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Knowing the ins and outs of domain authority can help you direct your digital strategy in the right direction. If you want to know how likely your domain is to show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs), you can use a metric called Domain Authority (DA).

Domain Authority is a Moz-developed search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). Domain Authority scores go from 1 to 100, and the higher the score, the better the chance of ranking.

Domain Authority is calculated using dozens of factors based on data from Moz’s Link Explorer web index. The Domain Authority calculation itself employs machine learning to find a “best fit” algorithm that most closely correlates link data with rankings across thousands of actual search results that are used as benchmarks.

What Does Domain Authority Metric Look Like?

It should be noted that Google does not use Domain Authority as a ranking factor when determining where to place websites in search results. As a result, it is not a factor that would raise a website’s position in the search engine results page (SERPs). Domain authority, on the other hand, is a reliable indicator that can be used to gauge how well your site performs in comparison to rivals.

These days, it’s not just Moz that uses this metric. SEO software like SEMrush has developed its own Authority metric, an algorithm that takes into account factors like backlinks, referring domains, and search traffic volume, among others. Although it isn’t a direct factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, it is a helpful indicator of how well-established your site is in comparison to the competition.

Exactly where can I find out my Domain Authority metric?

Moz’s Link Explorer lets you check your site’s Domain Authority without cost. Simply enter the main URL of your domain to see your Domain Authority score.

Hubspot Domain Authority

The digital tool also includes metrics such as the total number of keywords for which this website is ranking within the top 50 positions on Google (Ranking Keywords), the total number of unique external linking domains (Linking Domains), and the total number of pages linking to a page (Inbound Links), among others.

Hubspot Top Pages and Top Linking Domains

How is Domain Authority determined?

Domain Authority is determined by combining several factors, such as linking root domains and total number of links, into a single DA score. This score can then be used to compare websites or track a website’s “ranking strength” over time. Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and has no effect on search engine results pages (SERPs).

The Domain Authority 2.0 update in early 2019 derived a domain’s DA score from a machine learning algorithm’s predictions about how frequently Google uses that domain in its search results. If domain A is more likely than domain B to appear in a Google SERP, we would expect domain A’s DA to be higher.

Because DA is based on machine learning calculations, the score of your site will frequently fluctuate as more, fewer, or different data points become available and are incorporated into those calculations. For example, if received a billion new links, every other site’s DA would fall in comparison to Pinterest’s.

Because more established and authoritative domains, such as Pinterest, will have larger link profiles, they will take up more high-DA slots, leaving less room at the top of the scale for other domains with less robust link profiles. As a result, increasing your score from 20 to 30 is much easier than increasing it from 70 to 80. As a result, it’s critical to think of Domain Authority as a comparative metric rather than an absolute one.

What does a good or average Domain Authority score look like?

Sites with a high number of high-quality external links (such as or are generally at the top of the Domain Authority scale, whereas small businesses and websites with fewer inbound links may have much lower DA scores. Exploring Moz’s list of the top 500 websites on the web can help you understand how Domain Authority and other link-based metrics affect a site’s rankings and popularity. A brand-new website will always have a Domain Authority score of one, and that score will rise over time as the site accumulates more and more authoritative backlinks.

Because Domain Authority predicts a site’s ability to rank within its specific competitive landscape, you should not choose your target DA arbitrarily. Examine the DA scores of the sites with which you compete directly in the SERPs and strive to outperform them. When investigating sites within your target SERPs that may have more powerful link profiles than you do — your true competitors — DA is best used as a comparative metric. Because the metric is relative, there are no absolute “good,” “average,” or “bad” Domain Authority scores; only scores that are “good,” “average,” or “bad” within the context of a specific competitive landscape.

How do I boost my Domain Authority?

Because of the complexities of DA scores, there is no single level that defines a good or bad score. However, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you should aim to outperform their domains.

There are five main approaches to this.

1. Analyze your backlinks

Your website’s backlinks, or “link profile,” is the complete list of all the sites that link to yours. Google gives more weight to rankings that feature inbound links from credible sources. So, whether the topic is fashion or “what is a freekick?”, you should only link to reputable resources. You can determine which links are useful and which ones need to be replaced by using an SEO tool.

2. Produce high-quality content

Metrics of user engagement, such as page views and time on site, can have a significant impact on your overall grade. In order to increase your ranking, you must provide useful information to your readers.

3. Get high quality backlinks

That’s right; doing so is a crucial part of raising your DA rating. The so-called “skyscraper method” can be used for this purpose. It’s a technique in content marketing in which you analyze your rivals’ articles and tweak your own to outperform them. That increases its potential for attracting high-quality inbound links.

4. Keep your content up to date

If a page is missing content or has a low page authority score, you should revisit it and add relevant content. Read our blog post for more information on benefits of updating old content.

5. Make your content heard

Spread the word on your content through non-traditional means, such as a newsletter or social media.

The process of increasing your Domain Authority is time-consuming and does not yield visible results right away. However, if you follow these guidelines, you will be able to boost your website’s visibility in search engine results pages, which will ultimately increase your site’s traffic.

Why did my Domain Authority score change?

Because Domain Authority is comprised of multiple metrics and calculations, determining the precise cause of a change can be difficult. If your score has increased or decreased, there are numerous potential influencing factors, including:

  • Your link profile growth has not yet been indexed by Moz’s web crawler.
  • The most authoritative sites saw significant link growth, skewing the scaling process.
  • You obtained links from sources that do not contribute to your Google ranking.
  • Moz crawled (and indexed) more or fewer of your linking domains than in a previous crawl.

Because your Domain Authority is at the lower end of the scoring spectrum, scaling fluctuations have a greater impact on it.

The 2019 implementation of Domain Authority 2.0 had an impact on your site, resulting in a 6% average decrease in DA across all websites due to restructuring and improvements to the way DA is calculated.

Understanding Domain Authority fluctuations requires understanding that each domain’s score is based on comparison to other domains all across the DA scale, so even if a website improves its SEO, its Authority score may not always reflect that. As a theoretical example, consider how “best of” rankings work:

Hubspot explains this with a great example. Is Singapore guaranteed to remain at the top of the best air quality list if it has the best air quality in 2020 and then improves it even more in 2021? What if Denmark improves its air quality as well, or what if New Zealand joins the rating system with extremely high air quality in 2021 after being excluded in 2020? Perhaps the countries ranked 2-10 all improved dramatically, while Singapore drops to #11 despite improved air quality during that time. Because the scale has changed, Singapore’s ranking could change regardless of their actions (or inaction).

Domain Authority operates in a similar manner. Because it is based on machine learning and is constantly compared to every other website on the scale, recalculations after each update mean that the score of a given site may go down even if that site has improved its link profile. This is the nature of a scaled, relative system. As a result — and this is important enough to mention again — authority scores are best viewed as comparative rather than absolute metrics.

Difference Between Domain and Page Authority

While Domain Authority evaluates how likely a website as a whole is to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs), Page Authority evaluates how likely individual pages are to rank.

With this information, you can assess how well specific web pages (like blog posts or product pages) are performing and identify those that could use some work to improve their overall SEO ranking. In other words; using the Page Authority metric, you can determine which pages in your digital strategy have the most room for development and expansion, allowing you to focus on those with the greatest potential for growth.

Each page’s predictive ranking strength is measured by Page Authority, while a domain’s or subdomain’s is measured by Domain Authority. You can read our article on what page authority is and ways to boost it, to learn more about Page Authority.