Understanding domain authority is something that you must know all about SEO. Yes, it is right. Anything that affects your SEO score will ultimately influence DA.
But every content marketer or SEO expert knows that it’s hard to maintain an optimal SEO score. They put countless efforts to keep their ranking constant. But there is always up and down.
If someone asks me what SEO is then I’ll say, it’s a process where webmasters put their efforts in a right way to maintain the ranking in search engine by concerning site authority, user experience and content.
Site authority (SA) doesn’t mean DA. Instead, it considers everything that can make a site more authoritative. SA includes DA, page authority, citation flow, trust, domain age, domain link profile and backlink quality etc. MOZ considers SA as a domain level link feature.
You would think that which of the following factors improve a website authority?
Don’t worry, keep reading
MOZ experts did a study and found that Domain-level-link features have more potential than other elements to influence the DA.
From above, one thing is clear that only sharing your content on social media won’t work for you. You need to work on every single element of SEO. And you must know that Domain authority is also an element of SEO.
So what are you waiting? Let’s get started.
What is Domain Authority?
It’s a ranking index developed by MOZ which indicates that how trusted & authoritative your website is and have potential to rank in search engine.
DA is a logarithmic scale of 1 to 100 where the lower number indicates low authority. MOZ has personally mentioned that this isn’t the actual score. It is just a comparative metric.
Due to logarithmic variation, it becomes hard to regulate the flow of DA score consistently along with the scale. Means it’s hard to achieve a high score of DA.
Most of the bloggers say that popular blog have higher domain authority, but this isn’t true. Popularity and DA are two different things.
Matt Cutts has explained both the things. He took an example of porn and government sites. He discussed that porn sites are more popular than government sites because people want to visit them. But no one wants to link to the porn site because they have low authority than government site.
I think now you have understood the basics of DA. But this isn’t the end. I want to share something additional that makes this article more interesting and worth reading.
Calculating the domain authority isn’t so easy there are more than 40 factors that MOZ’s performance- index considers to measure the comparative value.
I have tried to plot a graph between DA and position (Google position). But I found that it’s impossible to analyse the effect of domain authority for mixed categories.
I have captured over 1000 mixed queries having different-2 categories. I analysed every question from blogging industry to health. But when I plotted the chart, there was no pattern. Means I can’t be reached for any solution.
But I learned something interning that you must know
- You can’t precisely analyse the effect of domain authority. But if you consider only single category like SEO and extract the queries related to it, then you can see the impact of DA on rankings in SEO industry.
- Most of the time you think that your domain name should have a keyword. But I observed that this is only necessary for branding and single niche blogs. Because when you search for a simple keyword like ‘Cake recipe’. Google probably prefers those domains that contain the keyword ‘recipe’. But if you search long tail keyword, then you will see different results. It means keyword intent change the ranking policy.
- As you know that there are some industries like blogging industry, marketing industry and so forth. Domain authority scale changes according to the type of industry. For example, DA scale for marketing could be different than blogging industry. You can understand it by this pivot chart.
As I have mentioned that DA is an element of SEO that means if you know how to do SEO. You can win the game. But again you need to focus on more than 200+ factors that affect the google ranking. You can’t just change a few things and expect your DA to skyrocket.
In fact, SEO is a slow process and takes a reasonable time to influence ranking. According to Neil Patel, it takes six months or over a year to start affecting your SEO score, DA and organic search.
So, don’t expect robust results unless you have worked over a year on SEO.
Here you might also ask that what is a good domain authority score? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this problem. It all depends on which industry you belong to. For example, if your site is related to ‘Finance & Insurance’ then a proper domain authority is 60.
Similarly, if your site content is related to ‘health-care’, then a good DA is 67.
In my experience, 40 is a good DA for all industries.
Now, let’s come to the point and see how you can increase domain authority
Domain Authority MOZ: 35+ Ways To Increase DA Fast
MOZ says that “The best way to influence the Domain Authority metric is to improve your overall SEO.” It implies that MOZ uses the potential SEO factors to calculate the DA.
However, no one knows the exact relationship, but these are some possible ways to influence the DA.
#1. Quality of backlinks
People are always looking for quantity of backlinks. They ignore the quality of backlinks. A high-quality backlink has a potential to influence your ranking. So, always look for quality, not quantity. Low-quality backlinks won’t help you to increase the Moz domain authority.
#2. Domain age [Buy old domain]
Everything takes time. If a domain had an impressive history in the past and had earned tons of quality links, then this is the sign of an authorised domain. You can compare it with a history-sheeter criminal. If you’ve done a crime in the past, then the police will call you a suspect until they caught the right criminal. Similarly, if past domain history is not well google considers your domain blacklisted.
#3. The number of domains that link to your website
Getting tons of links from a single domain looks so unnatural, and Google considers them as spam. I suggest you create an informative and detailed article that encourage people to link to you. That is something we can call natural linking, and it significantly increases DA.
#4. Link equity
MOZ considers link equity as a ranking factor to calculate the DA and ranking. It indicates that how effectively link passes the value from one page to another page. It is something you can say ‘diversity of link juice from one page to another’. For example, page ‘A’ ranked for a keyword on the top of the Google. That means this page will have high authority. So, you can use this page to spread DA throughout your site. For taking this benefit, you can link some of your related articles to that page. Don’t connect more links keep them up to 4 or 5, because it may dilute link equity. Resulting, you wouldn’t get the expected results.
#5. Link Relevancy
This term is related to link equity. When it comes to influencing the DA, always link your relevant page to some authoritative pages. An irrelevant page wouldn’t help you to gain the link equity which means DA won’t increase.
#6. HTTP status
When browser requests to the server, server send a response code to the browser which convinces whether or not the expected data successfully delivered to the browser.
In fact, MOZ says that HTTP status impact SEO which also affects your DA too.
There are following HTTP status code that you have seen like 200, 300, 400, 500 and also the variant of these like 301, 302, 307, 404, 410 and 503.
According to MOZ, 410, 302, 500, 503 are bad for both DA and SEO. Make sure that if you’re getting these status codes then immediately take actions. You can contact your hosting provider to identify the possible reasons.
#7. Page authority
Page authority is a term used to identify the power of an individual page. It tells users that how strong a page is. The only difference is that DA indicates the overall strength and PA indicates the individual page strength.
MozTrust is similar to Google trustworthiness. If your site has a backlink from high authoritative sites like government or university homepages, then your site might have a high MozTrust value which potentially increases domain authority. MOZ calculates the trust score from the distance of a link from the trusted site. You can gain high value of MozTrust by keeping your link close to the trusted sites. Similar to the google, MOZ calculates the trust on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10. Trustworthiness of a website is calculated on behalf of existing pages on your site. So, a single page may affect both DA and SEO.
It’s similar to PageRank defined by Google. It is a logarithmic scale of 0 to 10 where a higher number indicates the popularity of a page. You can understand the principle of MozRank from this example.
Suppose you have published an article and someone refers this article to his post. Then you’ll receive a vote. More people add you, more vote you’ll get. But the thing you need to understand is that if referral page contains more links including yours, then the vote that you received from referral page become diluted. Means if the page includes three links including yours then your MOZ value would be 1/3rd instead of one. MOZ collects these votes to calculate the MozRank.
#10. Link profile
It is something beyond the backlinks. When it comes to link profile we talk about link organisation, how do you create backlinks, are these paid? Spammy, irrelevant.
If you want to create a healthy link profile, then your link building strategy should be qualified under the Google’s link building guidelines.
Make sure that your backlink must be relevant. Means site that has mentioned your article’s link must be related to your site niche. Otherwise, it would be considered as spam.
The link should be diverse. Means link must be visible on social media and other popular platforms. [It tells Google that link exists and is not an artificial link]
Google doesn’t tolerate Link reciprocation. So, never encourage anyone to participate reciprocal link program
If you want to clean you SEO then always look for quality of links.
#11. Content length
Backlinko did a study and saw that Google prefers those articles that are lengthy and informative. So, try to write a well- organised material containing at least 1750 words. If you do so, you’ll ultimately increase ranking and also Moz DA.
#12. Quality of content/uniqueness
Although, Google prefers lengthy content. But it doesn’t mean that you copied other’s content or unnecessarily expand your article. Instead, write a post that involves some uniqueness and quality. Backlinko found that a comprehensive article outranked the shallow content.
#13. Page speed
Google fellow ‘Ben Gomes’ said that “Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved.” The following video shows that Google considers loading speed as a ranking factor. I think page speed is one of the most critical factors that influence both ranking and DA.
See the video: –
#14. Click through rate (CTR)
An increment in CTR is a sign of high ranking. Resulting, increase in DA.
#15. Domain with Keyword
Back in days, it was beneficial for branding. If you wish to build your company, then it’s a good practice to include a focus keyword in your root domain. MOZ mentioned that domain which contains keyword slightly improve the DA and ranking. But do remember that Google has introduced a new EMD update, according to that you’re not allowed to put the exact match of the keyword. (Read More on EMD update). Let’s have a look at a few data that I have collected from SEOmoz and high position.
- EMD has lost their average ranking from position 13 to 22 which is highly considerable.
- Correlation between EMD and ranking is no more effective.
#16. Top level domain
MOZ study shows that TDLs plays an extra role that influences the native OR LOCAL search visibility which ultimately increases DA.
It is correspondence to a small string other than root domain. These are also knowns as a third-party domain. If you use an irrelevant subdomain, it may split domain authority because Google considers it as a different entity. [For example, blog.example.com. It could be broken into three levels first is ‘blog’ which is known as ‘subdomain’, the second is ‘example’ which is known as ‘second-level domain or main domain’, and the last one is ‘.com.’ that is called as ‘top level domain’ ]
- Companies use subdomains to separate their blog from business pages.
- Most of the companies use subdomains because of different design of mobile and desktop
- Matt Cutts also told that subdomains help to boost your SEO score. [SEE video source]
- Never use the subdomains to do keyword stuffing.
- They help to increase user experience.
- They are separate so, they partially impact your DA.
#18. Social shares
If you get more shares, more visibility & traffic you will get. Resulting, you’ll find a slight increase in ranking and DA. However, most of the people don’t agree with this fact. I debated with a lot of SEO experts, but they don’t consider social singles as a DA influencer.
But I have personally realised that Social shares impact DA. Because earlier days my domain was 16 which is not much. But as I started sharing my content on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. I found the increment in my DA. See below.
Google aims to make users happy by providing them with immediate solutions to their problems. However, it doesn’t influence DA directly. But there is a correlation between domain authority and user-experience. Google prefers those results that provide a great user experience. It means that Google encourages users to click on well-organised articles by serving them on the top. You can take this benefit by providing the great user-experience exposure to the users. Which ultimately increase your SEO score means also help you increase Moz domain authority.
#20. SSL certificate/security [User considers secured sites more authoritative. Not directly impact your DA ]
A well-secured site has more credibility and trust than others having no security certificates. Backlinko found in his study that there is a strong correlation between HTTPS and ranking. I also realised that Google concerns safe results. It naturally influences your DA.
#21. Popup ads may harm your SEO [It don’t impact your DA directly but affect user experience ]
Search engine optimisation is something that relies on user-friendliness. Popup ads may probably irritate your visitors significantly. The reality is that people don’t like bad ads because they interrupt browsing and also affect the user- experience which is not suitable for search engine point of view. In fact, it’s ok to use the banner ads, but Google does not like popup ads. Google hates popup ads that’s why chrome has integrated with the ad blocker to improve the user experience. So, I think Popup ads potentially impact SEO. See some statistics taken from HubSpot.
- Approximately 83% of people want to filter the obnoxious ads
- 77% people do not want to block the ads entirely, instead, filter the wrong ads.
- 63% people feel that majority of the online ads don’t look so professional.
Ads that you don’t like to see, % of people who don’t want these types of ad categories.
From the above chart, you can say that majority of people don’t like popup ads.
#22. Content flow
Your content flow should be such so that it can fulfil the user search intent. If your article is excellent but there is lack of design, navigation and don’t match searcher intent, then you might lose your traffic and SEO as well. It is not the direct measure of DA. But it may affect user- experience and SEO.
Things that are worth remembering.
- Enhance your content flow by applying ON page SEO.
- Concern about the order. Means in what order you are going to PRESENT your content in front of your audience.
- If people don’t find what they were looking for, they’ll move out from your page. So, make sure to present the right solution for the user.
- Your goal is to solve the user’s problems quickly.
- Include the verity of queries orderly.
#23. Internal Linking
These are the links that interconnect other existing articles within the same domain. Internal links are useful for SEO perspective because they might help a visitor to find some additional valuable information on your blog. Helps to increase your link structure. According to Forbes, inherent linking influence domain authority.
#24. Site structure
SEOSearchJournal has confirmed that ‘site structure plays the tremendous role in its SEO authority’. It is because if crawlers don’t crawl your site deeply, they won’t give you any authority.
#25. Bad Links
Many of the beginners end up doing link building and make some bad links that might hurt your SEO. If you don’t disavow those spammy links, they might decrease your DA.
#26. Long domain name
When it comes to select a domain, beginners ignore the key factors that could be beneficial for rankings. Well, I have realised that it is hard to memorise the long domains. People still try to include the whole keyword phrase in the domain name. For example, if your business is about providing the loan facilities for apartments. For instance, Keyword phrase would be Loan for an apartment or something like this. What people do they put the whole phrase and their domain looks so terrible like this ‘Loanforapartmant.com’. Instead of that, keep your domain short and appealing.
Backlinko found that Short URL affects ranking which ultimately enhances SEO and DA as well.
#. 27. Actionable content
A well in-depth actionable content always tend to rank higher. It has been confirmed that ‘Google always looking for high-quality content’. So never create thin material because Google won’t give any value to that content.
- People do like to share quality content.
- An actionable content always encourages people to take action.
- Increase in social shares, improvement in link profile and link diversity. Eventually, increase in SEO score and domain authority.
#28. Mobile friendliness
Your website should be responsive to any device and at the same time must be crawlable because a poor search experience might decrease user-experience and also impact your SEO. Why it is essential to optimise your site for the mobile device because Mobile internet usage has dominated the Desktop.
#29. Google penalties
You can compare it to yourself. .’ Suppose you were a good and reputed person in your society, but somehow you were caught because of an offence. Now, what results would you expect from your society? I think People won’t believe you and you’ll lose your authority. Similarly, if your site once penalised, your power will go down.
#30. Local SEO
Businesses have to consider the local SEO. Because this is something that adds value to your productivity. If you don’t expose your business locally, you won’t get lead and conversions. By including some of these ingredients, you can enhance your business reach and search visibility.
Optimize ‘Google my business.’
Promote your business locally.
#31. Single niche blog
You might see that Google always prefer single niche blog instead of a multi-niche blog. Because of following reasons
- Single niche blog has high content relevancy than the multi-niche blog.
- SEO for a multi-niche blog is much tricky than single niche.
- The rank brain is responsible for content relevancy which controls the search result.
- Technically impossible for Google to give the topic value. RESULTING, you might lose topic authority.
#32. Anchor text
It is a visible text above a hyperlink. It significantly influences ranking. Earlier days it was profitable to use the exact match anchor text. But now there is a risk of penguin penalty. SearchEngineJournal found in its study that branded anchor text increases your rankings in Google significantly and eventually increase Moz domain authority.
Always use 301 redirections to redirect any page because it’s a permanent redirection. It redirects the link equity and link juice to the targeted URL. It is similar to an open pipe where link juice can pass from source to destination. It helps you to transport your DA juice from source to destination.
#34. Bounce rate
It indicates that what user experiences while reading the article. If USER enjoys reading your article that means he will spend more time on your site and resulting in very less bounce rate. High bounce rate indicates terrible user experience, and it’s a negative signal for ranking.
#35. The number of QUALITY backlinks
If you want to increase domain authority, you need to have a significant number of backlinks. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the quality. I have also found that a massive amount of QUALITY backlinks increase your DA and ranking as well.
#36. Kind of backlinks
Do-follow and no-follow are the two types of backlinks. It’s always better to have a right balance between them. If your site has a massive amount of follow links but don’t contain any no-follow, then this is not good for search engine point of view. However, SEOs says that high amount of Do-follow backlinks produce a measurable impact on both SEO and DA.
#37. Server accessibility
Your site lives on hosting server. If your server accessibility is not excellent, Google crawling process might be interrupted while scanning your directory due to downtime & low server response.
- Discourage crawlers to crawl your directory frequently
- Due to low server response, the browser will take time to collect the data from the server. It will eventually reduce user-experience
- 500, 501, 502, 503 and 410 errors impact SEO and discourage google to crawl.
Let ‘s recall the best SEO practices: –
Write for authority sites in your industry: There are so many sites that allow webmasters to make contributions. You need to find them and start contributing. Every time you publish your article on those sites you are bringing up an authority backlink to your site, which significantly increase your domain authority.
Join forums: – I use Quora, Backhatword and V7N. Till now I’ve answered to 250 questions on quora alone, which not only help me to increase my domain authority from 16 to 20 but also boost my ranking in google for some competitive keywords. So, no matter how much time you invest in creating your post, it is impossible to rank higher until you grow your domain authority and rankings.
Do external linking: – Make sure you include at least 2 to 3 high authority sites to make your content valuable. You might be wondering, how could I say it. But if you do, Google considers your site as an excellent source of knowledge and serve you first.
Write good content: Write something that can add value to existing content. A well-written
content attract other webmasters to link to you.
Do case studies: – Case studies tell the truth. If you want others to link to your content, then do case studies.
Ultimately, these are the ways to get some high authority backlinks. It is the one aspect of SEO. Another aspect of SEO is technical SEO, where you need to take care of rendering errors, server error, page structure, loading speed, indexing, sitemap errors and robot.txt file.
Once you make your site error-free and load fast, then you can increase the user experience, which eventually increases your domain authority.
Lasted Updated @ 12/19/2017
Many times I have seen that people ask ‘Why did my domain authority go down?‘
The answer to this question is simple. There are tons of factor that affect your domain authority. Drop in any of these factors may cause a drop in DA. But the reality is that ‘domain authority is not an absolute measure rather it’s a relative measure’. What does it mean? Ok let’s try to understand
MOZ collects almost every blog or website that belong to standard industry and categorises them. After classifying them, Moz figures out the least capacity or domain strength of these industries. Now, from here they set the different-2 level of domain authority for every sector.
For example, Suppose the least authority for blogging industry is 10. Now, MOZ relatively calculates the DA of each Url according to this benchmark. Here I have said a word “relative,” means your DA depends on other domains that are present in your industry.
Moz keeps their directory clean by removing the worthless domains. Resulting, The whole DA scale shifted towards the left which means a drop in DA.
As per DA is a concern, you can’t ignore SEO. Every single step that you’re taking to improve your SEO will eventually enhance your DA.
But all aren’t equally responsible for SEO. In fact, domain-level-link features significantly improve your Domain authority.
In the end, I want to answer a question.
Question: – I’m doing SEO in a right way then why DA is decreasing?
Answer: – DA is not an absolute measure instead it’s a relative measure. So, if some results are doing better in google ranking and you’re unable to pace with those results, you may lose your domain authority.
Special thanks to Moz.com, backlinko.com, neilpatel.com, SEOsearchJournal.com and all other brands mentioned in this article.
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