Domain Authority: Interpreting Score and Changes

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on what’s known in the SEO world as Domain Authority. Created by industry leader Moz and meant to mimic many of the important metrics sites like Google use to rank and value pages, Domain Authority can be checked using tools like their Link Explorer, within SERP Analysis and from other sources as well.

At SEO Werkz, our comprehensive private label SEO agency services include numerous areas that speak to Domain Authority in some way or another, from off-site optimization and link-building to web design, content creation and much more. How does Moz calculate their DA metric, and how can you interpret your score and understand why it’s changing over time? Here are some basics to keep in mind.

Technical Back End

As we noted in part one, DA is meant to mimic Google’s old PageRank metric – but they are not the same, as the latter became a private metric some years ago. So what exactly does Moz use to calculate the DA number?

domain authority score changes

The calculation is based on machine learning, which searches for algorithms that show the “best fit” across hundreds or thousands of search results. These search results serve as the scale against which your pages are compared. This means that scores will change over time, and also that DA is a relative metric – it should be used to compare link profiles and stack yourself up against other sites, rather than being used as a simple linear ranking system of any kind, especially within your own pages.

Interpreting Your DA Score

So how do you know if your DA score is considered good or not? There’s some context at play here, largely based around the size of your site and the number of internal links you utilize.

For starters, all websites begin with a DA score of exactly one. Larger businesses with lots of quality external links will have the highest DA scores, while smaller sites with fewer links will have lower scores – but it’s important to note that this is okay in many cases if you’re a smaller business, and Domain Authority isn’t the only metric that matters. Use this number to compare to similar sites in your industry or your competitors, for instance.

Why Did it Change?

There are a few reasons your DA score may have changed recently:

  • High-authority sites, especially in your industry, have grown significantly in link profile, which changes how other DA scores skew.
  • Your site earned links from places that are not part of Google’s rankings.
  • Your link profile growth is new and has not yet been captured by Moz’s web index.
  • More or fewer of your linking domains have been crawled than previously.
  • Your DA score is naturally lower due to your site size, meaning changes in scaling will impact you in an even larger way.

For more on Domain Authority in SEO and how to understand and improve it, or to learn about any of our SEO, PPC, web design or other services, speak to the staff at SEO Werkz today.

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