Discover the new Domain Authority and learn how to optimize it with these 5 strategies – WAU
Domain Authority is an indicator created by Moz to demonstrate the strength of a website in Google ranking. But do you know how to check this score? And how to use it? Follow this article to understand what it is and how to optimize Domain Authority!
THE domain authority is a powerful indicator for SEO strategy: this metric predicts the likelihood that a site will be well positioned in Google’s results. Therefore, optimizing Domain Authority can be very useful for your strategy.
But it doesn’t come from a crystal ball, okay? Domain Authority (DA) was developed by Moz, a reference when it comes to SEO. The company created an algorithm that tries to simulate Google’s view of the sites and, for that, it covers several factors that determine the ranking.
Recently, in March 2019, Moz announced an update to this metric, which makes it even more accurate. Therefore, we will present here what changes have been made and how to optimize Domain Authority from now on.
Follow along to understand everything!
What is Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is an indicator created by Moz that shows how well positioned a website will be in Google’s search results. This probability is demonstrated by a score, ranging from 1 to 100. The higher it is, the more likely the site will reach the top.
To determine this score, the Domain Authority analyzes Moz’s link index and considers a number of factors that are part of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. They include, essentially, the quality of the backlinks to your website, which, it seems, have great weight for Google’s algorithm.
Like Google, Moz also uses machine learning models to improve Domain Authority when analyzing search results. For this reason, the calculations are constantly adapting according to the learning of the algorithm and, therefore, they can generate a natural fluctuation in the DA scores.
Difference between Domain Authority and Page Authority
Domain Authority and Page Authority are indicators of Moz. They are developed with the same methodology and seek to approach Google’s vision to predict the chances of positioning a link in the search.
The big difference is that Page Authority measures the rating strength of a single page, while Domain Authority evaluates entire domains and subdomains.
Tools to check your authority indicators
You can check the authority of your website’s pages and domain in free Moz tools:
- Link Explorer: formerly Open Site Explorer, presents a complete report on backlinks, better performing content, anchor texts, in addition to the Domain Authority and Page Authority;
- MozBar: extension for Google Chrome that analyzes any page visited and presents a quick report with the main metrics for SEO (including Domain Authority and Page Authority).
For more complete and detailed reports, you can create a paid account on Moz Pro, a tool with advanced features for SEO strategies.
Domain Authority 2.0 updates
We know that Google makes frequent updates to the search algorithm to increase its intelligence. The intention is to prioritize more and more sites with better content for users and remove those who spam and offer a negative experience.
Moz also knows this very well. Therefore, it also needs to periodically update the Domain Authority indicator so that it continues to represent “as faithfully as possible – the behavior of the Google robot.
Therefore, in March 2019, the company launched a new version of its indicator: Domain Authority 2.0.
To improve the score, the algorithm started to consider new factors, which were arranged in a new model of machine learning, more sophisticated and precise. Moz introduced some technical changes that happened:
- change from a complex linear model to a neural network, capable of better detecting link manipulation;
- improvements in the ranking factors behind Domain Authority and in the integration between spam score (Spam Score) and the link network, based on quality and traffic;
- new index of industry links (Moz Link Explorer), with more data and more accurate statistical work.
Thus, the Domain Authority now delivers a result even closer to Google about the likelihood of your site’s placement.
Moz further clarifies that, due to this change, it is natural for the DA to fluctuate more or less, in search of a more reliable score. What really matters is that you will be able to more accurately assess the strength of your website and that of your competitors.
What is the domain authority indicator for?
Domain Authority has become one of the key indicators for the SEO industry. Developed by one of the big companies in the sector and based on artificial intelligence, it is a reliable metric to evaluate and support your strategies.
Here’s how you can use it.
Evaluate your SEO strategies
The Domain Authority score usually reflects the performance of your SEO actions. If you get good backlinks, for example, it tends to increase (although it includes several other factors).
Then, over time, you can see the impact of your strategies. Do not expect, however, an immediate effect: SEO requires patience to generate effects in the medium and long term.
Compare the site with competitors
You can also view your competitors’ Domain Authority and do a competitive analysis. Understand your position in the market for the keywords for which you compete. This way, you will have parameters on how much you need to improve and what you can do for it.
Choosing good link building partners
In a link building strategy, you should aim for partners that generate good backlinks.
So, when choosing the sites for a partnership, it is interesting to check their Domain Authority, to connect your site with authority marks in the eyes of Google.
How to use the domain authority indicator in your strategy?
A lot of people get confused thinking that Domain Authority is one of Google’s ranking factors. But not quite.
This indicator is a property of Moz and was created without any link with Google. Its role is only to simulate the evaluation that the search engine robot does on the sites.
Therefore, it does not affect the search results! Domain Authority should only be used as an indicator of the success of optimization strategies, ok?
Domain Authority as a relative metric
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What DA score should my site have?”
However, this question does not have a definitive answer. There is not necessarily a “good” or “bad” score for Domain Authority.
This metric is best explored when you analyze the value in relation to your competitors or your own performance over time. That is, it should be used as a relative tool, not absolute.
This also means that you don’t have to despair if your Domain Authority goes down. Before thinking “everything went wrong!”, Look at the competitors and see if they didn’t fall, either. This can happen, for example, due to a Google update that affects all sites in your industry.
In fact, it is worth informing here that the sites with the highest DA score (close to 100) are giants like Facebook, Amazon and Wikipedia. Unless you think your site is as big as these, you can see that it’s hard to aim for the top score, right? Therefore, the ideal is to look at your neighbors as parameters for the Domain Authority.
Other SEO Indicators
To assess your strategy, Domain Authority is just one of the key SEO indicators. There are many other metrics that can indicate whether you’re on the right track.
One of them is the Page Authority, also from Moz, which we have presented before. It demonstrates the strength of unique pages in the Google ranking and can help you understand the performance of specific content. For this, you can also track the position of the pages in the ranking for certain keywords.
Traffic indicators (such as number of visits and link CTR in SERP) are also important to show how many visitors you can attract. These metrics help to prove the value of SEO, since you do not pay for their click, as in paid media.
Conversion indicators (sales and lead generation, for example) are essential to assess the optimization performance in generating effective business results.
And the link building strategy, how can you evaluate? It is necessary to monitor the number of links earned in a given period and, especially, how many of them are from authority sites.
Then, with all these indicators, you will have a complete view on the performance of your actions to conquer Google.
How to optimize Domain Authority?
Domain Authority is not a metric that you can directly influence. Since it is made up of several factors (such as Google’s algorithm), you need to work on the various elements of an SEO strategy to improve your score.
You also need to understand that optimizing Domain Authority does not necessarily mean that your score will go up.
There are many other external factors at play. If a strong competitor enters the market or another site improves your score much more, for example, it may be that your ranking will decrease, even with good optimization actions.
Remember if: Domain Authority is an essentially comparative metric.
But, to compete with your best weapons, you need to adopt SEO strategies to optimize Domain Authority. Now, then, let’s point out the main actions you should take for this.
1. Identify your competitors
To optimize Domain Authority, you must first identify what your goal is. As we said, “reaching a 100” can be an unproductive goal, since you will hardly get there.
And it doesn’t make sense to aim so high without looking at your competitors. It is in comparison with them that you will understand what your position is within the subjects and the market in which your site operates.
For that, then, it is necessary to know how to identify your competitors. You should analyze which sites are in your category, their size and which appear for the same keywords as you. They are the ones who compete with you for a space at SERP when searching for the user.
In the Keyword Explorer tool, also from Moz (and other tools like SEMrush), you can search for a specific term. In addition to other metrics, the report presents the main sites that appear for this search and their respective authority indicators (PA and DA).
From there, you identify whether your score is good and can set an optimization goal. Also, analyze your competitors’ profile and understand why some have higher or lower Domain Authority.
2. Analyze your site’s backlinks profile
For Google, the analysis of the network of links between sites is at the origin of its algorithm. That’s how he started to identify which pages were most relevant on the internet. The logic was the same as that of citations in academic papers – the more an author is cited, the more relevant he is in that subject.
But the algorithm has been improved over the years to also understand the quality of the links that point to a website. It is useless to be linked by several untrusted sites, because it shows that your site is probably unreliable as well. “Tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are”, you know?
So to optimize Domain Authority and show that you are a good reference, you need to have a profile of reliable and quality backlinks. For this, it is necessary to increase the number of backlinks from authority sites and eliminate low quality ones.
See below how to adopt these measures.
3. Look for partnerships with sites that have AD greater than yours
To show that you are a reference, you need to surround yourself with sites that have authority. Even better is to get backlinks from sites with more authority than yours, as they transmit more link juice.
You can identify which sites are using Moz’s tools – Link Explore and MozBar – that inform your competitors’ Domain Authority. Also make sure they’re in your industry, to make Google more credible.
After identifying good potential partners, you can propose the creation of guest posts or co-marketing, which generate links to your website.
To pass link juice, these backlinks must not contain the “nofollow” attribute, which prevents Google from associating the two domains. If this attribute exists, the link will only serve to generate traffic and branding (which, of course, is also valid).
4. Eliminate low quality backlinks
In addition to gaining positive backlinks, it is also necessary to eliminate low quality ones, which damage your image before Google.
This can happen when the site hires an untrusted SEO company, participates in link schemes or simply makes the mistake of creating artificial links. But it is never too late to fix these problems.
When accessing Google Search Console, you can access “Links to your site”, in the Search Traffic menu. In this list, identify the unwanted links and check, domain by domain, which ones have the lowest AD to eliminate them from there.
If you know the site owner, you can request the removal of the unwanted link or request the inclusion of the “nofollow” attribute.
If you prefer Google to do this, indicate unwanted links so that the search engine ignores them when indexing your site. To do this, use the Disavow links tool in Google Search Console.
5. Create content that people want to link to
Year in, year out, and the maxim follows: content remains king! He dictates the success of your Content Marketing and SEO strategies. Without quality content and relevance to the public, the results do not appear.
In a link building strategy, content also plays an important role. Before thinking about making partnerships to earn backlinks, you need to look inside and see if your pages have the potential to engage the public and receive links from other sites.
Visitors must enter your site and think that that content is the best, most useful and most relevant that they have ever read. To do this, aim at the persona profile and the doubts and needs of your consumers, according to the purchase journey.
So, naturally, your pages will be referenced in different content, to show Google that you are an authority on that subject.
Now you know everything to optimize Domain Authority and take advantage of the improvements from the recent update of this metric. Moz improved its algorithm to generate an even more reliable score and to base the strategies with more reliability.
With the above tips, then, you will notice an improvement not only in the Domain Authority, but also in the SEO results in general.
Here we talk a lot about link building, which is the most influential strategy in Domain Authority. But it is also important to know about the optimization of the factors of your pages. So, read now on how to do SEO On Page on your website or blog.