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What Does Domain Authority (DA) Mean?

Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by Moz.com who predict how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). It scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank within results.

Domain Authority is calculated combining many other link metrics — linking root domains, number of total links, MozRank, MozTrust, etc. — into a single DA score. This score can then be used when comparing one site to another. Otherwise it can be used for tracking the “ranking strength” of a website over time.

How is Domain Authority scored?

It is scored on a 100-point, logarithmic scale. Thus, it’s significantly easier to grow your score from 20 to 30 than from 70 to 80.

What is a “good” Domain Authority?

Generally speaking, sites with a very large number of high-quality external links (such as Wikipedia or Google.com) are at the top end of the Domain Authority scale. Small businesses and websites with fewer inbound links may have a much lower DA score. Brand new websites will always start with a Domain Authority score of one.

Because of how it is calculated (see “Technical definition of Domain Authority” below), it’s best used as a comparative metric (rather than an absolute, concrete score) when doing research in the search results and determining which sites may have more powerful/important link profiles than others. Because it’s a comparative tool, there isn’t necessarily a “good” or “bad” DA score.

Domain Authority vs. Page Authority

Whereas Domain Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of entire domains or subdomains, Page Authority measures the strength of individual pages.

How do I influence Domain Authority?

It can be difficult to influence directly. It is made up of an aggregate of other metrics (MozRank, MozTrust, link profile, and more) that each have an impact on the authority score. This was done intentionally; this metric is meant to approximate how competitive a given site is in Google search results. Since Google takes a lot of factors into account, a metric that tries to calculate it must incorporate a lot of factors as well.

The best way to influence the Domain Authority metric is to improve your overall SEO. In particular, you should focus on your link profile — which influences MozRank and MozTrust — by getting more links from other well-linked-to pages.

Why did my Authority change?

Because Domain Authority (and, for that matter, Page Authority) is comprised of multiple metrics and calculations. This means that pinpointing the exact cause of a change can be a challenge. If your score has gone up or down, there are many potential influencing factors including things like:

  • Your link profile growth was too recent and hasn’t yet been captured in the Mozscape web index. (It can take several index update cycles for newly acquired links to be included.)
  • The highest-authority sites experienced substantial link growth, skewing the scaling process.
  • You earned links from places that don’t contribute to Google ranking.
  • We crawled (and included in our index) more or fewer of your linking domains than we had previously.
  • Your domain authority is on the lower end of the scoring spectrum and is thus more impacted by scaling fluctuation.

The key to understanding Page and Domain Authority fluctuations is that these metrics don’t exist in a vacuum. They depend on many positive and negative factors so that even if a given site improves its SEO, its Authority score(s) may not always reflect it. If you have any more questions regarding this, feel free to contact us today.