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What is Domain Authority?

Before the internet became the largest source of information globally, knowledge was unbiasedly stored in encyclopedias and filing cabinets sorted by alphabetical order or date. Today, marketing strategies, algorithms and scoring systems are implemented on search engines to present relevant information to consumers based on their behavior and interests. When someone searches a question, then searches the same question one year later, the results are almost always different – incognito or not. 

Search engines host a digital encyclopedia of content that is used by the marketing industry to implement SEO techniques in an effort to appear within the first page of a given topic. More recently, the industry has gone further by implementing a Domain Authority (DA) score – a system with a correlation between logarithmic scales and page rankings. 

DA pages are rated on a scale from 0-100 logarithmically rather than linearly; meaning, a website can easily achieve a jump from 10 to 20, but transitioning your DA from 40 to 50 requires more effort. A high DA score can contribute to the likelihood of a particular web page to appear at the top of a search results page; however, other factors contributing to the overall quality of the page are more important.

To improve your search visibility, we recommend to do the following:

  1. Link-building your website. With regards to a DA score, the largest consideration should be placed on link-building. Link-building requires that websites remain conscious of the quality of the backlinks leading to their content. It is also important to be proactive against getting links from irrelevant or negative sites, such as those which pose more harm than good (adult content). Low-quality links result in penalization and a lower DA score.
  2. Link-building individual content. Consider the specific pages of your site that are most important to rank and then build those links effectively.

    There is a high correlation between organic traffic and the number of referring domains, so the return is proportional to the amount of new, specialized content that is produced and linked to. When debating which links to get, always lean towards authoritative and high-quality websites, or sites that have shown a steady increase in DA and traffic over time. When a linked site’s DA increases, yours can too. Having a higher rank in search engines requires both quality and quantity. You can get a DA score of 10-20 with multiple high-quality backlinks to your content, but to achieve 40, 50 or even 80, you need quality content on both sides.
  3. Implement quality content & SEO. To build your DA score from the 10-20 range, towards 80 and 90, you need quality content. On their Quality of Content page, Google states that “if other prominent websites link to the page (what is known as PageRank), that has proven to be a good sign that the information is well-trusted.” PageRank is Google’s own algorithmic scale; however, there are multiple other sites that can be used to check a site’s DA score, such as Open Site Explorer and Ahrefs.

Though a high DA score indicates success, it is not indicative of it. In other words, a DA score is not useless, but useful in its context.

For example, a DA score is a great resource for comparing the performance of your site to competitors within your industry. It also helps you understand your ability to compete on content that has not been written yet (by finding competitors with a high DA score and seeing the quality and quantity of content on their website). A good DA score is also important to a particular set of clients or a target audience that puts importance on it. In this context, you can use it as a tool to make your company or service stand out.

Certain other tools can be implemented for you to rank in the top search results and software programs such as SEM rush are widely available. However, we recommend working with an outside company for the best results. An outside perspective is impactful when looking to influence the direction of your company towards success, and sometimes the only way to influence internal company structures.

Notes is a collection of articles, analysis, in-depth research and thinking from our firm, published with the purpose of transmitting information, of all kinds, to protect our clients.