How to Get High Domain Authority?
What is it?
Domain Authority (DA) is a score from 0-100-point scale- the higher the score, the better the site is likely to perform. The Moz's algorithm is a ranking that predicts how well a given site will rank on a search engine results page based mostly on the trustworthiness of the sites links, both internal and external.
The score is calculated by equating the linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank and MozTrust, amongst other factors of a web page, into a single score. Essentially, it calculates all the factors linking to search engine optimisation and provides a single score that accounts for all of them.
The algorithm is matched to most closely align with actual search rankings and predict, based on previous sites with specific rankings, where this site will rank.
There are over 40 factors used in calculating the Domain Authority score and they are forever changing. As a result, any sites score may change from day to day as more or less data points are used in the calculation. This constant changing is one of the main reasons why it is best to us this score as a relative measurement to compare with other, similar sites and not as an absolute measurement of the total SEO efforts.
How long does it take to increase Domain Authority (DA)?
Achieving a high Domain Authority score takes time and effort to achieve. It is not a simple ‘set and forget’ process either, it requires constant attention.
Building up SEO is the first step in achieving and then maintaining a comparatively good Domain Authority score. With quality link building, you should notice your DA improvement after 1-3 months. Beyond this, there are many factors (outlined in the below sections) as to why it might take more or less time to achieve a good score.
However, once a competitive score has been achieved, there is no guaranteeing that it will stay that way and hence requires constant change and development. So the answer to how long it takes is dependent on the starting point, range of competitors within the industry and the quality of the SEO firm employed. But that is just to rank well. It is a never ending effort to maintain a good score and out-rank competitors long term.
Why does it matter?
In the past, Google PageRank was accessible for all of the public to see and provided a ranking based on the trustworthiness of a page or site. Under this system, pages were ranked based on the number of links and their quality. It ended up that established sites would often achieve a higher rating (due to the increased number of quality links and newer sites would rank lower as they were yet to create enough links.
However, Google has since made PageRank private and so while Google still use it to assist in their algorithms, users and SEO firms can no longer use it to assist in site development. Domain Authority doesn’t exactly replace PageRank but it does provide a good insight into the strength of a website. More precisely, it creates an understanding of the link profile of a site which aids in answering where it will rank on Google’s search engine results page.
Building on this, Domain Authority scores help businesses to understand their rank and why it may be so. The reason why page rank is so important is because;
- It creates expanded opportunities for the business – being one of the higher ranked sites means that more opportunities will come as there is more exposure
- The higher the rank, the more traffic you’ll see – there is substantial research that shows pages not on the first page in search result basically go untouched for that search and therefore being one of the higher ranked sites increases the overall traffic to the site
- It creates a strong business image – sites at the top of the search results appear to be more successful and more trustworthy (and this is clearly what Google thinks too)
- You will increase conversions – this comes with the increased traffic however it is the nature of Google’s ranking system that will lead to more conversions. A higher ranking site will have better content and better external links, increasing conversions
Using the Domain Authority score, businesses are able to understand where they rank and why in regards to linking and trustworthiness. This then provides a platform to build on and attempt to improve the score through the appropriate SEO practices.
For example, if you check the DA for huffingtonpost.com, you will see that this website has almost 100 DA.
Huffingtonpost.com is a trustworthy website and people read/visit the website thousands times per day.
What does DA mean?
Domain Authority is far more of a comparative tool than it is an absolute tool. That is to say that it is important to compare the domain authority score to other ‘like’ businesses as opposed to large corporations. It is important to note that those sites with lots of external links (to pages like Wikipedia) are likely to have a higher score than sites with more internal links such as small businesses.
So what does your Domain Authority score mean? Well, it provides a relative and general metric as to how you are likely to perform in the search engine results pages compared to competitors. It is based mostly around the quality of your sites internal and external links.
These internal and external links add up to create the overall perception of authority that the given site has. Authority is an important measure as it provides a base for the trustworthiness and reliability of the site. This is the biggest insight that the Domain Authority score provides and therefore having better and more trustworthy links will lead to a better score.
It is again important to note that Google takes a lot more into account than just the trustworthiness and reliability of a site, but it’s a pretty good step.
How do you improve your database domain authority?
There are 3 ways to improve your website's DA:
1. Hire an SEO company. A professional SEO Agency like SEO Shark should improve your DA within a few months.
2. Write blog with quality content and you will get noticed (it might take a while to see any improvements).
3. DYI – write quality contentment, optimise your website and engage with others.
Because this score is made up of so many factors, it is difficult to influence directly. The reason for this is that the Domain Authority score is aimed at best replicating Google’s search ranking and because Google takes so many data points into account, the Domain Authority score must do the same.
Therefore, the best way to improve or influence your own Domain Authority score is to invest and improve the overall SEO.
There are a number of ways that overall SEO can be improved
- Increase page speed – This is one of the key drivers in Google’s ranking system, so having a faster page is likely to improve ranking.
- Target fewer derivations of keywords – keywords are becoming more and more specific as Google tightens its regulations. No longer can you have a keyword every 3 words through your content.
- Stick to the basics – Whilst the algorithms are important in achieving a good page rank, ensuring that the consumers see what is more attractive will get the best results since Google is always looking to provide the most relevant results to the search.
- Focus on UX – As search engines start to reward sites with better user experience, it is important to merge SEO with UX so that keywords don’t take place over the users experience.
- Shift towards mobile – Google has started to shift toward mobile pages more and more and is using it as a ranking factor so having a mobile friendly site is crucial.
- Quality backlinks – now that Google has changed its emphasis from quantity to quality, providing relevant and useful links to your site from other pages is becoming more significant
- Optimise internal links – this is the one area that a business has complete control over. This involves linking to relevant content the users will find helpful, linking from high page authority pages to low ones and linking from high traffic pages to high value pages to increase conversions.
- Eradicate bad links – run an audit to identify any bad links to your site. It is important to attain a list of links through a number of tools as no one source will have them all. Tools include; Google Search Console and Open Site Explorer.
- Create lots of quality, linkable content – creating lots of content will pay off in the long run. Without content, other sites will have no reason to link to your site and you will therefore struggle to move up the rankings.
These methods will all help to improve SEO and therefore aid in gaining a better Domain Authority score. Hiring a digital marketing or SEO specific firm to complete these steps will be the most efficient and reliable way to ensure that these processes are implemented in the best possible way.
Hiring a trusted SEO company can sometimes be difficult however there are a few things to look out for to make sure the right one is chosen;
- They don’t make big promises – quality SEO firms know that not everything is in their control when it comes to improving your Domain Authority score. This means that whilst rank and score will improve it in the long run, they won’t be guaranteeing any drastic improvements in the immediate future.
- They have had experience in your industry before. Whilst there are similarities across all forms of SEO, there are differences too and employing an experienced firm will ensure you get the best results possible.
- Given that links are a key feature of the Domain Authority score, some firms may insist “the more links the better”. This is not the case as it is important that all links are quality and relevant.
Be aware of any SEO lies, choosing a trusted and experienced SEO firm will help to ensure the improvements areas are attended too quickly and in the appropriate manner to improve your score long term. It is important to again stress that the Domain Authority score should be used only as a relative measure to competing sites and not as an absolute measure of SEO success.
Why and how does it change?
Because there are so many factors involved in calculating the Domain Authority score, there are endless reasons as to why it may change throughout the course of a day, week or month. There are factors outside of your sites metrics that can also influence change:
- The links that have recently been added are yet to be updated by the indexing system. Sometimes it can take a few cycles for the updated links to be included in the index.
- There was significant link growth experienced by the high scoring sites that in turn skewed the scaling process.
- There have been less or more links included from your site in the most recent index than in previous indexes.
- If your Domain Authority score is on the lower end of the spectrum, then scaling fluctuation will have a more noticeable impact.
- The factors are always adjusting and being updated because Google is also doing this. Changes in the algorithm may positively or negatively influence how your site ranks.
It is possible that a Domain Authority score goes down even after improvements in various areas of SEO. This is because it is all a relative measure and compares to the other sites within the search engine. For example, assume site A is currently ranked #1 and site Z is currently ranked #8. Before the next index cycle, both sites improve their SEO. Following the completion of the next index cycle, site Z is now ranked #1 and site A is now ranked #4. This is because it is possible for site Z to have improved at a faster rate and more significantly than site A.
This example emphasises the reasons behind change and why it must be taken in accordance to a comparative ranking and not an absolute one.
How do you check it?
Finding a site’s Domain Authority is relatively simple as the metrics are incorporated into a number of SEO and online marketing platforms. The Moz Open Site Explorer can be used to measure Domain Authority and is as simple as inserting the URL, before a result is produced within seconds.
There are many other ways to track the Domain Authority such as; MozBar, Keyword Explorer or simply search “Domain Authority score” and many results will come up. MozBar is particularly useful as it is a Chrome extension that will then measure the Domain Authority of any site automatically.
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