What Is Domain Authority

What Is Domain Authority?

People have been asking what is domain authority, and hearing that it's similar to Google Page Rank. That is definitely not true.

Because it's caused so much confusion - and commotion - I thought I'd talk about it a little bit.

Let's make it clear - it is a thing. The SEO software company , Moz created it. And in my opinion, they created a monster. Why? Because Google stopped updating the Page Rank metric we'd gotten used to, and since Nature abhors a vacuum, somebody needed to step in to keep us SEOers neurotic about how good a site is.

Domain Authority, Defined

Anyways, straight from Moz's mouth, here is what domain authority is:

"Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank."

It's a number. From zero to 100. And you, the SEOer, have no control over it.

And what is Domain Authority based on? From Moz, again:

"Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and number of total links, into a single DA score."

(Bolding is mine).

And it's a metric that many, many SEOers use in a vacuum - in my opinion - to determine whether or not a web site is "good." Whatever the hell that means.

But here's the thing - there are absolutely shitty, spammy sites that have a good DA score!

high domain authority does not make a good site

These sites have a robust DA due to most likely hundreds of links pointing to their pages.

Now, page rank was also calculated on the quality of links pointing to a domain and individual URLs. It was part of Google's algorithm. There's a lot of debate as to whether or not it's still used. I think it still plays a part, but I also think it's been watered down to allow other algorithm factors, such as https, page/site speed load times, in-depth content and other elements determine URL rankings in search results.

That being said, DA is used almost exclusively by some savvy webmasters who, when doing link building, concentrate only on sites that typically have a DA higher than 30, for example. That's all fine and good, but focusing on domain authority causes these folks to miss out on fantastic sites that may have a score in single digits.

And besides, it's ironic that to get a good DA score you need links to your site! So it's kind of a chicken and egg issue - where to start?

I don't know about you, but I don't obsess over a number. I go to a site, look at the layout, navigation, content and overall feeling I get from it. Does it have valuable, accurate information? Is it easy to find the most important content? Would I be ashamed to get a link from/to this site?

So now that you know what domain authority is, don't lose sleep over it. Look past the number to see the quality of a site.

Want to learn more about creating a good site that's useful? Take an SEO training class with Invenio! You get free SEO coaching, an SEO priority action plan and the most up to date knowledge, skills, processes, tactics and techniques.

Until we meet again, stay safely between the ditches!

All the very best to you,

Nancy McDonald

Screen shot courtesy of author, July 2019.

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