Understanding domain authority is something that you must know all about SEO. Yes, it is right. Anything that affects your SEO score will ultimately influence DA.
But every content marketer or SEO expert knows that it’s hard to maintain an optimal SEO score. They put countless efforts to keep their ranking constant. But there is always up and down.
If someone asks me what is SEO then I’ll say, it’s a process where webmasters put their efforts in a right way to maintain the ranking in search engine by concerning site authority, user experience and content.
Site authority (SA) doesn’t mean DA instead, it considers everything that can make a site more authoritative. SA includes DA, page authority, citation flow, trust, domain age, domain link profile and backlink quality etc. MOZ considers SA as a domain level link feature.
You would be thinking that which of the following factors improve a website authority?
Don’t worry, just keep reading
MOZ experts did a study and found that Domain-level-link features have more potential than other features to influence the DA.
From above, one thing is clear that only sharing your content on social media won’t work for you. You need to work on every single element of SEO. And you must know that Domain authority is also an element of SEO.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started…
- What is Domain Authority?
- 40 Domain Authority Factors That MOZ Probably Considers To Calculate
- #1. Quality of backlinks
- #2. Domain age
- #3. The number of domains that link to your website
- #4. Link equity
- #5. Link Relevancy
- #6. HTTP status
- #7. Page authority
- #8. MozTrust
- #9. MozTrust spam/ spam score
- #10. MozRank
- #11. Link profile
- #12. Readability
- #13. Content length
- #14. Quality of content/uniqueness
- #15. Page speed
- #16. Click through rate (CTR)
- #17. Domain with Keyword
- #18. Top level domain
- #19. Subdomain
- #20. Social shares
- #21. User-experience
- #22. SSL certificate/security
- #23. Popup ads may harm your SEO
- #24. Content flow
- #25. Internal Linking
- #26. Site structure
- #27. Bad Links
- #28. Long domain name
- #29. Actionable content
- #30. Mobile friendliness
- #31. Google penalties
- #32. Local SEO
- #33. Single niche blog
- #34. Anchor text
- #35. Redirection
- #36. Content updating
- #37. Bounce rate
- #38. The number of backlinks
- #39. Kind of backlinks
- #40. Server accessibility
- Conclusion: –
What is Domain Authority?
It’s a ranking index developed by MOZ which indicates that how trusted & authoritative your website is and have potential to rank in search engine.
DA can be measured on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 100. Where lower number indicates low authority. MOZ has personally mentioned that this isn’t the concrete score. This is just a comparative metric.
Due to logarithmic variation, it becomes hard to regulate the flow of DA score constantly along with the scale. Means it’s hard to achieve a high score of DA.
Most of the bloggers say that popular blog have higher domain authority but this isn’t true. Popularity and DA are two different things.
Matt Cutts has explained both the things. He took an example of porn and government sites. He discussed that porn sites are more popular than government sites because people want to visit them. But no one wants to link to the porn site. Because they have low authority than government site.
I think now you have understood the basics of DA. But this isn’t the end. I want to share something additional that makes this article more interesting and worth reading.
Calculating the domain authority isn’t so easy. There are more than 40 factors that MOZ’s performance- index considers to measure the comparative value.
I have tried to plot a graph between DA and position (Google position). But I found that it’s impossible to analyze the effect of domain authority for mixed categories.
I have captured over 1000 mixed queries having different-2 categories. I analyzed each and every query from blogging industry to health. But when I plotted the chart, there was no pattern. Means I can’t be reached for any solution.
But I learned something interning that you must know
- You can’t exactly analyze the effect of domain authority. But if you consider only single category like SEO and extract the queries related to it then you can see the effect of DA on rankings in SEO industry.
- Most of the time you think that your domain name should have a keyword. But I observed that this is only necessary for branding and single niche blogs. Because when you search for an absolute keyword like ‘Cake recipe’. Google probably prefers those domains that contain the keyword ‘recipe’. But if you search long tail keyword, then you will see different results. It means keyword intent change the ranking policy.
- As you know that there are a number of industries like blogging industry, marketing industry and so forth. Domain authority scale changes according to the type of industry. For example, DA scale for marketing could be different than blogging industry. This could be understood by this pivot chart.
As I have mentioned that DA is an element of SEO that means if you know how to do SEO. You can win the game. But again you need to focus on more than 200+ factors that affect the google ranking. You can’t just change a few things and expect your DA to skyrocket.
In fact, SEO is a slow process and takes a reasonable time to influence ranking. According to Neil Patel, it takes 6 months or over a year to start affecting your SEO score, DA and organic search.
So, don’t expect overwhelming results unless you have worked over a year on SEO.
MOZ says that “The best way to influence the Domain Authority metric is to improve your overall SEO.” It implies that MOZ uses the potential SEO factors to calculate the DA.
40 Domain Authority Factors That MOZ Probably Considers To Calculate
Now, let’s talk about 40 factors that affect DA. However, no one knows the exact relationship but these are the factors that possibly influence the DA.
People always looking for quantity of backlinks. They ignore the quality of backlinks. A high-quality backlink has a potential to influence your ranking. So, always look for quality, not quantity. Low-quality backlinks won’t help you to increase the domain authority.
#2. Domain age
Everything takes time. If a domain has an impressive past history and has earned tons of quality links then this is the sign of an authorized domain. You can compare it with a history-sheeter criminal. If you’ve done a crime in past then the police will call you a suspect until they caught the right criminal. Similarly, if past domain history is not well google considers your domain blacklisted.
Getting tons of links from a single domain looks so unnatural and Google considers them as spam. I suggest you create an informative and detailed article that encourage people to link to you. That is something we can call natural linking and it significantly increases DA.
#4. Link equity
MOZ considers link equity as a ranking factor to calculate the DA and ranking. It indicates that how effectively link passes the value from one page to another page. This is something you can say ‘diversity of link juice from one page to another’. For example, page ‘A’ ranked for a keyword on the top of Google. That means this page will have high authority. So, you can use this page to spread DA throughout the site. For taking this benefit, you can link some of your related pages to this page. Don’t connect more links just keep them up to 6 or 7, because it may dilute link equity. Resulting, you wouldn’t get the expected results.
#5. Link Relevancy
This term is related to link equity. When it comes to influencing the DA, always link your relevant page to some authoritative pages. An irrelevant page wouldn’t help you to gain the link equity. Which means DA won’t be increased.
#6. HTTP status
When browser requests to the server, server send a response code to the browser which convinces whether or not the expected data successfully delivered to the browser.
In fact, MOZ says that HTTP status impact SEO which also affects your DA too.
There are following HTTP status code that you have seen like 200, 300, 400, 500 and also the variant of these like 301, 302, 307, 404, 410 and 503.
According to MOZ, 410, 302, 500, 503 are bad for both DA and SEO. Make sure that if you’re getting these status codes then immediately take actions. You can contact your hosting provider to identify the possible reasons.
Page authority is a term used to identify the power of an individual page. It tells users that how strong a page is. The only difference is that DA indicates the overall strength and PA indicate the individual strength.
This is similar to Google trustworthiness. If your site has a backlink from high authoritative sites like government or university homepages, then your site might have a high MozTrust value which potentially increases domain authority. MOZ calculates the trust score on the basis of the distance of a link from the trusted site. You can gain high value of MozTrust by keeping your link close to the trusted sites. Similar to the google, MOZ calculates the trust on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10. Trustworthiness of a site is calculated on the behalf of existing pages on your site. So, a single page may affect both DA and SEO.
#9. MozTrust spam/ spam score
If you link to such page that has a high score of MozTrust then this link equity would be considered as spam. So, make sure keep this difference minimum. For example, if your page has a trust score 3 and you put the link into another site having trust score 8.Then this link equity won’t add any value to your page.
It’s similar to PageRank defined by Google. It’s calculated on a logarithmic scale of 0 to 10 where a higher number indicates the popularity of a page. You can understand the principle of MozRank from this example.
Suppose you have published an article and someone refers this article to its post. Then you’ll receive a vote. More people add you, more vote you’ll get. But here is a thing you need to understand is that if referral page contains more links including yours then the vote that you received from referral page become diluted. Means if the page contains three links including yours then your MOZ value would be 1/3rd instead of one.
MOZ collects these votes to calculate the MozRank.
#11. Link profile
It is something beyond the backlinks. When it comes to link profile we generally talk about link organization, how do you create backlinks, are these paid? spammy, irrelevant.
If you want to create a healthy link profile then your link building strategy should be qualified under the Google’s link building guidelines.
Make sure that your backlink must be relevant. Means site that has mentioned your article’s link must be related to your site niche. Otherwise, it would be considered as spam.
The link should be diverse. Means link must be visible on social media and other popular platforms. [It tells Google that link exists and is not an artificial link]
Google doesn’t tolerate Link reciprocation. So, never encourage anyone to participate link reciprocal program
If you want to clean you SEO then always look for quality of links.
It is related to proofreading. A worthy read leads to the good ranking which also influences the Domain authority. If you read your article easily that means readability is good. If you find something awkward, lengthy paragraph and keyword stuffing then make it fix.
#13. Content length
Backlinko did a study and find that Google prefers those articles that are lengthy and informative. So, try to write a well- organized article containing at least 1750 words. If you do so, you’ll ultimately increase ranking and also influence your DA.
#14. Quality of content/uniqueness
Although, it has been proven that Google prefers lengthy content. But it doesn’t mean that you copied other’s content or unnecessarily expand your article. Instead, write a post that involves some uniqueness and quality. Backlinko found that a comprehensive article outranked the shallow content.
#15. Page speed
Google fellow ‘Ben Gomes’ said that “Our goal is to get you to the answer you’re looking for faster and faster, creating a nearly seamless connection between your questions and the information you seek. For those of you looking to deepen your understanding of how search has evolved.” The following video shows that how google concerns loading speed as a ranking factor. I think page speed is one of the most important factors that influence both ranking and DA.
See the video: –
#16. Click through rate (CTR)
An increment in CTR is a sign of high ranking. Resulting, increase in DA.
#17. Domain with Keyword
Back in days, it was beneficial for branding. If you’re wishing to build your company then it’s a good practice to include a focus keyword in your root domain. MOZ mentioned that domain which contains keyword slightly improve the DA and ranking. But do remember that Google has introduced a new EMD update, according to that you’re not allowed to put the exact match of the keyword. (Read More on EMD update). Let’s have a look at a few data that I have collected from SEOmoz and high position.
EMD has lost their average ranking from position 13 to 22. Which is highly considerable.
Correlation between EMD and ranking is no more effective.
#18. Top level domain
MOZ study clearly shows that TDLs plays an extra role that influences the native search visibility and DA.
This is correspondence to a small string other than root domain. These are also knowns as a third-party domain. If you use irrelevant subdomain it may split domain authority because they’re considered as a different entity. [For example, blog.example.com. This could be broken into three levels first is ‘blog’ which is known as ‘subdomain’, the second is ‘example’ which is known as ‘second level domain’ and the last one is ‘.com’ that is called as ‘top level domain’ ]
Generally, companies use subdomains to separate their blog from business pages.
Most of the companies use subdomains because of different design of mobile and desktop
Matt Cutts also told that subdomains help to boost your SEO score. [SEE video source]
Never use the subdomains to do keyword stuffing.
They help to increase user experience.
They are totally separate so, they partially impact your DA.
If you get more shares, more visibility & traffic you will get. Resulting, you’ll find a slight increase in ranking and DA. However, most of the people don’t agree with this fact. I debated with a lot of SEO experts but they don’t consider social singles as a DA influencer.
But I have personally realized that Social shares impact DA. Because earlier days my domain was 16 which is not much. But as I started sharing my content on Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. I found an immediate increment in my DA. See below…
The aim of Google is to make users happy by providing them immediate solutions to their problems. However, it doesn’t influence DA directly. But there is a correlation between domain authority and user-experience. Google prefers those results that provide a great user experience. It means that Google encourages users to click on well-organized articles by serving them on the top. You can take this benefit by providing the great experience to the users. Which ultimately increase your SEO score means also help to increase DA.
#22. SSL certificate/security
A well secured site has more credibility and trust than others having no security certificates. Backlinko found in his study that there is a strong correlation between HTTPS and ranking. I also personally realized that Google concerns safe results. It naturally influences your DA.
#23. Popup ads may harm your SEO
Search engine optimization is something that relies on user-friendliness. Popup ads may probably irritate your visitors significantly. The reality is that people don’t like bad ads. Because they interrupt browsing and also affect the user- experience. Which is not good for search engine point of view. In fact, it’s ok to use the banner ads but popups wouldn’t be accepted by Google. Google hates popup ads that’s why chrome has integrated with the ad blocker to improve the user experience. So, I think Popup ads potentially impact SEO and DA. See some statistics taken from HubSpot.
Approximately 83% people want to filter the obnoxious ads
77% people do not want to completely block the ads, instead, filter the bad ads.
63% people feel that majority of the online ads don’t look so professional.
Ads that you don’t like to see, % of people who don’t like these types of ad categories.
#24. Content flow
Your content flow should be such so that it can fulfil the user search intent. If your article is excellent but there is lack of design, navigation and not according to searcher intent. Then you might lose your traffic and SEO as well. This is not the direct measure of DA. But it may affect user- experience and SEO. Things that are worth remembering.
Enhance your content flow by applying ON page SEO.
Concern about the order. Means in what order you are going to PRESENT your content in front of your audience.
If people don’t find what they were looking for, they’ll move out from your page. So, make sure present the right solution to the user.
Your goal is to solve the user’s problems quickly.
Include the verity of queries orderly.
#25. Internal Linking
These are the links that interconnect other existing articles within the same domain. Internal links are good for SEO perspective. Because they might help a visitor to find some other valuable information on your blog. Helps to increase your link structure. According to Forbes, internal linking influence domain authority.
#26. Site structure
SEOSearchJournal has confirmed that ‘site structure plays the tremendous role in its SEO authority’. This is because if crawlers won’t crawl your site deeply they won’t give you any authority.
#27. Bad Links
Many of the beginners end up doing link building and make some bad links that might hurt your SEO. If you don’t disavow those spammy links they might decrease your DA.
#28. Long domain name
When it comes to select a domain, beginners ignore most of the key factors that could be beneficial for rankings. Well, I have realized that it is hard to memorize the long domains. People still try to include the whole keyword phrase in the domain name. For example, if your business is about providing the facilities for apartments. For instance, Keyword phrase would be Loan for an apartment or something like this. What people do they put the whole phrase and their domain would be looking so terrible like this ‘Loanforapartmant.com’. Instead of that, keep your domain short and appealing.
Backlinko found that Short URL affects ranking which ultimately enhances SEO and DA as well.
#29. Actionable content
A well in-depth actionable content always tend to rank higher. It has been confirmed that ‘Google always looking for high-quality content’. So never create thin content because Google won’t give any value to that content.
People do like to share quality content.
An actionable content always encourages people to take action.
Increase in social shares, improvement in link profile and link diversity. Eventually, increase in SEO score and domain authority.
#30. Mobile friendliness
Your website should be responsive to any device and at the same time must be crawlable. Because a poor search experience might decrease user-experience and also impact your SEO. Why it is important to optimize your site for mobile device
Because Mobile internet usage has dominated the Desktop.
#31. Google penalties
You can compare it to yourself. If you were a decent and well-authorized guy of your society. But somehow you were caught because of an offence. Now, what results would you expect from your society? I think People won’t believe you and you’ll lose your authority. Similarly, if your site once penalized, you’ll definitely lose its authority.
#32. Local SEO
Businesses have to consider the local SEO. Because this is something that adds value to your productivity. If you don’t expose your business locally you won’t get lead and conversions. By including some of these ingredients, you can enhance your business reach and search visibility.
Optimize ‘Google my business’
Promote your business locally.
#33. Single niche blog
you might see that Google always prefer single niche blog instead of a multi-niche blog. Because of following reasons
Single niche blog has high content relevancy than the multi-niche blog.
SEO for a multi-niche blog is much difficult than single niche.
Rank brain is responsible for content relevancy which controls the search result.
Technically impossible for Google to give the topic value. RESULTING, you might lose topic authority.
#34. Anchor text
It is a visible text above a hyperlink. It significantly influences ranking. Earlier days it was profitable to use the exact match anchor text. But now there is a risk of penguin penalty. SearchEngineJournal found in its study that branded anchor text are significantly increase your rankings in Google and eventually increase domain authority.
Always use 301 redirections to redirect any page because it’s a permanent redirection. It redirects the link equity and link juice to the targeted URL. This is similar to an open pipe where link juice can pass from source to destination. It helps you to transport your DA juice from source to destination.
#36. Content updating
It’s a great practice to update your content at least once a month. Fresh content always on the top list of Google. Many times I have noticed that when I update articles I find a slight increment in traffic and ranking as well.
#37. Bounce rate
It indicates that what user experiences while reading the article. If he enjoys reading your article that means he will spend more time on your site and resulting very less bounce rate. High bounce rate indicates bad user experience and it’s a negative signal for ranking.
If you want to increase domain authority you need to have a great number of backlinks. It doesn’t mean that you ignore the quality. I have also found that a huge amount of backlinks significantly increase your DA and ranking as well.
Do-follow and no-follow are the two types of backlinks. It’s always better to have a good balance between both types of backlinks. If your site has a huge amount of follow links but don’t contain any no-follow. Then this is not good for search engine point of view. However, SEOs says that high amount of Do-follow backlinks produce a measurable impact on both SEO and DA.
#40. Server accessibility
Your site lives in hosting server. If your server accessibility is not good, Google crawling process might be interrupted while scanning your directory due to downtime & low server response.
Discourage crawlers to frequently crawl your directory
Due to low server response, the browser will take time to collect the data from the server. It will eventually reduce user-experience
500, 501, 502, 503 and 410 errors impact SEO and discourage google to crawl
Lasted Updated @ 12/19/2017
Many times I have seen that people ask ‘Why did my domain authority go down?‘
The answer to this question is simple. DA scale is loaded with tons of factor that I have mentioned above. Drop in any of these factors may cause a drop in DA. But there is also a different side of DA scale Like I said that ‘domain authority is not an absolute measure rather it’s a relative measure’. What does it mean? Ok let’s try to understand
MOZ collects almost every blog or website that belong to a common industry and categorises them. After categorising them, Moz figures out the least capacity or domain strength of these industries. Now, from here they set the least domain authority for every industry.
For example, Suppose the least authority for blogging industry is 10. Now, MOZ relatively calculates the DA of each Url according to this benchmark. Here I have said a word “relative”, means your DA will depend upon other domains that are present in your industry.
Moz keeps their directory clean by removing the worthless domains. Resulting, The whole DA scale shifted towards left. Which means a drop in DA.
As per DA is a concern, you can’t ignore SEO. Every single step that you’re taking to improve your SEO, will eventually enhance your DA.
But all aren’t equally responsible for SEO. In fact, domain-level-link features significantly improve your Domain authority.
At the end, I want to give the answer to a question.
Question: – I’m doing SEO in a right way then why DA is decreasing?
Answer: – DA is not an absolute measure instead it’s a relative measure. So, if there are some results that are doing better in google ranking and you’re unable to pace with those results, you may lose your domain authority.
I hope you have ended up reading, But one thing you would be thinking that why I have published this article. The answer is that, because when I searched for ’40 factors that MOZ considers to calculate the Domain authority’, I didn’t find the exact solution. So I thought, why don’t I could write about this topic.
Special thanks to Moz.com, backlinko.com, neilpatel.com, SEOsearchJournal.com and all other brands mentioned in this article.
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