Definition: Domain Authority (DA) is a metric created by the SEO consulting and research company Moz which measures a website's likelihood to rank on search engines. "Authority" is often used outside of Moz's metric to describe a domain's relative "strength," determined in large part by their backlink portfolio.

Domain Authority is used as a predictive measure for PageRank, Google's proprietary algorithm that plays a major role in determining search engine results. Due to the shroud of secrecy around PageRank, Moz's DA metric is widely considered to be one of the best third party tools for evaluating domain strength.

How domain authority is calculated

Domain Authority assigns a website as a whole a numerical value on a 1-100 logarithmic scale. That means it's far more difficult for a site to move from 20 to 30 than from 80 to 90, mimicking . Thus, the highest-ranked websites sare considered far more authoritative than lower-ranked ones.

DA is created by combining more than 40 individual signals which are tracked and measured by Moz, many of which are Moz's own inventions.

The most important metrics include:

  • MozRank: This measures the aggregate popularity of a web page by counting both the number and quality of websites linking to it.
  • MozTrust: This focuses on the trustworthiness of websites linking to a page being graded. Being linked to by highly trustworthy sites, such as universities, large businesses or specialist government pages, results in a higher MozTrust rank.
  • Link Profile: Link profiling looks at both internal and external links to and from a website. A page which links to highly reputable sources and is linked to by reputable sources will have a good link profile. The relevance of anchor text to the link is another major factor here.

As with Google search results, a page's Domain Authority will fluctuate on a daily basis. Those relying on DA in their metrics generally track it consistently, and take drops in DA as a sign that they need to fix a problem in their SEO.

How to influence — and interpret — domain authority

Keep in mind: Domain Authority is not an absolute measure of your website's search engine standing. Like all other third party tools, use it as a directional tool to monitor overall SEO progress. Keep a close eye on traffic and rankings; when those improve, Domain Authority should generally follow suit.

The best way to impact your website's domain authority is to institute best SEO practices. Link building, on-page optimizations, and social media marketing will slowly help a domain build authority.

When looking at opportunities to improve domain authority, consider:

  • Internal linking: Improve site navigation and make sure content is linked from relevant pages.
  • Anchor text relevance: If anchor text doesn't frequently include target keywords, focus on link building initiatives to increase anchors for important terms.
  • Partners: Look into opportunities to generate links and social shares from any partners you work with.


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