What Is Domain Authority and Does It Matter?

This page was last updated on August 2, 2023.

Domain AuthorityYour site’s Domain Authority score can be a solid indicator of how much impact you are having online, helping you to gauge how much value search engines like Google believe your site and its content possesses. Let’s take a look at everything this means for your business.

First: What Is Moz?

At Sixth City Marketing, we work with a variety of software programs to ensure we are doing everything we can for our clients. We work particularly close with Moz, a software company that produces inbound marketing and marketing analytics software.

Though Moz offers a number of tools, one of the best is its tracker for Domain Authority, a metric all site owners should be aware of.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority, or DA, is a number created by Moz that helps companies track their digital presence. The score ultimately helps businesses determine their ability to rank on search engine result pages, or SERPs, such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

Experts at Moz state the technical definition of Domain Authority is as follows:

“Domain authority is based on data from our Link Explorer web index and uses dozens of factors in its calculations. The actual Domain Authority calculation itself uses a machine learning model to predictively find a ‘best fit’ algorithm that most closely correlates our link data with rankings across thousands of actual search results that we use as standards to scale against.

Since authority is based on machine learning calculations, your site’s score will often fluctuate as more, less, or different data points are used in the calculation — for instance, if Facebook were to acquire a billion new links, everyone’s PA (Page Authority) and DA would drop relative to Facebook. For this reason, keep in mind that you should always use Domain Authority as a relative metric to compare against the link profiles of other sites, as opposed to an absolute value scoring the efficacy of your internal SEO efforts.”

There are several factors that have the ability to affect your site’s ranking. These factors include but are not limited to the total number of backlinks, your selected linking domains, and more.

But it ultimately boils down to this: the higher the Domain Authority score, the more likely you will rank higher in search engine searches, leading to increased visibility for your site, and, in turn, more sales opportunities.

How Is Domain Authority Scored?

Your Moz Domain Authority is ranked on a 0-100 logarithmic scale. This number can shift based on various factors, but putting the effort into improving your site in various ways can greatly boost your score.

What Is Considered a “Good” DA?

There really isn’t a “good” or “bad” Domain Authority score, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Scores that are considered to be good or bad depend on the business itself. Comparing your score to that of your competitors gives you a general idea of what you may what to change and what may be working best in terms of boosting your business’s digital presence.
  • To give you a better idea of the Domain Authority score from business to business, most well-known sites like Google or Wikipedia will rank in the high 90s, if not 100. Smaller businesses have to work hard at obtaining links to make their overall score jump and outshine competitors.
  • All new sites are automatically given a score of 1 to keep the playing field level and fair for all businesses.
  • So while a DA score of 100 is “ideal,” it’s not obtainable for most businesses. But if you had a Domain Authority of, say 20, it’s entirely reasonable you could raise that to be in the 30s or higher over time.

The Difference Between Moz DA and Moz PA

While Domain Authority provides businesses with a predictive score of their ranking ability for the entire domain or subdomain, Page Authority (PA) measures the predictive impact of an individual page. Certain pages, like your homepage or highly trafficked product pages, are more likely to have a higher page rank than say, a brand-new blog post, or an obscure inner page.

How to Influence Your DA

There are many ways to influence your company’s Domain Authority, although it is very hard to do so directly. Moz has made the process of attempting to improve your score very thorough. The best way to improve your authority, though, is by improving your SEO efforts.

One of the major SEO tactics you’ll want to focus on is link building – e.g. building relationships with other well-known sites with a high, or higher, DA. For instance, if the New York Times – a very authoritative site that as of this writing holds a 95 DA – were to link to your site, you would very likely see a rise in your own authority ranking.

To learn more about link-building strategies and tips to keep in mind for your business, check out these blog posts we wrote:

Other tactics can help you to acquire solid backlinks, which can include the following: guest blogging, partnerships, donations, newsworthy events and announcements.

If raising the overall Domain Authority of your business is a priority to you, a digital marketing agency like Sixth City can help you to acquire these valuable links to give your business the boost you need.

Other Domain Authority FAQs

How long does it take to see a shift in DA?

It can take a couple of months in order to see a change in your Domain Authority score. This is because the Moz index updates about once a month, and it takes usually about 1-2 updates for your DA to accurately update.

Though it may take a while for your business to see results, the increase in DA has a lot of benefits, such as an indication of an increase in organic traffic, leading to a possible increase in quality leads and sales. So for the work that you put in, your business can see tangible results for years to come.

Can I increase my DA if I am already high in the rankings?

It can be more difficult to raise your DA once you are higher in the rankings. But, if you start with a lower score, implementing any of the strategies to increase your DA, such as link building and writing new, fresh content, will significantly increase your chances of moving up in the rankings.

It is also important to keep in mind that your overall DA can decrease over time, especially if a highly valued link disappears when a page is deleted or the site marks your link as “nofollow,” which essentially removes any value it once had.

How is Domain Authority calculated?

Domain Authority can be calculated using over 40 different factors. Some of the factors that can contribute to calculating an accurate DA include the following:

  • The quality and overall relevance of your backlinks
  • The quality of content on your website
  • Social signals, or engagement based on the content you have shared on social media
  • Your site’s overall root domain and continued SEO performance

Is DA a ranking factor on Google?

At this time, Google does not use Domain Authority to affect its search engine results. Though it is not a factor that Google values, that does not mean it is any less important. For example, the higher your DA is, the higher your likelihood is to attract organic traffic to your website. With that in mind, you should include improving your Domain Authority in your company strategy.

How can I check the DA of a website quickly?

One of our favorite tools to use is the MozBar Chome Extension. Once downloaded on Google Chrome, you will be able to easily identify key factors of a website, such as the DA, PA, subdomain, spam score, and so much more.

Sixth City Marketing

About the Author

Sixth City Marketing

This post was written and edited by employees at Sixth City Marketing, a full-service SEO and digital marketing agency helping clients across all industries since 2010.

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