Digital marketers and those in the field of search engine optimization (SEO) use the term domain authority (DA) to describe how well a site ranks on search engines. Essentially, it is a measure of strength. Nevertheless, it is also commonly used to describe the score for Moz’s metric for its link explorer algorithm that determines how well a search engine will rank a page based on different criteria including the number of links to the site and the quality of the site that links to the webpage.

With those criteria, each page is ranked from 0 to 100, where 0 is the lowest possible authoritative number, and 100 is the highest.

Domain Authority - DA

The replacement to Google PageRank

Google PageRank qualifies the value of a website by using a mathematical formula that reviews the quantity and quality of other pages that link to the analyzed website. The score was a simple 0 – 10 scale where those with a high number of hyperlinks from established and well-ranked pages received higher scores. The concept was not new. In scientific papers, the number of other peer-reviewed papers that cited the resource has been an established mechanism to judge the importance of the work.

PageRank uses a similar citation system based on other websites. Although many people claim that the ranking system is outdated and irrelevant, Google still uses the system as their internal algorithm for ranking pages. However, public access to the metric was discontinued by the company. Although domain authority is not the perfect replacement, it is a guide for those in the business of SEO. It allows individuals to visualize results and create a strategy to improve.

Why is domain authority important?

Although there is no evidence that Google uses domain authority scores to rank website results, such metrics do provide digital markets with a tool and an ability to qualify and quantify how well a website is going to rank. The reason is that there is a correlation between a domain authority score and the resulting Google ranking where the higher the DA score, the higher the rank. Regardless of Google’s specific algorithm, the tool can accurately predict how a search engine is going to qualify a page.

Since PageRank is no longer available to the public, DA is a great substitute. The domain authority score will not provide a metric for how many links a website has; however, it will determine if a website will outperform a competitor, making it a perfect tool to measure and improve results.

SEO specialist analyzing Google Analytics

How to improve a domain authority score

Although there are many resources that provide a guide for how to improve a score, it is important to begin with a baseline.

Start by using a quality domain authority checker and determine the current score of the website. Afterward, look to optimize internal links by referencing high-quality content outside of your domain and using anchor text in a natural language.

Once links have been improved, work on producing high-quality content. What this means is that individuals should create valuable writings that are free of grammatical errors and typos that visitors will want to read.

Now that your site is rich in content, look for places that will link to your webpage. Do this by guest posting on other sites, listing your site on other popular places like Yelp and Google MyBusiness, and removing broken links from other sites.

Lastly, perform a link audit and create a strategy to remove bad links that are negatively affecting your ranking. You can use tools like Google’s Search Console to identify potential problems and begin correcting them.

Takeaway

Due to the importance of DA as a website ranking metric, website owners and SEO specialists are finding ways to improve it. As you can see, improving your DA is a marathon not a sprint.  However, many people want to take shortcuts for improving their websites’ DA quickly, which is understandable.

Just like any other thing in SEO, shortcuts are available, but you need to ponder upon the trade-off between risks and rewards. It’s always advisable to take the long, but right path to improving your DA.

The choice is yours.