Home/SEO Guide/Netlinking/Domain Authority (DA): the ultimate guide to understanding it well

In order for a website to be on the first page of search engines, quality work must be done in natural referencing. For this to happen, it is important that the website has proven itself to Google. There is a way of assessing the quality of your website and therefore whether it has a chance of ranking well on Google called "domain authority".

Contents

The Domain Authority in a nutshell!

Domain Authority: What is it?

Domain Authority: Definition

The Domain Authority, or DA, measures a website’s reputation on a scale from 0 to 100. This is data calculated by Moz.com, they calculate it by trying to replicate what Google does to rank websites relative to each other.

Here's how to read the Domain Authority scale:

  • DA < 10 : Autorité très faible. Si beaucoup de sites de la 1ère page sont de ce Domain Autority, ce sera facile de remonter a priori !
  • DA > 10 & DA < 20 : Autorité faible, mais « OK ». Cela correspond à des sites qui ont déjà une réputation minimale et un contenu probablement décent. Mais leur netliking reste faible.
  • DA > 20  & DA < 40 : Autorité OK. Ces sites ont une réputation très convenable et un netlinking important, ce ne sera pas facile de les déloger.
  • DA > 40 & DA < 60 : Forte autorité de domaine. Cela correspond à un site comme Sarenza.com, donc déjà très réputé.
  • DA between 60 and 80: very strong domain authority, such as PriceMinister.com for example.
  • DA above 80: extremely strong domain authority. It will be very difficult to move them out of the way. Example: Wikipedia, LeMonde.fr, HuffPost.com, etc.

The greater the Domain Authority, the stronger the website is considered by Google.

How is it calculated?

Moz takes into account about 40 criteria to calculate a website’s reputation. But it carefully keeps it secret. However, we know that among these criteria is the quality of the external links that a website has. When a website gets a quality backlink within a great article, it improves its Domain Authority. Getting links from websites that have a strong domain authority, and in the same industry as yours, is highly recommended!

Domain Authority: Why is it important in SEO?

A few years ago, Google ranked web pages, not sites. And the leading measure followed by SEO experts was PageRank, which even Google provided.
Increasingly, Google also evaluates the overall reputation of your site, through your content and netlinking. It then values your reliability and not only the content of the page in question. Thus, on certain very competitive queries, a high Domain Authority will be necessary to make your page go up.

For example, on a highly competitive query such as "women's shoes", which is searched more than 70,000 times a month on Google, we can see that :

https://smartkeyword.io/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Domain-Authority-SERP-SEO.png

Extract from SmartKeyword.io on the query "women's shoes"

  • Minimum Domain Autority : 29 -> this is obviously not the only criterion, but for example if your Domain Authority is lower than 10, it will be very complicated to enter the 1st page.
  • Average Domain Autority: 44 >> -> we understand that “globally”, the request is very competitive!
  • Conclusion: on this type of request, writing good content on a webpage will not be enough. You also have to work on the website’s "overall" reputation.

The higher the DA, the more powerful and credible the website site will be in Google’s eyes. Therefore, you will have a better chance of landing on search engines’ first page. From a DA of 50 or above, a website’s domain authority is considered strong.

Pro tip: the scale from 0 to 100 is logarithmic. In other words, it’s easier for a website to gain 10 points between 20 and 30 than between 60 and 70. The more power the website has, the more complex it becomes to make additional point gains in terms of Domain Authority.

Domain Authority: How to optimize it for SEO?

The Content

The website’s pages should have unique, quality text content. They should be up to date, well presented with referenced illustrations. You also need to optimize content from an SEO perspective:

  • From a semantic point of view by following SEO copywriting rules: titles, ALT attribute, descriptions, pages with 400 words minimum, link structures, and one main keyword per page.
  • From a technical point of view, a website must be fast. For this, pay attention to the files and images’ size that you implement on the website’s pages.
  • You must also regularly increase the website’s content. So, take care of the website daily, and offer diverse and rich content while adequately informing visitors. >>> Build an audience and quality traffic that will come regularly to the website because they find the offered content interesting.

User Experience

A website must be optimized to promote conversion. To do so, you must keep users on the website, and get them to browse several pages.

Links

To increase your Domain Authority, you need :

  • Links, links, and more links! And ideally not just linking to the homepage: each page on your website can have its authority index called Page Authority.
  • Check that the pages are all related and optimized every time for specific and unique words.
  • Build a blog to have quality links that will point to your website. On the blog, put expert advice in your chosen field to build influence.
  • The popularity of your website is also important: add links to social networks, and links from your social media back to your website.
  • Pay attention to outgoing links, because if the links point to a website with poor content, or to penalized or banned websites for example, it will be harmful to your authority index.
  • Also check the links quality: no broken links, page errors or non-existent pages.
  • Finally, you should know that the time factor in relation to the domain name is important (even if this importance is decreasing more and more). The longer the domain name has existed on the web, the more benefit it will have on its Domain Authority.

Distribution of pupularity

Knowing the number and percentage of popular pages on your website is important as it will help you maximize authority. If you’ve got a website that has 10 pages with a popularity rating of 75%, it’s much better than a website with 150 pages which only has a 40% popularity rating. Why? Because those pages’ popularity is then diluted. So, the number of those popular pages is not necessarily a factor that will increase your authority index, but rather the fact that the link juice is correctly distributed between each page and those popular pages.

The server

Make sure your server is running properly. Regular outages or slow response times could affect the authority rating.

Domain Authority: mistakes to avoid

Don't buy links! Or in any case, check that they have a Domain Authority higher than yours! We will also be able to talk in a future post about the notion of "Trust Flow". Trust Flow is specific to the Majestic tool, and is also a good indicator for links' purchase, oops sorry “links’ exchange”, if it is something important to you!

What's next ?

You have just discovered the Domain Authority with Smartkeyword now learn more about the Page Authority and Google alerts.

   Article written by Louis Chevant

Further reading

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