Domain Authority (DA): Basics of Moz’s SEO Metric




Updated 4/29/2024

Learn about Domain Authority (DA), an SEO metric developed by Moz that calculates a website’s backlink profile strength.

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What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that measures authoritative signals to a website, like backlinks from big sites.

The score ranges from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater likelihood of ranking well in search engines.

DA is based on multiple factors, including the number and quality of links pointing to the website and the site’s overall trustworthiness.

Importance of Domain Authority

Domain Authority provides a way to measure the perceived strength of a website compared to other sites in its niche or industry.

A higher DA score means that a website is more likely to rank well on search engine results pages, which can drive more traffic and leads to the site.

How Domain Authority is Calculated

Moz uses many factors, but these are the main ones to consider:

  • Linking Root Domains: How many unique domains are linking back to the website?
  • Total Links: This isn’t just a quantity game; it considers the total count of inbound links, even if multiple links come from the same domain.
  • Other Secret Ingredients: Moz uses machine learning to calculate how Google favors different domains. In other words, it gets complicated.

If you want to know more, see Moz’s whitepaper on authority scoring.

The Power of Site Authority

Measuring website authority provides many competitive insights and useful perspectives. Let’s explore why monitoring these metrics is important.

Provides Competitive Insight

  • Benchmark against the competition: Knowing where you stand compared to your competitors gives you a clearer perspective on the industry landscape.
  • Identify opportunities: If your authority is lower than a competitor’s, studying what they’re doing right can offer insights into potential strategies for your website.

Fuels SEO Strategy

  • Prioritize backlink efforts: Higher authority sites linking back to you can significantly impact your own site’s authority. Knowing your authority can help you target valuable partnership opportunities.
  • Gauge content effectiveness: Regularly published high-quality content can impact your site’s authority. You can understand how your content strategy is performing by tracking authority metrics.

Drives Business Goals

  • Increased traffic: A better authority score can correlate with higher search rankings, which in turn can lead to more website traffic.
  • Enhanced conversions: Trust plays a significant role in conversions. If visitors trust your website, they’re more likely to take desired actions, whether it’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.

Website authority guides SEO strategies, partnership decisions, and content creation while providing a clear benchmark of your website’s standing in the digital realm. Like most metrics, it’s not just the number but the insights and actions that truly matter.

While Moz’s domain authority is useful, it’s only one metric designed to achieve the same goal as others. Here are some of the top signals for measuring authority:

  1. Page Authority (PA): This is another metric developed by Moz, but instead of calculating the full domain, it focuses on pages.
  2. Domain Rating (DR): This is Ahref’s version of the metric. It uses similar approaches to Moz’s calculations.
  3. Authority Score: Designed by Semrush, this metric focuses on the quality of backlinks, organic traffic, and spam factors.

While these metrics offer valuable insights, it’s important to use them judiciously and in conjunction with other tools for a comprehensive SEO strategy.

Bottom Line

Domain Authority is a handy metric for anyone looking to understand or improve their website’s performance in search engine rankings.

While it isn’t an end-all-be-all number, it offers valuable insights that can guide your SEO strategy.

Stay focused on building a genuinely user-centric, high-quality website, and over time, not only will your DA thank you, but more importantly, so will your visitors.


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