Definition, calculation, and improvement

Understanding the concept of Domain Authority (DA) in the ever-evolving world of SEO seems to hold the key that can open doors to online content discovery and success.

In this article, we will demystify the concept of domain authority, explore its importance in the world of search engine optimization, and provide the knowledge you need to increase your website authority and climb rankings Whether you are an SEO newbie or a seasoned professional, take your online presence to the next level It provides business insights to help.

Domain Authority by Moz: what it is and what it used for

Domain Authority is an official metric by Moz used to assess the authority and credibility of a web domain. The higher the domain authority, the more likely your website is to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERP) and receive more traffic. Factors considered include the domain’s prestige, the quality of information provided, and the site’s centrality.

Within a company, the role of analyzing and interpreting Domain Authority is handled by the Search Engine Optimization expert. At Digital Coach®, you can acquire the essential skills in this field through the Seo Manager Course.

Page Authority by Moz

A closely related concept is Page Authority, which, unlike Domain Authority, applies to a specific page on the website. However, Page Authority can be used to enhance the overall Domain Authority.

Calculating Domain Authority

Free tools for measuring DA

You can measure DA using the Mozbar: this browser extension calculates both Domain Authority and Page Authority with a numerical value ranging from 1 to 100. It also provides a spam score in percentage and counts the number of inbound links.

mozbar domain authority

The Mozbar is located above the SERP


This bar can also be applied to the results found in the SERP, which is particularly useful for assessing the relationship between the query and the results.

Another Moz tool useful for measuring DA is the Link Explorer (which replaced the old Open Site Explorer). To use this tool, you need to have a profile on the Moz website. This way, you can get DA and PA results for two sites and compare them side by side to facilitate comparison.

moz link explorer

Its main features include:

  • a large index that includes many links
  • graphs and filters
  • real-time metric changes
  • comparison between Follow and Nofollow links
  • a list of quality links leading to the website
  • a list of site pages with the highest Domain Authority.

Calculation factors

To calculate DA, Moz considers several factors, with the most important being the Link Profile. But other significant factors include:

  • content quality
  • the number of inbound links to your site
  • quality of inbound links
  • social media signals
  • SEO level of your site.

Other elements to consider are:

Root domains

This refers to the number of different sites linking to your website. The higher the number of sites linking to your site (as opposed to many links from a few sites, which can lead to link farming), the more positively it will impact DA. The Link Profile indicates the composition and source of inbound links to the site. The more diverse it is, the higher the DA will be.

MozRank and MozTrust

Both of these indicators are based on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. MozRank is based on the number of links coming to your site (so it’s quantity-based). The more external links to your site, the better.

On the other hand, MozTrust analyzes the authority of the sites linking to you (so it’s quality-based). Government sites and educational institutions like universities are considered highly authoritative. The more authoritative sites that link to you, the better for your domain.

Absence of sitewide links

These links, which appear on every page of the site, almost always negatively affect DA. This is because they are perceived as spam, so avoid them.

What is a good Domain Authority score?

The Domain Authority range spans from 1 to 100. In general, it can be said that:

  • from 40 to 50 is an average score
  • from 50 to 60 is a good score
  • above 60 is an excellent score.

Of course, you should always consider the limitations of this metric. A low Domain Authority score can be concerning, but you need to remember that the score is relative. The important thing is to have a higher score than your competitors, and even more importantly, your position in the SERP.

domain high range

Reliability of DA

Unfortunately, Domain Authority does not perfectly reflect reality at 100%. It’s a prediction provided by Moz, which has limitations compared to Google. Google is the global leader in the field of search engines and has access to numerous resources. Relying solely on this metric can be misleading because one should look at the actual positioning of a domain on Google. Now you will see the reasons more specifically.

Limited number of factors for calculation

Some factors that makeup Moz’s algorithm are known, such as MozRank, MozTrust, and Link Profile. However, there are only 40 factors contributing to the calculation of DA. As mentioned earlier, Google’s algorithm is based on at least 200 factors, allowing it to assess domain authority more accurately and reliably. Google’s RankBrain algorithm can understand the meaning of a query.

Ignoring Google penalties

Moz doesn’t necessarily consider Google’s penalties. This means that your Domain Authority can remain high even if your site drops in the SERP rankings.

DA is just a metric

Instead of being a ranking factor, DA is an indirect metric: it’s only a prediction of how competitive a site is on search engines. So, it’s essential to focus on the real result, the SERP.


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How to increase Domain Authority

Even before creating a website, you should already have plans to improve Domain Authority. One way to put this suggestion into practice is to choose a suitable domain name that is immediately recognizable, easily analyzed, and inspectable by web crawlers like Googlebot. The same applies to the names of individual page URLs. To increase DA, you need to focus on  your SEO strategy, which can be applied in three ways:

On-page SEO

Below are the most important aspects to consider. These are all fundamental elements of every strategy.

Improving the content

Content is King, and this is the first rule to follow. It’s good to write high-quality content to become a Thought Leader in your industry. Some tips for improving your content include:

  • write your content in detail so that readers prefer it over your competitors.
  • quality is more important than quantity when writing.
  • don’t be too verbose and write short, impactful sentences instead of long paragraphs.
  • include relevant images and graphics with appropriate alt text and title text.

Title and Meta Description

These elements of your page are crucial because they help search engines process your introduction and make it easy for users to find your site on search engines. So, try to improve these aspects using the guidelines.

Optimization of visual content

Images should be lightweight and not exceed a certain size to avoid unnecessarily slowing down the page.

Off-page SEO

There are tips to apply to inbound links leading to your site as well. So, the best thing is to improve your domain’s Link Profile using the following techniques:

Link review

You can conduct a link review with Moz Link Explorer, Ubersuggest, or Semrush. This way, you can see which backlinks are not worth having and use Link detox techniques to remove those links.

  • as the first option, you can contact the site owners linking to you and ask them to use the “Nofollow” attribute in the link or delete the link itself.
  • if that doesn’t work, you can use Google Search Console‘s Backlink Disavow Tool. But keep in mind that this is an extreme option.

One thing to stay away from is link schemes because they decrease Domain Authority. So, the advice is to use only organic backlink techniques because schemes wouldn’t provide quality sources anyway, and if discovered by Google, they can lead to penalties.

Link Building

Getting inbound links to your site is one of the most challenging but most rewarding ways to increase Domain Authority. A site without external links from other sites is like it doesn’t exist for search engines, and web crawlers will find it challenging to inspect.

Link earning

Having high-quality external links to increase DA is crucial, and it needs to be done organically. To achieve this, you need to publish content that is interesting to your audience. When creating content, always prioritize quality so that you are found on the web and possibly linked to it.

Guest posting

Another way to get backlinks is to write or comment on blogs or other sites and include a link to your site in your profile description.

Don’t forget to set the do-follow attribute in the link you place. Become a familiar figure on the site or blog in question. Also, I suggest that when you respond on Q&A portals like Quora, include the link to your website in the answer or your profile.

Internal links

You mustn’t forget about internal links. Using them correctly is similar to the practice of cross-selling or up-selling: when you talk about something on your page, provide a link to another of your pages that discusses something related or similar or on the same topic but in more detail.

Search engine marketing techniques

These guidelines should be implemented from the beginning of website design so you can start on the right foot:

  • register your site with Google Search Console.
  • create the XML site map and submit and send it to Google.
  • check the robots.txt settings so that Google’s web crawlers can inspect the site.
  • build the site in HTTPS.
  • use structured data through to help search engines understand the context of the content.
  • use breadcrumb menus.

Responsive design

Today, it’s more important than ever to consider the user experience for mobile devices, as data indicates that web searches are primarily done on these devices. So invest in web design and web performance, both on mobile and tablets. Also, take the time to research keywords from voice search, not just desktop keywords. You can check if your site is mobile-friendly using Google’s Google test. Regarding web performance, i.e., the speed at which a web page loads, Google also provides another useful verification tool.

Social media signals

If the content is commented on and shared by users on social media, it means that this content is of quality, and this will be perceived positively by Moz.

Logarithmic scale and law of diminishing returns

Unfortunately, the process of improving DA is based on a logarithmic scale and follows the law of diminishing returns. For example, going from 40 to 50 is easier than going from 80 to 90.

Moz SEO is an excellent tool for monitoring keyword rankings and your website’s DA, as well as providing valuable data on link equity. In the next section, you will discover the use of other extremely useful metrics for analysis.

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Other useful metrics to consider

There are metrics similar to Moz’s Domain Authority and Page Authority, and these play more or less the same role.

Ahrefs domain rating and URL rating

These Ahrefs metrics share some aspects with Moz’s DA. For example:

  • their scores range from 1 to 100.
  • they are based on the number of domains linking to your site.
  • they look at the authority of the domains of those links.
  • they consider unique domains.
  • they have a logarithmic nature.

That being said, Ahrefs Domain Rating measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile, while URL Rating does the same for a specific page on that domain.

Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow

Majestic offers 2 metrics similar to those of Moz and Ahrefs.

  • Trust Flow is based on the credibility of the links entering your site. It’s based on quality.
  • Citation Flow analyzes your site’s influence on other sites and how much it is linked. It’s based on quantity.

Both of these metrics, when taken together, can assess the authority of a website. The ratio between Trust Flow and Citation Flow is what you should look at for a comprehensive picture.

Strategic coaching

As in all things, it is very important to have an experienced person who guides you in performing this activity. That’s why Digital Coach® allows you to have a coach at your disposal (an industry expert) to teach you how to manage Domain Authority in the best way.

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