What is Domain Authority?

Ever wondered what exactly Domain Authority is and what determines it? Delve deeper and discover the answers in this post.
Kyla Burr

Kyla Burr

What is Domain Authority?

Get a better understanding of this popular SEO metric

Developed by SEO software company Moz.com Domain Authority (DA) has served for years as a predictive measure of ranking ability for domains enabling search marketers to more accurately judge the value of a site and their work. DA scores can be found in a number of Moz tools including the link explorer, mozbar, keyword explorer, campaigns and via the MOZ API.

The Moz algorithm gauges the authority and trustworthiness of a site based on the quantity and quality of the backlinks pointing to a domain. Using data from scoring calculations factored into an advanced machine-learned model Moz determines an overall score out of 100 with higher scores indicating a higher likelihood of ranking in the top positions of the search engine results pages (SERPs). DA is not a ranking signal and is not used in Google’s ranking calculations.

Moz’s constantly updating scoring calculations means that DA scores closely align with how the search engines order search results. The dynamic nature of updating data and the outputs of various machine learning calculations means that the Moz link index is not static, it’s moving and changing all of the time; it’s expected and normal for DA scores to fluctuate.

Domain Authority is used best as a metric for comparing a site to its competitors, and Moz cautions against using a DA score on its own to determine the value of a domain. As DA is a measure of the likelihood of ranking, you’ll want scores that are higher than your competitors. Getting more Domain Authority will not help a domain rank better, however increasing the DA is an indication that the site will perform better in search results.

Domain Authority along with other metrics from Moz.com offer search marketers insight into how to make smart decisions about the sites they work on, helping them prioritise which sites they want to earn links from alongside providing comparison data for competitors.

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