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What is Domain and Page Authority?

Published date: 31st July 2014
Last modified: 31st July 2014

“Create a high-performing website that ranks well on search engines.”

Now that’s a daunting task! There’s endless advice on how to optimise your site for search, and countless things you can do, but how do you know what works and what doesn’t?

Measuring the effectiveness of your efforts is difficult, and Google’s Page Rank hardly helps. That’s why alternative metrics such as Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) were released to help you with the daunting task of ranking your site.

What is Domain Authority?

Moz first developed DA to predict the performance of a website in search engine results. It is a website metric that quantifies the overall performance of a website based on some key factors (we’ll discover those later). Webmasters then use this metric to track the strength of a website over time or compare one site with another. It’s similar to Google Page Rank and Alexa Ranking, but instead it’s a new metric used to gauge the efforts of internal SEO.

What is Page Authority?

Unlike DA, Page Authority (PA) is a website metric that quantifies the overall performance of a single page. The higher the PA, the higher your page will be shown in the search results based on relevant keywords. It refers to the performance of a single page, whereas DA refers to a whole site.

Key Factors

To calculate the overall performance of a website, many factors are considered. And the best way to improve the ranking of your site is to optimise it for search (SEO).

These are the factors which will most affect your site (so pay attention!):

Links

  1. Incoming: Moz uses two metrics to gauge the important of income links, called MozRank and MozTrust. MozRank represents the link popularity score —the important of any given page on the internet. MozTrust, on the other hand, measures link trust —where the links are coming from. The biggest ‘trust’endorsements are from major universities (.edu domains) and important government (.gov) sites, etc.
  1. Outgoing: This means how many outbound links you have in your website. Links going out to spam websites will undoubtedly lower your score, so try to link to a site that has a DA score greater than 50 to increase your visibility in top search results.

Take care when optimising in- and outbound links to your site (and certainly don’t buy them).

Domain Age

The older the domain, the more important it is. Although this isn’t something you can control (time-machine, anyone?), it’s worth mentioning.

Link Diversity

Having 1000 inbound links from a trusted, high-quality website is great, but it’s not enough. The diversity of your links is just as important. So having 1000 links from 1000 trusted, high-quality websites would be much better.

And remember —buying links is no good. Manipulating your DA or PA isn’t possible, and trying to do so could actually harm your ranking.

Fresh Content with Unique Titles

As we all know, content is king. You can boost the authority of your domain by providing fresh, unique content that readers (and search engines) will love. However, always write for the reader first, search engine second; more important than keyword density is the time spent on the page or website, etc.

Social Websites

Guiding your audience to share your content is a necessity —social media now plays a huge role in website ranking. It’s debatable whether social links themselves have an effect on your ranking, but the potential for traffic (and hence increasing the metrics which matter) is huge.

And to improve your ranking in Google, it’s worth mentioning Google+ –likely the most important social website due to its tight relationship with Google, so definitely start building an audience if you haven’t already.

Domain and Page Authority are both important metrics which can help guide your website towards ranking success. Watch them closely, for they can both give you hints and tips on how you can improve your online real estate.

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