A Beginner’s Guide To Domain Authority

28th November, 2018 by

The quest for an optimal ranking in search results pages has created many innovations, of which domain authority is one of the most significant. Developed by SEO specialists Moz, it estimates how well a particular website will perform in Google or Bing results, based on 40 distinct ranking signals. While page authority considers specific web pages, domain authority (also known as DA) covers every subpage or content element located at a particular domain name, such as westhost.com.

Scores on the doors

Moz prefers to use jargon-free ways of describing their products and services, so domain authority is scored on a simple 1-100 basis. A top score of 100 is very rare (though Wikipedia has managed it), while a score of 1 suggests something has gone terribly wrong. However, scores aren’t calculated in a vacuum. Instead, they indicate how a site might perform against its competitors. It becomes progressively more difficult to improve DA scores due to the logarithmic method of calculation used by Moz. Scores over 50 are hard to attain, which means Westhost’s DA of 67 means we’re likely to perform well in search results.

These key elements are among the ranking signals used to calculate a site’s authority:

The DA of linking websites – more established or widely-viewed sites themselves achieve higher scores, creating a virtuous circle for platforms they link to.

Domain expiry date – imminent domain expiries are regarded as less stable than sites scheduled to remain live for months or years to come.

Internal weblinks – blogs are ideal for directing traffic to other parts of a website, boosting average visit durations by encouraging people to stay a little longer.

Update frequency – regular additions of new content will be recognized and valued, providing the material is original and populated with relevant keywords.

Page loading times – quicker sites are favored by search engines, which prioritize mobile audiences. This benefits minimalist websites hosted on fast servers.

How do I check my site’s domain authority?

A number of free checking tools are available online, including the official Moz utility. This displays an initially bewildering array of tables and statistics, though the headline figure takes center stage. Linking domains and inbound links are other significant scores – Westhost.com has 1.9 million inbound links, many from social media platforms like Reddit. Indeed, inbound links from social sites are one of the best ways to achieve a strong DA score.

What if my DA is low?

Domain authority is regularly reviewed, so changes made today, for example, will have had an effect by the New Year. Removing low-quality inbound links and replacing them with high-caliber ones from reputable third-party websites is arguably the most important step in improving DA, though it requires fairly robust discussions with junk/directory site webmasters to disavow these links. Installing an SEO tool like Yoast for WordPress ought to identify content issues – excessive keyword density, insufficient word counts, missing meta descriptions, and so forth. It’s easy to make basic SEO mistakes, such as poor site structure or the lack of a robots.txt file for bots to crawl.

Generating regular content is crucial, but so is the standard of this material. Write in a way that encourages people to stay on your site for longer, with attention-grabbing headlines above short paragraphs. These should be broken up using subheadings, listicles, and images. Ensuring graphics or video clips have alt text and titles will bring further benefits. Don’t upload any new content unless it contains at least three internal links, and then generate the same number of inbound links from discussion-based social sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Quora.

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