Domain Authority, a number to determine the strength of a website, was developed by Moz.com. Similar to Alexa, Ahrefs and Google PageRank (which was effectively shelved several years ago), this is a prediction that combines a variety of link metrics to create a score to show you how powerful, trustworthy and authoritative your website is.
As more and more webmasters begin to pay attention to this number, many have wondered what it takes to increase their score. Before we jump into the steps, let’s take a quick glance at how this formula works.
In the SEO world, domain authority and page authority are the biggest indicators for how well a page of your site ranks for a relevant query. Accordingly, search experts prioritize them above all else. For the most part, there’s overlap here—a strong domain authority will lend itself to each of your individual pages, and any actions you take to increase the page authority of a specific page of your site will likely also contribute to your domain authority (in a smaller way).
The factors responsible for increasing your domain and page authority are diverse, and sometimes hard to improve. For example, the age and history of your domain is a major influencer in how authoritative it seems—but you can’t just tack on years to your experience to give it a worthwhile boost. Instead, most ongoing SEO programs rely on inbound, one-way link building as third-party indicators that a domain is valuable. The idea is, the more trustworthy the links that point to your site, the more trustworthy your site will be.
(Image Source: Moz)
Domain Authority metrics report on domain performance rankings on Google search results. Moz Analytics campaigns as well as Mozscape API contribute to those rankings. Score compilation of over 40 signals, including reporting from MozRank, MozTrust and Mozscape web index inform Domain Authority correlation of rankings. Per Moz’s latest update:
Rather than relying on a complex linear model, we’ve made the switch to a neural network. This offers several benefits including a much more nuanced model which can detect link manipulation.
We have greatly improved upon the ranking factors behind Domain Authority. In addition to looking at link counts, we’ve now been able to integrate our proprietary Spam Score and complex distributions of links based on quality and traffic, along with a bevy of other factors.
These fundamental improvements to Domain Authority will deliver a better, more trustworthy metric than ever before. We can remove spam, improve correlations, and, most importantly, update Domain Authority relative to all the changes that Google makes.
Domain Authority score indices are a 100 point, logarithmic scale. The more your score advances, the easier it is to improve it. Thus, growing a score closer to 100 rather than a score on the other end of the spectrum is more expedient. Comparison of search engine rankings offers a combined metric for aggregate performance modeling measure of your dedicated domain. The combined metric approach uses link scaling (i.e. linking root domains, number of links, MozTrust and MozRank) in reporting of a single score.
MozRank provides the global link popularity score for SEOmoz compares the ranking power or relative link value between URLs. With continuous updates, MozRank outperforms Google’s PageRank metric in frequency and precision. Average MozRank for a domain: 3.00.
The global link trust score for Moz, mozTrust is measures link trust rather than value. The measurement between the distance of the seeded trust source on the Web, and a given page determines the trust score. Seed trust are generally recognized, lead institutions and organizations such as governmental departments, not-for-profit organizations, scientific associations and university websites.
Other link metrics include measurement of total links, external followed links, linking root domains, followed linking root domains and linking C-blocks. Metric analysis of total links reports on all links. With total links metrics, more than a single link from the same URL is still treated as a single page. External followed links are measured from the external root domains for pages on a domain.
Linking root domains are the number of unique root domains containing at least a single linking page to a domain. Followed linking root domains are the number of domains with at least a single followed link for any page page signaled from the root domain. Linking C-blocks or group domains are administrate clusters of domains and the links between them. More than one domain on the same C-Block indicates ownership by the same party.
SERP results can be manipulated in co-efficient analyses in queries about domain wide rankings. Taken further, comparative frequencies in linear regression report median performance of domains across time. Prediction of SERP ordinals is also availed in Domain Authority, for reporting of higher to lower score values. Domain Authority has the capability to report on large aggregate datasets. For instance, aggregate metric reporting on 10,000 SERP can be analyzed for comparison of a single or multiple domains.
Domain Authority accuracy ratings are said to be in the 70% range. While hardly a normal standard deviation from mean performance in the conventional sense, self-reporting by the application is actual rather than trending in comparison with similar search engine analytic providers. Best proximate scores to domain-specific link metrics are possible by eliminating keyword specific features (i.e. anchor text, and on-page keyword usage). Scoring will then report query-independent or non-keyword-based ranking inputs rather than random selection.
For more information about Moz Domain Authority Scoring and other Moz software products, visit: www.moz.com
Link analysis data in Domain Authority taken directly from the Moz Mozscape index which is updated every 3 to 4 weeks. However, now Moz is updating their DA metrics in real-time, as links are recognized. The Mozscape index populates the data field with key information in the SEOmoz Web App for each campaigns. Moz tracking in Domain Authority offers result on the top 50 rankings. Although there is some delay in data population updates due to the now over 20,000 campaigns currently tracked in moz tracks, users can also obtain new data from Open Site Explorer.
Domain Authority is a marketing analytics software designed to assist in improving website domain and SEO advertising search engine ranking performance. Improve social media outreach, and increase brand awareness connected to your domain with Domain Authority’s compendium of Web-based power analytics tools. Improve the position of your domain across search engines with Domain Authority.
Moz members can join the 300,000+ community of SEO marketing specialists and Web analysts to find out more applications for Domain Authority scoring. Members have advice to Moz support services, as well as industry experts in a Mozinar. Benefit from knowledge sharing about Domain Authority scoring and reap the most rewards from reporting of domain performance against competitors.
Site authority is invisible, and difficult to precisely quantify. Some companies have tried to produce a definitive “authority” score, like Moz’s MozRank, but since Google doesn’t explicitly publish its ranking algorithm, it’s tough to know exactly what goes into a calculation of authority.
That being said, there are some important signs that only indicate sites with high authority:
Google doesn’t exactly frown on new players, but it does favor older, more established domains over new, unproven ones. Like it or not, if you’ve only been around for a year or so, you’ll have a hard time ranking against a major competitor with 10 years of domain history (assuming all other factors are equal). There’s no real substitute for this quality, and you can’t push time forward, so remain patient and work on establishing the other qualities on this list while your domain gradually earns more experience here.
Google heavily favors sites that post new content on a regular basis. A site that has posted a new article every day for the past five years will have a much higher authority than a year-old site that occasionally and sporadically posts new content. However, be warned that quantity isn’t everything here—in fact, a site that posts occasional, yet high-valued content will likely earn more authority than a site that posts constant, yet low-valued content. Make an effort to post new material consistently, but make sure it’s original, informative, or otherwise valuable to your users.
It’s impossible to exist as an authority unless you also cite outside authorities. Imagine turning in a research paper in college without a list of references; the same principle applies here. You can certainly post your own thoughts, opinions, and knowledge, but if you want to exhibit yourself as an authority, you’ll have to occasionally cite valuable outside sources. University and government sites, with .edu and .gov domain extensions, are good here, as are major industry experts. Try to back up all of your claims with pre-existing research, even if those claims are original.
Even more important than your links to outside sources are the links your outside sources point to you. An external domain linking to yours is an indication that your domain has provided original value worth citing, which immediately factors into your overall authority. Of course, not all links here are equal—links from high-authority sites, sites within your niche, and links from a diverse range of sources are all more valuable. Work to increase the value and volume of these links over time by syndicating your greatest content and offering guest posts for external blogs.
Onsite content can factor heavily into your overall domain authority, so make sure each of your pages is up-to-date and well-written. The three most important factors for onsite content are conciseness, which means you can’t include any fluff, informational appeal, which means your content must be valuable, and specific, which means your content should be written for your industry and target audience. To achieve higher ranks for certain topics, you’ll have to pay attention to your precise phrasing, but for domain authority, good, descriptive content is plenty.
The technical structure of your site needs to be up to modern standards. Your site map and navigation should be clear and decipherable. Your title tags and descriptions should be adequately and concisely filled out. You should also be including org microformatting, to ensure Google can pull rich snippets from your site. If you’re concerned you aren’t providing Google what it needs from a technical perspective, you can always log into Google Webmaster Tools and run some auditing scripts to see if there’s anything that needs correcting.
This is a big one, especially now that the majority of online traffic comes from mobile devices. Your site needs to be responsive, or at least optimized for mobile, and all your images, video, and content should load quickly and completely across all web browsers and devices. If Google detects any hiccups, errors, or ridiculously slow loading speeds, it could cause your domain authority to take a hit. On the other hand, if your site loads fully and quickly on every conceivable device, you’ll enjoy a much higher authority.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to building your Domain Authority. By implementing these tips, you should hopefully be able to see an increase in your score over time.
Want more information on link building? Head over to our comprehensive guide on link building here: SEO Link Building Guide
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