Increase Domain Authority: Step-by-Step Explained

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Increase Domain Authority Step-by-Step Explained

No matter how experienced you are in digital marketing or how new you are to SEO, you have probably heard about Domain Authority (DA). DA has a long history in the SEO industry, and many SEO strategists use it to understand and quantify website ranking potential.

The domain authority is not a ranking factor itself in Google, which is important for SEO (search engine optimization). However, increasing your domain authority may also benefit your SEO and positive ranking signals.

Here we will discuss what domain authority is, why increase domain authority matters, and how you can boost it to rank higher in search engines.

What is Domain Authority? Let’s Dig Deep!

I would like to clear the air around domain authority before we move forward.

According to Moz, an SEO software company, Domain Authority measures the likelihood of a website ranking in search engine results. A domain authority score ranges from 0-100, with higher scores indicating better ranking potential.

Additionally, organic traffic and rankings are more likely to be generated for the website as a result.


Google used to assign authority scores on a scale of 0-10 based on its PR or Page Rank metric back in the day. They scraped the Internet Explorer plugin used to check the score and confirmed that the metric would not be updated.

It was then that website owners began using the Domain Authority score offered by Moz, which back then was the most popular SEO tool.


How is Domain Authority Calculated?

To calculate Domain Authority, multiple factors are considered, including linking to root domains and the total number of links. To calculate the "ranking strength" of a website, one can compare two websites or track its evolution over time.

In DA, data points are incorporated into the calculations based on machine learning, which can lead to your site's score fluctuating as more, fewer, or different data points become available. For example, if acquired a billion new links, every other site's DA would decrease in comparison to Facebook's.

Because more established and powerful domains, such as Facebook, have increasingly large link profiles, they take up more high-DA slots, leaving less room at the top of the scale for other domains with weaker link profiles. As a result, increasing your score from 20 to 30 is much easier than increasing it from 70 to 80. For this reason, Domain Authority should be used as a comparative metric rather than one that is absolute.


How to Increase Domain Authority?

Because DA is primarily calculated through backlinks, off-site strategies such as link building are the most effective way to improve your score. However, this is not as simple as it appears, because we have no control over whether or not another site chooses to link to ours.

Additionally, as you begin to work on increasing your website's domain authority, keep in mind that this is a long-term strategy. It will take time! Don't expect it to improve immediately after you make significant changes. However, following points will explain how to increase domain authority:

1. Develop High-Quality, Backlinks-Worthy Content

A backlink is a link that points from another website to your website. To gain more backlinks, you should create link-worthy content and contact relevant publications.

A link-worthy piece of content is one that other websites are eager to link back to. These pieces of content also provide value to their target audiences.

The following are some examples of content that is link-worthy:

  • Step-by-step guides
  • Case studies
  • Original research

Share original research or thought leadership on the topic - something that's hard to replicate - and you're more likely to get backlinks. This approach can be used for high-volume keywords or super-niche topics. To get more eyes on it, just be sure to promote it on social media to get as many people to see it as possible.

Additionally, if your content is original, well-sourced, accurate, relevant, evergreen, and of high value, you will have a higher probability of earning backlinks.

2. Find outlets for guest posts

It is a good idea to write guest articles for reputable websites in your industry. You will be able to reach a wider audience and build quality backlinks as a result. Ensure your content is original and relevant to your website's target audience.

Make sure you avoid spammy tactics and low-quality guest posting opportunities. If you wish to elevate your Domain Authority faster, you should look for guest blogging opportunities in publications that are relevant to your industry.

You can find websites that accept guest posts by searching for a keyword in your industry plus "guest article" or something similar; that'll surface websites that do.

3. Focus on link building and repairing broken links

On Your Website

Having inbound links can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your website's DA and rankings, yet having bad links can have the opposite effect.

You can find non-functional 404 errors on your website using an SEO tool such as Screaming Frog or Ahrefs. You will regain the link equity if you can redirect these 404s to live pages by re-directing them back to their original URLs.

If you cannot remove these links by using tools, you can use Google Search Console to disavow or ignore them. Thus, when indexing a site, Google's crawler will not take into account any unnatural or spammy backlinks.

On Other Website

Despite being a more advanced strategy that requires the use of backlink tools, broken link building can be an effective method for finding links that will enhance your domain authority. Here is how the process works:      

  • To detect broken links on high-ranking websites, use a backlink analyzer tool (such as the Check My Links Chrome extension).
  • Make ready of the content that can take the place of the lost resource (or point out already-existing content on your website).
  • Reach out to the website and submit an appropriate sample of your content as an alternative. They improve a negative customer experience on their website, plus you might get a backlink. It's win-win.

4. Promote your content using social media and other internet means.

Creating and distributing high-quality content on social media can greatly boost your website's domain authority. By continuously providing useful articles, interesting videos, and smart infographics, you can attract followers who're more likely to visit your website.

Social media can also assist you enhance user behavior metrics like bounce rate, dwell time, and repeat visits. These analytics show how users engage with your site and how satisfied they are with the content.

Positive user behavior might signal to search engines that your website is relevant and beneficial to your target demographic. Furthermore, social media can help you generate and distribute high-quality content that suits your audience's demands and interests.

5. Update your website with fresh content and new features

Because DA is a comparative statistic, one of the greatest ways to apply the score is to consider your competitors.

For example, if your DA is already greater than your competitors', creating high-quality content will almost certainly push you to page one.

Furthermore, browsers aim to rank websites that give readers with the most current and accurate information, as well as new features that improve the reader's experience. As a result, your domain authority is likely to increase as you add and update content and services.

If you provide more valuable content, more blogs will link to your website, increasing your backlinks.


What is a good domain authority score?

Several factors go into determining domain authority. To give you an idea, popular websites with a lot of traffic and backlinks, such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft, will have a high DA (90-100).

If your website is new, your DA will likely be low (between 10 and 20). Here's a quick guide to understanding what different score ranges mean:

  • 0–10. It is likely that this is a brand-new website and can only rank for very niche search terms. A website with a low score may be unreliable and lack backlinks with high page authority if it's been around for a while.
  • 11–25. Google considers this a reputable website, although it lacks a track record of SEO performance. It has the potential to rank for relevant industry keywords, but it will need to build additional links.
  • 26–40. A site in this category is not yet considered top-tier, but it does have an established brand and/or a high-quality backlink profile. 
  • 41–60. A high-authority website. This website is well on its way to becoming an industry leader, and its SEO strategy is likely to be effective.
  • 61–80. A website with this score has a top-tier backlink profile, which allows it to rank for the majority of phrases in the industry, is trusted by others, and contains content relevant to regularly searched keywords.
  • 81 and higher. This is often reserved for the world's largest businesses and websites, such as YouTube and Wikipedia.

Domain Authority: what do you really need to know?

Domain authority is not offered or supported by search engines such as Google. It is not an official ranking factor, therefore a greater domain authority score does not guarantee that your site's ranks will improve. 

1. Domain Authority is not a ranking factor

Domain authority isn't a ranking factor, so it's important to remember that. Therefore, Google does not use it to determine where a website appears in search results.

It does not have any direct effect on your Google rankings; rather, it serves as a prediction tool that helps us predict how well your website will rank.

A website that carries a lower domain authority is less likely to show up in search results than one that carries a higher domain authority, as these scores provide a good insight into how likely a website is to rank. 

2. Domain Authority is not the only site authority metric

Domain Authority by Moz isn't the only metric used by SEOs to determine site authority. Many SEO brands and keyword research tools with large link indexes have developed their authority metrics. Some you may recognize include:

  • Majestic’s Citation Flow
  • Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR)
  • Semrush’s Authority Score

In addition, all of these brands use different calculations and link indexes, so your website's scores for each of these metrics can vary significantly depending on which brand you use.

Although Domain Authority is by far the most popular authority metric in the SEO industry, it is by no means an accurate indicator of how likely your site is to rank in search engines. The important thing to keep in mind is that its Domain Authority does not simply determine your website's health and ranking potential, and there are other metrics you can use. 

3. Google’s PageRank is the original authority metric

Before Domain Authority, Google's PageRank served as the original authority metric.

Previously, Google used to publicly display the PageRank of web pages on its toolbar. However, because black-hat SEO professionals exploited those rankings to promote their websites, Google now keeps PageRank scores under lock and key.

Unlike Domain Authority, PageRank is a ranking factor that Google uses when promoting web pages on its website. Even though Google no longer provides direct insight into PageRank, website owners should be aware that every hyperlink is still passing PageRank (or link juice) along the internet.

4. Improving Domain Authority & off-page SEO go hand-in-hand

To elevate site authority metrics like Domain Authority, off-page SEO strategies such as link building and digital PR are the only way to do so.

On-page SEO will continue to be an important endeavor to improve your relevance in Google's eyes regarding quality and relevance, however, on-page optimizations will not directly impact your domain authority (DA) like backlinks will.

Having said that, if your website has better quality content on it, earning backlinks through off-site strategies will likely be far easier. As a general rule, a multidisciplinary approach to SEO will likely be more effective long-term than relying solely on one strategy.

The SEO lead at Shopify, Vanessa Bellanti, says, “SEOs should still care about domain authority because it is a good indicator of a website's overall authority and trustworthiness about providing information on a particular topic." That's true, domain authority is very important, and there are four reasons why it is so important:

  • Rankings are influenced by domain authority
  • Using domain authority, you can quickly assess the quality of a site's backlinks
  • It is possible to assess your competitors based on domain authority
  • Over time, domain authority can be used to track your SEO efforts and progress


Final Thoughts: Increase Domain Authority / Improve Your Ranking

SEO can sometimes feel like a status symbol when it comes to Domain Authority. Getting a high Domain Authority score is impressive and not easy, but remember that your SEO success is not dependent on it.

In spite of this, it is worthwhile to improve your site's Domain Authority because it relies on factors that are essential for your site to rank well in Google, and the more traffic you send to your site the better.

Remember: Having a high Authority Score for your website is a good thing. But your score will fluctuate.

Don’t panic. Authority is just a metric. It is the components that are important. As long as you monitor and track your website authority regularly, you will be on your way to improving your website's search engine optimization over the long term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Paid links can temporarily boost your DA, but they're against Google's guidelines and can get you penalized. As a result, your site's ranking can be negatively affected.

A strong backlink profile and SEO optimizations will increase your domain authority. Your SEO efforts should be tracked over time to see how your domain authority changes.

There are varying definitions of a good DA score depending on the industry, but in general, a score above 50 is considered good. In SERPs, this score indicates a high likelihood of ranking well.