tool and you can check a website’s page authority on this link.
There’s no denying that a high DA score will make a website easier to rank high on SERP. While there are a few shortcuts to increasing this score, you’re better of relying on a slew of high-quality articles that will naturally attract links from other websites. Try to incorporate unique infographics, tables, or other statistical data in your posts and watch backlinks pouring in.
This will of course start an avalanche for your website as a high domain authority will help the majority of your posts to rise in rankings.