Domain Authority, or DA, is a crucial factor in determining a site’s placement in search engine results is one of the most important elements of any effective SEO campaign. It’s a metric created by Moz that determines a site’s overall authority in its focus area and its trustworthiness for users. Sites with a high DA score are more likely to appear near the top of search engine results and will thus receive more traffic.
Sites have an overall DA score as well as scores for individual web pages. You can check domain authority for either of these, and this can be a great indicator of what your site is doing well and which areas need improvement.
DA is determined by a wide variety of factors, but generally speaking, the higher the quality of your site’s content, the higher your DA score will be. The number of backlinks your site has, as well as the quality of them, has a huge influence on the overall score. It’s important for these links to be unique to have the best positive influence. Naturally, other reputable sites linking to your content will also have a positive effect.
DA is calculated on a scale of 1-100. New sites will always start with a score of 1, and the score will increase based on the site’s quality and trustworthiness. It is significantly easier to improve the score when it’s still low, as compared to the more competitive high scores. While improving your DA can be a difficult process, it’s important to also remember that DA is simply a comparative measure of a site’s quality. This means that, in order to have high placement in search results, you simply need a higher score than your direct competitors. There isn’t really such a thing as a universally good or bad DA. Rather, the emphasis is really just on simply standing out in your niche.
Improving your DA
Your DA score is difficult to influence directly, and this is largely intentional. As search engines have highly complex and competitive methods for determining a site’s quality, DA scores were designed to be similarly complicated. Perhaps the most reliable way to improve your DA is to work on your link building. This has always been one of the most basic components of an SEO effort and many professionals still consider it the hardest aspect. It’s crucial to keep the big picture in mind when forming a link building strategy, and prioritize relationships with other influencers in your area.
Keep your users in mind when designing or making improvements to your site. Ultimately, their experience is the most important factor in your success. A site that is difficult to navigate or one with a frustrating interface is a site users will not return to. Make sure your site is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices, and add intuitive search functions and any other tools that you think could keep users coming back.
Speaking of return business, it’s important to regularly monitor your site’s traffic. A drop in traffic could mean that you’ve been hit with a search engine penalty. Under certain circumstances, Google may block links from its search results and negatively impact your rankings. The most common reason for these penalties is having low-quality or “toxic” backlinks. These may include links from sites banned by Google’s algorithms, sites irrelevant to your topic, gaming sites, and untrustworthy spam pages.
While there’s no doubt that everyone would love to develop a “future proof” strategy for their sites, you have to remember that the way DA is calculated can be changed at any time, and search engines can also make changes to their algorithms. Such changes are typically announced well ahead of time, so you’ll be able to make appropriate adjustments so long as you’re keeping a close watch.