Domain authority is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO. After the Panda update was rolled out a lot of things changed in SEO. Now we know that this is a major component in pumping up your SEO ranking. I am putting together a small guide on Domain Authority for all the new bloggers.
In old days ranking was generally a combination of a lot of factors. Including the loopholes, which Google fixed over a period of time. However, in today’s era Domain Authority and Page Authority are the two most important factors when it comes to boosting your SERP ranking.
Let me share this in-depth article so that you can build a blog that ranks higher in Google rankings. Let us discuss what is MOZ, MOZ rank, MOZ Trust along with authority metrics.
Domain authority was created by a company called MOZ. Domain authority is calculated on a scale of 1 to 100. 1 Being the lowest and 100 being highest in terms of ranking. In other words, the more closely your website is to 100, the higher will be the SEO ranking.
The lower and the ranking will be lower in SERP. MOZ gives a very accurate domain and page authority.
As for me, I see the MOZ domain and page authority as a metric for comparing my blog with other similar blogs. It is more like a competitive metric.
Let me address domain authority as DA and page authority as PA further. So if my DA is better than my competitors my blog would rank higher in the SERPs.
On the other hand, PA or page authority is the measure of individual pages you have on your website. In short, DA is for the domain and PA is for the page.
How to check DA & PA?
If you check online, there are many DA & PA checking sites. However, the one who started the concept of DA & PA is what I trust. If you go to the MOZ DA checker tool. This is an online tool and it gives you a bunch of SEO metrics that can help you in ranking your site better. Off-course you need to make a free account before it shows you any data.
If you use chrome or firefox as your browser, I would highly recommend integrating the Mozbar extension. Now MOZ calculates and analyzes over 40 signals to determine your DA and PA.
You can not improve this metric all of a sudden, however, let us pay attention to some easy fixes to pump up your DA & PA.
Moz analyzes 40 ranking signals to measure DA & PA like the number of links pointing to the site and the number of linking root domains – essentially the number of other sites linking to your site.
What is MOZ rank?
MOZ rank is calculated on the number of links pointing towards your domain. This is calculated for every page that exists on the web. The more the number of links, the more is the MOZ rank. The scale of MOZ ranking is between 1 to 10.
However, I would also like to state that MOZ also looks at the quality of links rather than quantity. So 10 good links are far better than 100 bad links to your site. The average rank for a webpage is generally 3. SO always, remember to share backlinks with the websites which have high DA in order to boost your DA.
What is MOZ Trust?
Now, this is very interesting. MOZ trust again is calculated on the links. However, MOZ trust measurement depends on how close is your website affiliated to the high-ranking website. Let me give you an example.
Consider a high-ranking & trusted website. Generally, government websites with extensions like .org and .edu have higher DA & PA. If you are linked in one hop (a .edu site links to a site called “A” and site “A” links to you), then you are more likely to have a better MozTrust ranking.
Now if you were to share links with these sites, you will get an immense boost in your MOZ rankings. MOZ trust is basically the ranking of your link and how far it is from a higher ranking DA website.
MOZ trust is also measured on a scale from 1 to 10. Try to get backlinks from government sites. This certainly gives you an added advantage in terms of DA.
Let us look at the factors which affect MOZ trust.
- Link to quality websites: Always make sure that you are linking to quality websites and not spam and illegal websites.
- Domain registration information: So, if you own multiple domains with the same registration information like on your name and same email ID, and out of 10 domains that you own 8 are bad domains then automatically your other two good domain rankings will go down. This was suggested by RAND. Rand is an American-based think tank.
Digging further down!
- User Interaction: This means that how many users are interacting with visiting your website or blog by different means and sources. Sources like WiFi, Google search, Google toolbar, etc. In other words, where is the user coming from and how are they interacting.
- Age of your domain: This is something that is not under your control. The more the domain ages the more MOZ trust it gets. Unfortunately, you can not magically increase your domain age. Just relax and sit back. MOZ took this factor under consideration because they want to check if you are in the market for the short term or long term. SO if you buy the domain next time buy it for 5 years or more. Also, do not change your domain and again and again.
Improving DA & PA
As I mentioned earlier, that if you improve your website’s DP, you have a chance of ranking higher in Google SERPs. Similarly, even if you have competitors, it will be difficult for them to outrank your website if you have high DA and high PA. Try to get links to websites with higher DA, this way you will be able to improve your score.
When I started blogging I paid attention to two things.
- Increasing the domain authority of my blog.
- Getting links and mention from websites which have high DA
Link building is something that you should work on for a few weeks after you start a blog. Read more about link building here. Now, let us look at the factors which affect authority.
Domain Age (Days to expiry)
As discussed earlier, the domains which are renewed or purchased for a longer period of time tend to have a better ranking in MOZ. So try to get a domain for a long period, at least 5 to 6 years.
This is not a terribly strong factor but still, adds up to the ranking. It tells the search engines that the domain is here for a long time and not for a short period. So invest a little more. It will hardly cost you a few bucks more.
Building backlinks is one of the tasks that a new blogger should pay attention to. However, just make sure that you have backlinks from good and trusted websites. Do not try to get more backlinks in a jiffy from illegal websites. This would do more harm than good. (For more read my article on Panda Update) Also, try to get links from diverse sources like from different geo-locations, different domain extensions, etc.
Try to get more internal links on the page or a post. Like I do. A classic example is Wikipedia. They have tons of internal links on each page that they have. Their linking is very powerful.
This helps in sharing the link juice for each link that they embed. So make sure that your post or page that you are creating links to your older posts or page. Read my article on Google page rank to understand how link juice is shared.
Bad Links Removal
While you are building new links also keep your eyes peeled for any broken or bad links to your site. You can use a variety of online link checker tools to check the bad links pointing to your domain. I use the monitor backlinks tool.
The good thing that this tool does is that it sends an email notification whenever there is a bad link pointing to your domain. So be on the lookout for these links and remove them or use the Google Disavow Tool to ignore those links.
Just make sure that this tool should be used very cautiously. This might affect your website performance if a good link is disavowed. Also, check out LinkPatrol plugin if you are running a WordPress website.
Publish Quality Content
Google always pays attention to the quality of the content. Ensure that your content is amazing and adding value to Google’s users. Someone coming to your page and not getting impressed with your content is a big problem.
There are many factors by which Google will come to know that your content is mediocre and this will result in poor ranking in searches. So, I would suggest publishing two to three good-quality articles in a week, rather than a bunch of badly written content. Do not go for quantity, rather go for the quality.
Make sure that your readers are happy with your content. If the reader is happy, Google is happy and if Google is happy your DA will improve over time.
Google now takes the load time of a page as an important factor while calculating the page ranking. The simple concept is that google does not want a user to wait on a webpage for long to find the information. So please ensure that your website is loading in under 3 seconds because if it’s not then there is a problem.
I run a WordPress website. In order to make my load time under 3 seconds, I used different methods. I am sharing these with you.
- Use a good hosting company. I prefer Bluehost, they are affordable and their servers are amazingly fast and efficient.
- Compress images and then upload them. I use photoshop to optimize images for the web. Please do not upload images with sizes in MB’s, rather stick with KB’s.
- Use a cache plugin like W3 total cache, WP super cache, WP rocket, etc.
- Use a CDN to serve your content to your user. I use Cloudflare, as it’s now been given by all the hosting companies. Furthermore, guess what it’s free for one blogger site.
Complete Onsite SEO
Another important task to do your onsite SEO. Now, I know there are a lot of things when we talk about on-page SEO. However, let us pay attention to the most basic one and important one.
- Sitemap file (Have a sitemap file link in your footer and in your robots.txt file).
- Ensure that your sitemap is submitted to Google and other search engine consoles.
- Optimize meta title and meta description of homepage
- Maintain proper heading hierarchy in your blog post.
In order to increase your authority ensure that the above tasks are done.
In one of my articles, I shared how Google started taking into account the social interaction of content with the user. In this section, I want to talk about the same. To be quite honest this is an important factor when talking about page authority.
Make sure your brand and your blogs have a presence on all major social media platforms. Also, try to ensure that your readers are sharing your content on social media platforms. This helps to boost ranking and improves indexing.
When I started my blog the DA of shutterholictv.com was about 5, slowly and gradually my scores are getting better, however, there is still a long way to go. I hope this article would add a lot of value to your SEO knowledge. In case I have not included any important details related to the page authority, please let me know in the comments section. I would love to talk about it more.