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What is Domain Authority and Who Uses It?

Every day, most of us surf the web, but have you ever thought about how the domain of a website could be impacting you as a user? Or even the owner of that domain? 

But what does this mean for you when it comes to your own website, your blog, or even you as the user?

First, let’s dive into:

What is Domain Authority? 

Domain authority is simply a score given your domain based on an algorithm developed by the SEO company Moz. Domain authority has been around since at least 1999, but what does that mean for you as the user, or rather the creator, of a website? Back then, a website was weighed based on its "page rank," while domain and page authority are now used by many SEOs and marketers to display the "authority" or ranking of any domain.  

This score is a projected number of how well a site will likely rank in the search engine results. With the score taking into account various things, such as how does your ranks next to your competitor, while also looking at the number of links pointing you. 

The score is also based on factors such as total links, linking root domains, and several other signals. 

A new Domain Authority has arrived from Moz, Domain Authority 2.0, bringing more enriched predictions to you, the user or developer, when it comes to more accurate forecasts of search engine performance.

Who Uses It? 

Domain Authority metrics are used by many SEO and online marketing platforms across the web. Marketers use domain authority to gauge the strength of their competitor, and also use this insight when creating data-driven decisions around keywords and other opportunities for link building 

Something to keep in mind is that Google, a search engine used by many, does not use Domain Authority to determine their rankings. Domain authority is Moz's proprietary ranking system, and has no bearing on Google. It's simply Moz's way of interpreting how Google ranks websites. A site that sees a lot of traction in relation to its domain authority will usually have several or many external links from authority websites in its niche. 

Why Doesn’t Google Use It?

Google's search algorithms use a variety of ranking factors. Page Rank was one of its most famous early algorithms, which many see as a direct analog to domain authority.  Google considers relevant links, mobile friendliness, content quality, and many other factors when it ranks a site-- but even if marketers are obsessed with domain authority, Google is not. Search marketing expert Bill Hartzer asked Google’s Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller directly, and Mueller said that Moz's domain authority signal is not used at Google. 

How to improve Domain Authority? 

But what if you are looking to get your website to rank higher then your competitor? Should you consider domain authority? It can be a useful metric to compare your website to your competitors' websites. Though domain authority is not the only metric you should use to judge the quality and relevance of your website, you can go about improving your website-- and possibly attaining more domain authority in the process. This article from ShoutMeLoud gives a good overview. It outlines the various steps and changes you can take to attain a higher domain authority, striking out your competitors while giving your company a boost.

The overall best way you can influence Domain Authority is through improving your overall SEO, and being aware that SEO is an umbrella term that integrates various factors. 

You have the authority to make your domain what it is, with that in mind, here is a simple reminder of how domain authority fits into you searching the big wide web and how you can you influence Domain Authority 

While there are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to increasing your domain authority  you should focus on these few things. First, understand that a a website with valuable content that addresses and answers people’s questions is a better website-- one that's likely to rank higher. Next, use search engine optimization (SEO) to make your content more easily accessible and reliable for search engines’ algorithms. Finally, inves the time and resources into building strong backlinks.

Relevance is more important than Domain Authority-- Integrating relevant links into your content, links that serve your reader, is a great way to enrich your intended audience. The same goes with your external links, or links you build to your website. So when you are building links, relevance is crucial. 

Closing Thoughts

Domain Authority is not cut and dry, since it is comprised of multiple metrics and calculations. So pinpointing why your domain authority changes from time, going up or down, can be a rollercoaster. Learning to understand domain authority and how your score can change will help you see where you need to improve, such as on quality links and content, when it comes to your site.

Take a few moments to think and reflect on how your domain authority is fitting in with and stacking up against the rest of the game. By doing this, you can truly help your content grow, reaching new heights. And always remember-- Google doesn't use domain authority, and it's not the only metric you should consider. 


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