The success of any search engine optimization (SEO) strategy depends on many factors, but one that doesn’t get much time in the spotlight is domain authority (DA). This is unfortunate because, while it’s not a ranking factor, the impact of domain authority on SEO can be tremendous.
Let’s have a look at what domain authority is, how it impacts what we do with SEO and different ways we can apply it to our strategies.
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What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is a prediction of how likely it is for one website domain to outrank another domain. Every website domain receives a domain authority score between one and 100—the higher the score, the higher the domain authority.
For example, a website with a DA score of 92 will likely have its website pages ranking higher than a website with a DA of 65.
How Do You Get a High DA Score?
It’s impossible to fully understand the methodology behind DA scores because they’re based on algorithms. However, they are a prediction of how well the domain will do. What we do know is that high-quality links pointing to your site are always a positive signal for search engines, so it’s worth it to build more of these backlinks and disavow bad links. Learn more about the different kinds of links in this post.
What About the Domain Authority and Page Authority?
You may have heard page authority (PA) referenced in discussions around domain authority, and for a good reason. Essentially, domain authority influences page authority; that is, higher domain authority scores usually correlate to higher page authority scores. You can read more about the relationship between domain authority and page authority for more in-depth insight.
The Impact of Domain Authority on SEO
While a higher DA score doesn’t influence SEO directly, it can impact the results of our SEO campaigns. For example, since higher scores usually correlate with higher search engine rankings, we can lean on our domain authority even when trying to rank for a competitive search term or keyword. The high DA score is a prediction of higher rankings.
How to Apply Domain Authority to SEO Work
- Comparative analysis. Since domain authority is a comparative tool, it can be helpful to compare your score to those of the domains you’re directly competing within search results. If your competitor has a higher score than you, then you will want to consider ways to increase your score, thereby increasing your chances of ranking higher in search results than your competitors.
- Improve or increase content. If you know you have a lower DA score, then you may want to focus your efforts on creating more or better content. When you have high-quality content, it’s more likely other websites will link to it, which in turn boosts your domain authority (as long as those sites have higher domain authority).
- Check the value of referring sites. If you analyze the websites sending links to your website, then you want to make sure only high-quality sites are pointing to you. One way to ensure quality is by checking that site’s DA score.
- Evaluate link outreach efforts. Are there websites you want to be sending links to your website, like an educational or news site? Before you do, you can—and should—check their DA scores as a proxy for how well their pages rank in search. The higher the domain authority, the more likely their links will boost your domain authority as a natural result.
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