what is domain authority

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is basically a search engine score for your website. It was developed by Moz to score websites based on their backlink profile. Moz’s Domain Authority scoring system has essentially replaced Google’s Page Rank.

What is Google’s Page Rank?

Page Rank (PR) was a ranking system created by Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Here’s how it worked. Every time a website linked to another site it was considered to be like a vote for that website.

The more votes a site received (or backlinks), the higher the site’s PR and the better it ranked in SERPs. But, it wasn’t that simple. Each page also had a score. Getting a vote (or backlink) from a page with a higher PR meant the backlink was worth more.

For webmasters and people in the SEO business, Google’s Page Rank tool bar was the easiest way to determine how important your page was to Google. Google soon realized that putting a scoring system out to the public was a bad idea.

SEO experts used this information to manipulate search engine results. They watered down the quality of organic SERPs through backlink buying, selling, and spammy link-building techniques. Because of this, Google stopped updating PR and eventually removed the Page Rank toolbar altogether.

With Page Rank out, webmasters and SEO companies started looking for an alternative way to measure a domain’s worth. Moz’s Domain Authority is one of the most popular metrics for determining a domain’s search engine value.

woman looking at her computer thinking

What is Domain Authority?

Moz uses data from their Link Explorer web index to determine a website’s Domain Authority. Moz’s Link Explorer is a web crawler (dotbot) that crawls and indexes websites, similar to how Google does. Except, Moz uses their data to develop backlink profiles and keyword research tools for SEO experts to use.

Moz gives every website a Domain Authority score. It can be anywhere from 0-100, with 0 meaning you don’t have any backlinks to your website in their index, and 100 being the highest score possible.

Moz calculates Domain Authority by measuring how many domain names link to your website, how many total backlinks you have, and the quality of your backlinks.

In 2019, Moz announced Domain Authority 2.0

Moz uses completely different data than Google and their own proprietary ranking system to evaluate websites. To give SEO experts a more accurate assessment of their search engine score, they updated their scoring system to include a spam score, which measures the quality of a website’s backlinks and the amount of traffic it receives.

Why is this important? Like Google, Moz understands that SERPS can be manipulated by webmasters using spammy techniques for building backlinks. To more closely simulate how a website will perform in Google SERPS, Moz updated it’s ranking system to include a spam score.

While Domain Authority doesn’t give you the complete picture of how your site will rank in Google, their scoring system is useful for tracking your SEO and backlink campaigns.

How to check your Domain Authority?

The easiest way to check your Domain Authority is to use Moz’s free SEO Domain Analysis tool. Or you can download the Moz toolbar which will show you the Domain Authority and instant metrics on every website or SERP. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is another SEO tool for checking your backlink profile. You can check your Domain Authority using Ubersuggest as well.

Both Moz and Ubersuggest include a free version. You can check the Domain Authority on a website up to three times a day. To get the best value for free, use both tools to monitor your Domain Authority and your competitors’.

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How do you improve your Domain Authority?

One of my pet peeves with other SEO blogs is that they answer questions like this with duh Captain Obvious answers. How do you improve your Domain Authority? You get backlinks from websites with a high Domain Authority and get more total backlinks. Makes sense, you want a higher Domain Authority, get more and better quality backlinks.

However, this kind of reminds me of the age-old problem for job hunters. How do you get a better job? You need more job experience, but how do I get more experience if you won’t give me a job.

Having a better website will help you to get better backlinks!

Getting backlinks is really difficult when you have a new site, and improving your Domain Authority is hard.

Here are a few things ANY webmaster can do to improve your domain authority,

Build your internal links.

Everyone talks about link-building, but one of the easiest ways to build a lot of links is to build internal links. What are internal links? Links within your own website and pages.

Yes, external links may have more value, but links are links. Go through each and every blog post and add internal links to other posts.

Do you have a sidebar on your blog? If so, are you using it to promote and link build? Don’t just use your sidebar to show off your most recent posts. Use it for link building.

Notice my sidebar. I have links to Albuquerque SEO, Albuquerque Web Design, Albuquerque Digital Marketing and SEO Content Writing. I am building an internal link for each of these keywords on every single blog post on my site.

Create content that gets natural links

I am sure you have heard content is king. If you want to get easy backlinks, create quality content. It’s that simple. Still, it’s not just about writing an engaging blog post. Just because your post is interesting, doesn’t mean anyone is going to link to it.

Start thinking about what someone in your market might link to and write the best damn article on the web about that topic. I promise you if you have the best article on a particular topic, someone will link to it. Don’t write fluff and make sure your article is better than all the other articles on that topic.

For example, I wrote an article recently on why DuckDuckGo is better than Google. I think it is the best article on DuckDuckGo. Within a few days of posting it, it was ranking well in DuckDuckGo and I started getting FREE and easy backlinks to it.

Link to your links

If you’re lucky enough to earn an external backlink, link to it. I own a few different blogs. When someone links to me, I often link to their page from Badass Web Goddess or one of my other blogs. You can even write guest posts that link to your guest posts on other sites.

Blogger Outreach

This is my dirty little secret to improve your website traffic, backlinks, and Domain Authority. There is no secret!.

Building backlinks is a lot of hard work. Stop looking for shortcuts or secret insider tricks to getting backlinks, and get used to sending a lot of emails and getting a LOT of rejection.

If you want to get better at link-building, start sending out emails every day to a new blogger or website offering a guest post pitch or backlink proposal.

The more you do this, the better your pitch will get. Plus, the more backlinks you get the better your Domain Authority will be, and the more inclined a blogger will be to let you guest post for them. If you don’t have quality content or a decent Domain Authority, it’s very hard to get someone interested in working with you.

Improve your site every day and work on getting backlinks every day. Over time, your Domain Authority will go up and getting people to link to you will be easier.

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