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What is Domain Authority and How to Calculate it?

Here’s how you can check your domain authority and analyse the effect it has on your search engine optimisation. Go on, get stuck in!


What is domain authority, and why you should care?

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Often referred to as simply DA, domain authority is a metric developed by the SEO nerds over at Moz.

Legend has it that Dr Moz wanted a method of ensuring how likely their site would rank in search engine results pages. So they got to work in their lab, mixing science and old magic, when all of a sudden, eureka! Like Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, a brand new metric (Domain Authority) was birthed into the world. SEO nerds far and wide said in unison, ‘Oh, cool, yeah, that’s pretty neat’.

DA (Domain Authority) aims to forecast the ranking position of a website in search engine results pages (SERPs). It assigned a numerical score to each website from 1-100, with those with higher scores seemingly having a better chance at ranking well in SERPs. While DA is a valuable tool for analysing the SEO performance of a website and estimating the ranking potential, businesses and marketers should remembae that DA is not a direct ranking factor used by Google for determining actual search result rankings.


What do good and bad scores look like?

A domain authority score ranges from 1 to 100. The closer your score is to 100, the more authority your site has. As a result, the better the chance your site will have to appear higher up in search engine results pages.

If you’re closer to 1, then you need to call an SEO doctor stat! As you’ll have a meagre chance of making up the SERP ladder.

Talking specifics, you will want to aim for a score of above 40, as anything below will usually be considered poor to very poor, to even terrible.


Consider the following when looking at your domain authority score:

  • 1- 20: Ruh-roh raggy!
  • 20-39: I’m not angry or upset with you; I’m just disappointed.
  • 40-50: Scoring between 40 and 50 is the average for most websites.
  • 50-60: If your Authority sits between 50 and 60, well done, this is a good, solid score.
  • 60+: Now, some of you clever clogs may sit with a score of 60 and above. Congratulations, you nerds, that is an excellent score.


However, it is worth noting that a score between 40 and 50 for a smaller organisation or a one-man band would be considered very good.


How can Domain Authority Tools be Used to Analyse Competitors’ Websites?

Domain Authority tools can be used to dissect competitor websites by assessing and evaluating various metrics. These metrics can provide valuable insights into the strength and authority of competitor websites and showcase whether you are better or worse positioned online than the competition. If you opt to use a domain authority tool, you can analyse your competitors’ domain scores, view their backlink profiles, and evaluate the quality and quantity of inbound links pointing towards their websites.

These tools also help businesses and marketing sites identify potential keyword opportunities and content gaps that competitors might target or miss. Overall, investing in a domain authority tool provides a comprehensive view of your competitor’s online presence, inspiring and enabling businesses to make more strategic business decisions and enhance their competitive efforts.


What Additional Metrics can be Obtained from Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, SEO Review Tools, and Small SEO Tools?

Tools such as Moz, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and more will offer a range of additional metrics that businesses and marketers can use to analyse website performance and optimise existing and previous SEO strategies. 

– Moz will provide a list of the top linking domains aside their DA (Domain Authority), keyword analysis based on estimated clicks, top-ranked keywords, branded keywords and featured snippets.  

– SEMrush will allow users to evaluate backlinks and the authority score of referring domains and identify top link-building opportunities to improve SEO efforts.

– Ahrefs calculates Domain Rating using factors such as unique domains linking to the website, the existing rankings of those domains, and the number of unique sites the domain is linked to.


How is Domain Authority calculated?

Domain Authority is calculated using machine learning algorithms, which take a wealth of different factors into account; this includes aspects such as the quality and number of backlinks pointing to a website, the age of the domain, the website’s speed, and the quality of content on the site. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors below:

1. Quality of backlinks: Domain Authority is influenced by the quality of backlinks that point to a website. Backlinks from sites with a higher DA can positively impact a website’s Domain Authority score. 

2. Number of backlinks: While having a good number of backlinks is generally beneficial, these backlinks must be from reputable and relevant sources. A large number of low-quality backlinks may negatively affect DA.

3. Age of your domain: The length of time a domain has been active can contribute to its authority score. Older domains that have been active for a longer period of time may have a higher score than newer domains.

4. Website speed: A website’s loading speed and efficiency can also contribute to its domain score, as fast loading enhances user experience and may positively impact the site’s overall authority.

5. Quality of content: The quality of a website’s content is critical to domain authority. High-quality, relevant, and valuable content can help boost a site’s authority. Regularly updating content and adhering to Google’s guidelines for helpful content can positively influence DA.


How to check your score.

You can find your score through a range of different methods. The two easiest ways are using a free website tool or platform with a domain authority checker built into it. It’s pretty common for larger SEO platforms or SEO-orientated sites to have a domain authority tool or checker.

Why not start where the metric began with Moz’s very own free domain analysis tool.

Or, if you want something a bit more all-encompassing, maybe try SEMrush!

Bearded man talking to someone through a car door, What is Domain Authority and How to Calculate it?


What is domain authority in SEO?

By now, you will want that precious 60+ score ( if you haven’t already ). Depending on our current authority score, you will have to work harder on a range of search engine optimisation actions.

To make it easier for you, yes, that’s right, we’re courteous like that; we’ll highlight the issues that will have a significant impact on your score.


Page Speed.

Doesn’t it always feel like this comes up time and time again? We don’t know about you, but we do a great deal of reading around SEO and page speed is also up there when it comes to improving SEO ranking factors.

Anyways, all of that aside, one of the critical factors of a good domain authority score is a site with a good page load speed. We often use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get our clients a quick idea of their page speeds. However, if you want the full-service, our DIY SEO platform offers all of this and much more. Why not claim your free site audit today!

penguin running, What is Domain Authority and How to Calculate it?


Again, this is usually one of the usual suspects for improving your website. We’d recommend not that you pursue new backlinks from sites that have a high authority score. You should also review your existing backlinks and disavow these links via Google’s Disavow Link Tool.

Just be careful how you go about getting these links. Earn them organically and naturally, and always check the website from which you will receive a backlink. And maybe don’t trust [email protected] when they offer ‘amazing quality backlink opportunities for only £2.99’.


Guest posting.

This one sounds complicated, but it’s straightforward; it essentially means posting on another website as a guest. Offer your expertise and thought leadership to others in your industry; always get a backlink to your site.

You’ll contribute to the ever-important hoard of knowledge on the world wide web and bring exposure and yummy SEO juice to you and the guest site.


A responsive website.

You’ll know this well; a good website needs to run well on all device types. After the 4th quarter of 2021, mobile now accounts for 54.4% of all global websites. So, if your site runs slowly on mobile devices, search engines like Google have no choice but to drop you down a peg with your authority score.

Google always puts the user experience first. So as your site responsiveness improves your ranking potential, it also helps you achieve a higher domain score.

We hope these tips help! Best of luck with your domain authority, folks!



No time to increase your authority score in-house? ROAR can help with that! We’ll get you ready to ROAR with our digital marketing services!

Get in touch with one of our SEO specialists today to book a free consultation



Author Joshua Lee is a senior SEO Executive at ROAR Digital Marketing. He has been with ROAR for nearly three years and manages SEO projects for clients ranging from startups to large enterprise businesses. Joshua is known for his keen attention to detail and critical thinking skills, which allow him to work with clients to achieve profitable and revolutionary results.


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