The Basics Behind Domain Authority

Thorough and repeated evaluation of your business’s digital strategies is a key part of finding success in the hyper-competitive e-commerce market. One metric you would be remiss to exclude from that evaluation is Domain Authority, or DA. Below is a brief exploration into what Domain Authority is, how its calculated and how SMBs can use it to improve their Google rankings.

What is DA and how can it measure a website’s value? Essentially, DA is a score developed by Moz ranging from one to 100 used to predict how likely a website is to rank among search engine result pages, or SERPs. The higher the score, the greater likelihood of ranking and, therefore, being seen by more users.

It’s important to note that Domain Authority does not have an effect on the SERPs, as it is not a factor used in Google ranking. Rather, the score is used as a means to gauge a website’s performance in relation to its competitors and track its "ranking strength" over time.

How is a DA score calculated? First, data from a site’s Moz Link Explorer index and other sources are gathered. Then, that data is put into an advanced machine learning model to determine the most suitable algorithm to generate the predictions and an overall score. The calculation accounts for the quantity and quality of links that a webpage receives, as well as how often the domain appears in search results.

Because DA is founded on machine learning calculations, scores often fluctuate as the data points and other variables change. As such, it is essential that businesses refrain from using a DA score as an absolute system of measurement. Instead, it should be used as a comparative one. It’s also vital to check DA scores routinely. Companies can do so through Moz, in the SERP Analysis section of Keyword Explorer. Since this metric’s creation by Moz, other SEO tools have created their own version of Domain Authority scores.

Despite the fact that it isn’t used as an official ranking factor by Google, Domain Authority is valuable in that it provides insight into the health of your website. Going forward, you can use it to better gauge the link profiles of competitor sites within your target SERPs and include it in the evaluation of your digital strategies. That way, you can take steps to increase your score where you can, improve your ranking and gain the advantage over your competitors.

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