Domain Authority and Page Authority: A Comprehensive Guide
If you're a newbie or expert in SEO, you definitely heard the term Domain Authority and Page Authority (DA, PA). These are the most popular and common metrics to measure the website's strength among SEO Experts.
Author: Mian Asif Aly
Published On: 06-08-2022
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SEO has been circulating around the people who have been talking only about growth, actually, growth in traffic cannot be the right parameter to analyze any website, Being in the game for years, I have some tactics and tricks on a few clicks with which I can get you massive traffic, even will go unnoticed by the algorithm of Google Adsense.
If you're a newbie or expert in SEO, you definitely heard the term Domain Authority and Page Authority (DA, PA). These are the most popular and common metrics to measure the website's strength among SEO Experts. Knowing these matrices can help you to improve your SEO strategy and gain a competitive edge.
You may wonder what Domain Authority actually is? Don't worry! In this guide, we are going to cover every detail about Domain Authority and Page Authority.
Let's Get Started:)
What is Domain Authority and Page Authority (DA & PA)?
DA and PA are the metrics used to calculate the ranking strength of a website developed by a very reputable company in the SEO industry named as Moz. Their scoring scale is between 1-100, and the sites with high DA & PA have high chances to rank. According to Moz, it calculates Domain Authority and Page Authority Score on multiple ranking factors. These are the most widely used metrics among SEO Experts and Digital Marketers.
Although these are very useful metrics, you should focus on the quality of your content rather than increasing Domain Authority and Page Authority. Quality of Content and User Experience are the only things that can help you get a higher ranking on organic results. There is a quote that is recommended by Google and many SEO Experts:
"Make Your Page for User Not for Bots"
Domain Authority is the score given to your domain according to its strength and potential. It is the score that you got for your whole website as the site has only one domain. In simple words, Domain Authority is an SEO indicator to check the Authority of a website.
Unlike Domain Authority, Page Authority is the score given to your specific page according to its strength and ranking potential. The more score your page has the more it rank high on search engine results.
After learning about Domain Authority and Page Authority - Let's have a look at the history of these SEO metrics.
How is DA PA calculated?
According to Moz Officials, DA and PA is calculated using various ranking factors like linking domains, backlinks and considering stats from MozRank and MozTrust - But it's not really the game. Domain Authority and Page Authority are private scores and Moz will never tell the truth. According to most webmasters and case studies, DA PA is the only game of high quality backlinks and linking domains. A lot of people have found ways to manipulate it easily.
DA PA is the alternative of Page Rank as it gives you an estimated score of your website but it can't be accurate as Page Rank. Domain Authority and Page Authority does not have any effect on your website ranking on search results.
DA PA cannot be the decisive future of any website. It can definitely be an approach to analyzing the worth/authority of any website but the sole recommendation is to focus on the factors used as parameters by Google. More inclination towards DA PA can be an issue for the long run success.
You can have a look at our guide on Google SEO Ranking Factors 2022!
What is a Good Domain Authority Score?
Domain Authority is a very useful metric while checking competition or analyzing a competitor's website. Websites with high quality backlinks like backlinks from Wikipedia have high Authority where a new site starts with 1 DA.
There is no judgment criteria that define what a good authority score is and what not - There are many things that matter like niche, competitors and other things. Taking niche into account, suppose you have a website on a niche of clothing and the highest ranked website has got 40 as its DA(Domain Authority), so, you can set the Good Domain Authority parameter to 41 - which can get you more productive results (keeping in mind that it won't affect SERPs). However, when it comes to the Dental Services niche, there are websites at the top with around 19 DA, in that niche you can call 20 as a Good Domain Authority.
But here are general scores that you can consider: Domain Authority between 40-50 can be considered as Average. Domain Authority between 50-60 can be considered as Good. Domain Authority above 60 can be considered as Excellent.
Domain Authority and Page Authority: From Where It All Started:
History of Domain Authority and Page Authority
To learn the history of DA & PA, we first need to know Page Rank (PR) because it not only plays an important role in the history of Domain Authority and Page Authority but it is also essential in the history of SEO and Google.
What is Page Rank?
Page Rank or PR is a very rare term in today's SEO and I will not be surprised if you have not ever heard the name of Page Rank.
Basically, Page Rank is an algorithm officially developed by Google's Founders - this is from where the game of the big Giant(Google) started. It is used by Google to measure the strength and ranking of your page on organic results. Page Rank was developed back in 1996 and named after Google co-founder Larry Page. In 1998, it became too famous and became a big success.
It was visible publicly and anyone could check its website score and can improve it. This is where from the age of SEO started - According to Google, Page Rank was calculated on the quantity of quality of backlinks and linking domains (which is later on coined as referring domains).
Google considers a backlink the "vote of trust" as quality content gets more linking domains than poor content. The scoring scale of Page Rank is 1 to 10 - One is the lowest and 10 is the highest score a website can get.
Death of Page Rank for Webmaster
Nothing will come without any disadvantages - As said previously, Page Rank was publicly open and anyone could use it but many webmasters found different ways to manipulate it and rank websites.
Also, Google uncovered the calculation of Page Rank that is backlinks and linking domains. A trend came which was backlinks marketplace - Webmasters are buying and selling backlinks. This process got a boost and started being used by a majority of the people.
In 2013, Matt Cutts officially announced that Google will not update the public version of Page Rank any more.
In 2016, Google removed all assets related to Page Rank and removed Pagerank Toolbar as well.
The thing to note is that Google has only shut down its public version of Page Rank but it is still using it in its search engine to evaluate the website and assign the ranking to websites in its organic search result pages. So, you can consider linking domain and backlinks as a ranking factor but Google also releases a lot of updates about backlinks and spam - You need to be careful while creating backlinks.
Birth of Moz Empire (DA and PA)
The perfect business time is when there is a need. After the shutdown of Page Rank - That was the best chance to introduce new SEO metrics because the winner will get the entire SEO industry in its hands. Respectively, the clever team of Moz created and introduced their very own SEO metrics named as Domain Authority and Page Authority and it succeeded. Due to some reason, Moz is unable to take over the full industry but yes, its metrics are the most used SEO factors all over the industry.
Moz couldn't succeed becoming the monopolist because of Ahrefs - As Ahrefs provides the most useful tools and powerful features that can help you in your SEO projects rather than just metrics. Another thing that troubles Moz is that many people start manipulating its metrics. Today, there are several ways to manipulate DA and PA - People are using Black Hat SEO Techniques to increase DA PA like Redirect Backlinks.
Why is Domain Authority Important?
Domain Authority can be categorized as one of the most powerful SEO Tools ever used. I called it a tool with the fact that if used appropriately, can get life-changing results for your website. Domain Authority can help you to analyze a website and you can tell whether a website is authoritative or not.
Let me list down few of the highlighted benefits of DA/PA:
- You can also judge competition of any keyword on SERPs by just seeing competitor's Domain Authority.
- You can also check backlinks quality by using DA metrics and it is also helpful in many Off-Page strategies. If you are running a guest posting business or ever worked on guest posting then, you definitely know the importance of DA in guest posting business.
- If you are willing to start another channel of monetization on your website by having people write on your website and you get paid for it - commonly known as Guest Posting. DA and traffic will be the most important factors in the whole business.
Thus, Domain Authority is a very valuable and widely used metric in the SEO industry.
Is Domain Authority a Ranking Factor?
Seriously? I mean, are you for real? Mannnnnnnnnnn!
This is one of the most well-known myths in the SEO Industry. Domain Authority is not any kind of a Ranking and does not have any effect on Search Engine Results and Rankings.
Although Domain Authority is not a ranking factor, it is still a copy of Google's Page Rank as explained above and Google still uses PR as a ranking Algorithm. So, it's using the same things to calculate its score but obviously it is not exact as Page Rank but it can be useful.
How to Check Domain Authority?
Getting through previously provided information, you must be trying hard to know how to check domain authority. There are many ways and tools working online to get this done but let me be more descriptive for you.
Moz SEO ToolBar Extension:
Obviously, the first tool to check the Domain Authority and Page Authority of a website is Moz itself as Domain Authority is owned by Moz. Whenever you open any website, Moz extension will show you the DA, PA and Spam score of a specific website. This extension is very useful as you don't need to copy and paste urls to check domain authority.
Follow these simple steps to check domain authority of a website:
That's it you are ready to go to check domain authority of any site.
Spam Score: The one more thing that Moz extension provides except DA and PA is Spam Score. Spam Score is a score that is also developed and owned by Moz that shows the toxicity level of your backlinks. It will be high if your site has spammy and low quality backlinks.
ETTVI SEO Tool:
Another tool that has emerged enormously to the level of the quality people needed is ETTVI's DA PA Checker Tool. This tool allows you to check Domain Authority and Page Authority of any web page without any charges.
Follow these simple steps to check domain authority with ETTVI's DA PA Checker Tool:
- Visit ETTVI's DA PA Checker Tool.
- Copy the site url and paste in the input field on the tool.
- Click on the "Check" button.
- All Done!
Moz Domain Authority Alternatives:
Many other companies also released their SEO metrics to take the place of PR (Page Rank) like Moz did. Let's have a go through the alternatives of Domain Authority and Page Authority.
Ahrefs Domain Rating and Page Rating >
Ahrefs is the name I mentioned many times. Ahrefs is known as the Industry thought leader in the SEO industry and no one denies that. Ahrefs also developed its own SEO metrics named as Domain Rating and Page Rating.
According to Ahrefs, Domain Rating is calculated the same way as Page Rank like Google tells us - It transfers link juice. Ahrefs use the same formula and call it domain rating juice - It says that it calculates the Domain Rating according to domain rating juice. In simple words, Domain Rating is calculated on the number of quality backlinks. It helps you to choose the website to take backlink from.
Ahrefs also claims that Domain Rating is very parallel to ranking on SERPs. Although, like Domain Authority it also does not have any effect on ranking and not a Google Ranking Factor.
Domain Rating is also a very popular and widely used SEO metrics. Besides, Ahrefs is a paid tool and out of budget for beginners like me but Ahrefs allows users to check Domain Rating of any website for free.
Majority of SEO experts give priority to DR over DA as it is very difficult to manipulate and Ahrefs update their system frequently. There are several surveys conducted on which tool is the best and the results of every survey said "Ahrefs".
How to Check Ahrefs Domain Rating?
Unlike Moz, Ahrefs does not provide any api to use their metrics means not anyone can use their SEO metrics. Ahrefs is the only one provider of this parameter.
Follow these steps to check Domain Rating:
- Visit Ahrefs Backlink Checker Tool.
- Enter the url of a specific site that you want to check.
- Click on the "Check Backlinks" button.
- Then, it will show you the numbers of backlinks websites have and Domain Rating of that specific site.
Majestic Trust Flow and Citation Flow
Trust Flow and Citation Flow are other alternatives of Domain Authority and Page Authority owned by Majestic, another known company in SEO. Citation Flow calculated on the quantity of backlinks without any other type of quality condition - The more your site has backlinks the more Citation Flow will be. On the other hand, Trust Flow calculated on the quality of backlink - It will increase if your site has quality backlinks.
Like other SEO metrics, Trust Flow and Citation Flow does not have any effects on search engine ranking and also not a ranking factor. It does not improve your SERPs ranking or traffic.
How to Check Majestic Trust Flow?
Follow these simple steps to check Majestic Trust flow of any website:
Semrush Authority Score
Smerush also developed and released its own SEO metric named as Authority Score that is not used by many people but yeah some people consider Semrush as a God and use it metrics. That is a plus point for Semrush that it still has a good database of users. But still Semrush Authority is not that much popular metric in the SEO industry. As many SEO experts go for Moz Domain Authority and Ahrefs Domain Authority.
According to Semrush, Authority Score is calculated on many factors including backlink profile. Unlike other metrics, Semrush Authority Score also considers traffic and ranking keywords for calculating its score.
Semrush Authority Score Calculation Factors:
- Ranking Keywords
- Number of Referring domains
- Quality of Referring domains
- Dofollow and Nofollow Ratio
- Referring Ips
How to Check Smerush Authority Score?
Although, Semrush is a paid tool but it also has a free version that allows users to analyze any website. Follow these easy steps to check Authority Score:
- Visit Semrush Login Page and create a free account!
- Once you have created an account then, enter the website to check Authority Score.
- Then, Semrush will show you the Authority Score of that specific site along with its organic traffic, ranking keywords and many more.
How to improve Domain Authority?
As previously said, Domain Authority is not a direct ranking factor but it can be useful in many things like Domain Authority or DA is very important in guest posting business, to judge a website and in many more secerios.
Let's have a quick walkthrough how can you improve Domain Authority:
Build Authoritative Backlinks
Domain Authority is not as same as Page Rank but its calculation factor is the same. The most crucial factor of this metric is Authoritative Backlink Profile. Your site needs to get backlinks from authoritative sites in order to prove your Authority. There are some factor that you should consider while building backlink profile of your site:
- Get Backlinks from Authority Sites
- Get Majority of Backlinks from Different Domains (Referring Domains)
- Maintain Dofollow and Nofollow Backlinks Ratio
Note: You need to be careful while building backlinks as Authority Backlinks can improve your site's Domain Authority but if it is not done correctly then, it can hurt your site SEO.
Get fewer Spammy Backlinks
Spammy Backlinks are the backlinks that your site got from toxic and very low quality sites.
Spammy Backlinks can destroy your Backlink Profile and your all SEO efforts can be in vain. These types of backlinks can derank your website but luckily, Google Provide you a tool to tackle these spammy backlinks named as Google Disavow Tool. But this is not the case for Moz, as Moz does not provide any kind of tool to tackle this problem.
You need to get as few spammy links as possible. Suppose you have 100 Authority links and 2,000 spammy links then, there is no chance that your Domain Authority will be improved.
You can check out our Guide on Improving Domain Authority to get in detail tips to increase the Domain Authority of your site.
I am the youngest Google certified Digital Marketer, SEO author and SEO expert having an extensive experience of working with multiple business types globally. With the proven and cutting-edge digital strategies, I have helped brands in generating revenue and maximizing ROI in the defined marketing budgets. My strong expertise lies in paid and organic search, lead generation, analytics, social media, SEO, display advertising, email marketing, landing page optimization, and creative work.