What does domain authority tell you?

You might see the term “domain authority” written in articles, it might have been mentioned to you about your website, but you might not really understand what this means.

In this article, we’re going to look into what does domain authority tell you? Domain authority is how many backlinks your domain has and this can show how much Google and other search engines will trust your domain, and therefore can give you an indication of how well your site might rank in the search engine results. Domain Authority was created by Moz and has a score ranging from 1 to 100. With 100 being the best chance of ranking higher than the lower number. It’s important for most websites that want to rank well to have a higher domain authority because having a higher domain authority (and better content) than your competitors will likely mean your site will rank higher than theirs.

What is domain authority?

Domain authority isn’t an actual ranking factor, but as this is a universally accepted metric for measuring the likelihood of the site to rank, it’s often used in SEO discussions and it is helpful to measure the strength of your domain. Domain authority is calculated by the number and quality of inbound links to your domain from other websites. The easiest way to find out your domain authority is to use the tool on Moz’s website, or the Google Chrome extension that will give you your domain authority number. Most larger websites – Google, Facebook, news outlets like the BBC and CNN will have lots of links to their websites. Just by virtue of their size, this means that they will take up the higher domain authorities. As a smaller business, domain authority will usually be a lot lower, but it’s possible to get domain authority of 25-40 with some work on building better quality links.

What causes a low domain authority?

One of the main reasons for having a low domain authority is that your website will be a new domain. If this is the case, it will most likely be 1 out of 100. The good news is that with a new domain the only way is up, and there will be lots of places to get some easy wins for links to your website to improve your domain authority. Another reason for having a low domain authority, even if you have a large number of links, could be that you have a lot of links from low-quality websites, also with low domain authority. For example, a website with 25 links all from unique websites with a domain authority over 70, would most likely have a higher domain authority than a website with 200 links all from sites with domain authority of less than 10. The reason is that the sites with a domain authority over 70 are seen as trusted sources that are linking to you and will in turn lift your domain authority. This is contrasting to lots of websites with low authority links linking to you, it doesn’t help improve your online profile with as much credibility.

How can you improve your domain authority?

The best way to improve your domain authority is to get more high-quality links that link back to your website. This can be by creating great content on your website that people want to link to, guest blogging or by getting listings on credible directories. Don’t forget, just getting an improvement in your domain authority, doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be top on the search rankings for your main keywords – you will still need to do other work on your content with your website and technical SEO to make this improve your ranking in the search results.

In summary

Your domain authority isn’t a ranking signal to Google, it is something that Moz have created and is widely used in the SEO industry, but it will give you a good indication of the strength of your domain. It’s not something to build an SEO strategy around, but building good quality links, creating excellent content that people want to share will help your SEO and by doing that, you’ll see your domain authority improve as well.

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If you’re looking to improve your website rankings, we offer a free consultation and review of your website to see how it’s performing against your number one competitor. Get in touch with us if you’d like to find out more.

Blog post by Adam Burrage

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