Let’s say you’re a dog owner and you write a blog post about your adorable dachshunds. You write your post, you hit “publish.” When you Google “blog post about dachshunds” your post doesn’t appear on page one of search results. Or page two. Or page 10 for that matter.
Instead, you might see BuzzFeed’s article 24 Dachshunds Who’ll Make You Go ‘Aw’ on page 1. And you might find the website of Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund on page 2, and the Denver Dachshund Rescue on page 10.
Why aren’t you outranking these sites? Well, there are a host of factors that go into rankings, but one big indicator that we use to measure how easily a site will rank for a given query is “Domain Authority”.
What is domain authority?
Domain Authority refers to the strength of your website. Or put another way, the ability for your website to rank highly for a given search query, all things being equal. And now that you know what it is, we’re going to call it “DA”, because SEO is full of awkward acronyms.
Domain Authority (DA) is measured on a logarithmic scale from 1-100. Because it’s logarithmic, there’s a ton of sites with low DA, relatively few sites with mid-range DA, and very few sites with high DA. To put that in real terms:
It’s important to point out that DA aggregates a bunch of different factors, in trying to approximate a search engine algorithm as closely as possible. Let’s take a look at some of the bigger factors here.
Many businesses and websites want to know how they can go about increasing domain authority and page authority.
Firstly, it’s important to point out that higher DA has no value as an end goal. It’s just an indicator. Higher DA is a fine thing to strive for, but we try to avoid having clients set DA targets as a goal. Improving your DA won’t make you any money.
What it should do is increase your traffic, which should lead to more conversions, which should make you more money. But if you’re measuring DA, you’re at least four “should’s” from your real goal, of making more money. So we prefer to measure conversions and traffic, and if at all possible, revenue.
While pursuing higher DA shouldn’t be a high priority end-goal, it can still be a useful metric to track. In fact, website domain authority is something that gets thrown around in the office a bit. However, the main way we use it is to identify quality outreach targets. These are high authority sites, with high quality content from which we’d like to earn links for our clients.
As mentioned above, links are a major factor in you improving the authority of your own site. When your website’s backlink profile is full of links from higher DA sites, you’ll see a greater impact than if you just had links from lower DA sites. To measure the domain authority of a website you can use a DA checker tool like Moz Link Explorer.
In my experience, when clients are asking about their DA, they’re usually just taking a less direct route to ask a question like “how are my SEO results?” or “how long is it going to take to see these indicators turn into revenue?” If you want to get into the brass tacks on these questions, check out our blog – “How Long Does SEO Take?”