With over a billion websites on the Internet today, how do we know which ones are both relevant and credible? Thanks to MOZ, and other competitive research tools like SEMrush there’s a way to understand a website’s domain authority.
Domain Authority is a term and search engine ranking standard developed by MOZ using an algorithm that is constantly being perfected. It is used to measure how a website would rank on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Domain Authority (also known as DA) is different from Page Authority. Page Authority measures how well individual pages will rank on SERPs.
DA is determined using over 40 important factors which include age, backlinks, popularity, MozRank, MozTrust scores, and link counts. This calculation is done using a machine learning model.
How is Domain Authority Measured?
A website can rank from anywhere between 0 to 100. New websites start from 1 and grow from there. A website’s domain authority is calculated by considering a few important factors we will discuss in a bit.
There are a few tools you can use to view your or any website’s DA. The most recommended is the MOZ bar, as it was created by the same people who created and completely understand DA. In Keyword Explorer, there is also a SERP analysis section that provides reliable information on DA. There are several other tools available online for this function.
The Importance of Domain Authority
Google’s Algorithms are getting tougher, and ranking now requires more work. A few years ago, you could take a new website and grow it to an authority blog in just six months. Today, that type of progress will require at least 2 years.
That is because Google does its best to rank only websites that are highly relevant to searches. If your domain is not relevant, you are simply not going to rank. As a website owner, this can be frustrating news, but as a web user, this is a welcome development. Considering in this day, people are warned to not consider information from Google as credible, when in fact, Google is our 1 go-to source for any information we might need, DA is a necessary development.
When measuring DA, before all other more technical factors come into play, there are 3 important ones that cannot be bypassed.
Age is a very important factor but only has an effect if your website has been active for as long as it has been live. For example, if I registered a website in 2008, uploaded a few lines of content or posts, and suddenly became inactive, my website will have a very low DA. However, if I’ve been actively updating the website with relevant content, along with other website building practices, I should have a very high DA by now.
This is because age is a very important factor in measuring the credibility of a website as a reliable source. If you’ve been getting new and returning visitors over the years, your website will have good authority.
If your content is being shared, viewed and indexed by hundreds of thousands of users monthly, Google definitely isn’t going to ignore you. All these activities will indicate that you have information on your website that users are interested in seeing, and will push your pages to the top of related SERPs. Popular websites also have high DAs with time.
Having backlinks to your site from other sites with high DA shows trust in your content. These backlinks will consistently increase your website’s ranking.
How to improve your Website’s Domain Authority
Upload Relevant, Original Content Frequently
The quality of your content heavily influences the ranking of your website. Google wants to give its users relevant answers when they make searches. Ensure that every page on your website has good copy, written for a clear purpose.
You must have a well-structured content strategy. If you are not a writer, invest in good writing and editing help to create readable and relevant content for your visitors. Also ensure that you have enough visual aids such as pictures, graphs, charts, etc, to support or represent information on your website, and make it more visually appealing.
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Constantly update your website with information your target users are looking for. A good way to do this is by blogging. If you don’t have a blog on your website, you are a few too many years behind. Start one today.
Without a doubt, your website needs to be Search Engine Optimized to even compete with the other millions of websites available, offering similar content. Ensure that every blog post has long-tail keywords in natural language, targeting a specific search or question. Also make use of optimized headlines, headings within your posts, SEO structured permalinks and related images.
Internal Linking and Backlinking
When writing blog posts or web copy, it is advisable to link to other pages on your website that contain information relevant to the subject being written on. This is a good way to send traffic back to older pages or posts, and show that they still contain useful information.
The building of backlinks is also very important. Just like no man is an island, no website can be successful as an island. Build good backlinks by guest posting on high authority websites in your industry and consistently sharing your posts on social media. If you have great content, people will want to reference them.
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Constantly Check for Bad and Broken Links
Your link profile is very important as Google can penalize you for having bad links on your website. Make a routine check regularly to fish out, and delete links that don’t work anymore. This is important so you do not lose your position on SERPs.
Give It Time
Some things can only be gained with time. As time goes on, the results of your efforts will begin to show through. Doing all the right things in one day might not show positive results by tomorrow, but will definitely do in six months.
Ensure that both your content and optimization efforts are always top notch. This is the only way to positively influence your Domain Authority. According to MOZ, it is easier to grow a website’s DA from 30-40 than it is to grow from 70-80. If your DA isn’t where it needs to be, this means you still have a lot of work, and results, to see through.