Do I need domain authority?
The answer is yes, but not as much as other ranking signals. There is no doubt about Domain Authority, Page Authority and the importance of these metrics.
The internet is a powerful tool for people to connect in unexpected ways, but it does not always work well. There is so much noise on the internet and no way to distinguish genuine content from spammy rubbish, particularly when it comes to Page Authority which in essence has less meaning than ever before.
This is because too much fake or insufficiently informed information is put on the internet, which does not improve the understanding and relevance of these metrics, but only confuses readers even more.
The article gives you comprehensive and, above all, fact-based information on what these metrics mean and how you can use them.
Understanding domain authority
Domain Authority and Page Authority are two important metrics that you need to understand very well. Because they will help you predict and in many cases determine the user experience and performance of your website.
However, if you follow what most SEO “gurus” say about these metrics, you will end up frustrated or at best waste your time trying to increase them expecting to get more traffic than they can really mean.
Introduction to Website Authority in General
The authority of a website is the general feeling that robots or algorithms and humans assign to a website, based on trust in the content of the website and the interactions that the website stimulates.
In general, the authority of a website is not a single metric, but several indicators based on trust in the content and interactions, among other things. While Domain Authority takes into account the value of the external links the domain receives from other domains, and Page Authority takes into account not only the external links.
Also the internal links, these two metrics work together as part of a variety of ranking signals to increase the authority of a website.
Which ranking signals help to increase the authority of my website?
Domain Authority and Page Authority are not ranking factors that Google uses to rank websites. deeper than this, These metrics include a number of ranking factors like:
- Links pointing to a website.
- The quality and quantity of those links.
- The relevancy of these websites that points to your content.
- Social sharing of the content of the website.
- Dwelling time of users interactions.
- Site performance in terms of usability and user experience.
Ranking signals like the ones described above are not based on criteria that can be correctly measured by a single metric.
The Domain Authority and Page Authority metrics are merely indicators of the quality of your website, but they do not have an influence on ranking.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a metric made up of many other metrics, not just backlinks as too many out there claim. Google uses a complex set of metrics to achieve something like Domain Authority.
Yes, you can still call it Domain Authority, but you need to update your understanding of it. Think of a trusted or authoritative website rather than a domain with authority.
The only authority you should care about is in your industry and with your target audience. Believe me, if you focus on giving your audience what they want, you will gain ten times more industry authority than domain authority.
When it comes to SEO metrics, third-party tools should not be considered the only indicators of a website’s authority. Do not confuse Google’s performance metrics. Here is why.
Domain Authority Exposed
Domain authority is a value Google assigns to websites based on how reliable it deems them to be. – 👎 Fake
By Google’s standards, the higher your Domain Authority, the more credible your website is. – 👎 Fake
Domain Authority is also a measure of how much power and influences your website has. – 👎 Fake
Domain Authority is measured on a 100-point scale, with the highest score being 100 (the best). – This is true, but only if you want to rank for Moz and not Google. Moz.com is the inventor of this Domain Authority metric. A piece of professional advice: Try to rank for Google, not for Moz.
Importance of age and trust for a Domain
As in life, so it is in the world of search engine optimisation. You can achieve a lot, but still not rank as well as your competitors and vice versa. The solution to this is to earn the trust of your audience, and trust is not something you gain overnight. You have to work at it.
This is where the age of your domain plays an important role in gaining trust. There are a variety of scenarios we can use, but let us use the two most common ones:
- An old company launches a new website and uses its brand name in its domain.
- A new company uses its brand in its domain.
Scenario one is a common scenario where long-established businesses decide to have an online presence. This is an advantage for that business because its domain will receive visitors who, among other things, were already customers.
Scenario two is even more common but as common as it is, it will be difficult for a new business to gain trust with a new domain. Of course, the company can acquire an old domain, one with some history that can help it boost its online business.
But there is still no qualified audience to bring the domain into the business. You can buy ages, but you have to earn the trust. Because search engines are smart enough to know that the domain was not yours 3 weeks ago. So there is one thing you should not forget: Trust has to be earned.
Domain Popularity vs Domain Authority
People are talking about your online business everywhere: on social media, blogs and forums. If you are not listening to what’s being said about your business or product, someone else probably is. The popularity of your domain is the best-hidden ranking factor of all.
Good or bad, popularity is popularity. All you need to keep in mind is to abide by the law and do clean business. The rest are opportunities that you cant simply ignore.
In case you didn’t get it: Encourage people to talk about your business on all online channels possible or that make sense for your business. Therein lies the key, not only to increase the trustworthiness of your website but also to bring business to your website.
What does domain authority tell you?
A domain authority says different things depending on how you measure it. For example, if you look at Domain Authority from Moz, Ahrefs or any other tool that uses backlink-related metrics to determine that metric. Then the DA will tell you things like:
How many backlinks your website has in relation to the topic centre or the same Domain Authority of the domains that link to your website?
Basically, DA tells you something different for each website.
But if you look at it from the right angle, you will understand that this metric is not an indicator of possible better ranking positions in search results.
On the contrary, if you have manipulated the acquisition of backlinks to such an extent that Google’s Penguin algorithm has detected the abuse and withdrawn trust from your website (if you can call it that). Then your DA maybe 100, but the popularity of your website is simply zero, and consequently, no traffic is directed to your website.
Authority explained, the voice of trust in search engines.
Search engine trust in a website is determined by two important factors: visitor engagement with published content and algorithm ranking. Both work together in the search engines’ indexed databases to determine a website’s relevance to a search query.
In short, the voice of trust depends on the quality of the information and the trustworthiness of the content provided.
What does Google say About Domain Authority?
According to John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst, Google explicitly does not measure the authority of a website. Instead, Google uses a combination of metrics to determine the popularity of websites in an industry. Check the video below to see Mueller’s explanation.
But why is there so much noise about Domain Authority?
Despite Google’s clear statement that Domain Authority is not used as a metric or ranking factor, people, and I mean the vast majority, still hold on to it. More than that, there is even a whole industry on the internet dedicated to this topic. But why is that?
Well, quite simply because of a misunderstanding that is almost generalised. As mentioned earlier, DA is not just one metric, but a combination of metrics. Google uses even more metrics to determine not DA, but WA (website authority in the sense of popularity).
In simple words, the more popular your domain is, the more authority it has, but not based on a number, but on user interactions.
Forget the metric, it’s just a number. Start caring about people liking your content, give them the kind of information they can not easily find anywhere else. At the latest when others copy your content, Google and other search engines will clearly see that the source of the content is probably your website.
Is domain rating the same as Domain Authority?
Let us cut to the chase, folks, DA and DR are practically one and the same. The first is a creation of Moz, which you see at the top of this text. And the domain rating is a metric from ahrefs.
Are they an indicator of website traffic? BIG No.
Are they an indicator of backlinks? Yes, they are both. Would you like to know more? Have you seen the film? (Starship Tropper)
The sad truth about Domain Authority is that no one has told you yet!
Domain Authority, Domain Rating, Domain Score, all these metrics are useless when it comes to organic traffic. Yes, you can manipulate the profile of your inbound and outbound backlinks, but if you do not add value to your audience, your dominance will not last long.
Majestic, Moz, ahrefs, Semrush and all other third-party SEO metrics providers use their own database of backlinks and keywords to deliver their results. Not Google databases! Keep this in mind if you use one of these providers.
You can easily check this. Let us look at some examples in real-time:
Speed.cy DR based on ahrefs:
Speed.cy Domain authority based on Moz:
Speed.cy Domain authority based on Semrush:
Each of the above SEO tools provides different results in terms of authority, ranked keywords, backlinks, traffic, etc.
But do not get confused, the tools base their results on their own databases of backlinks, keywords, images, etc. Imagine asking someone what love is. Everyone will have their own explanation based on their own experiences. How on earth did I get from DA to love? a puzzle!
Equally a puzzle is all the metrics Google uses to determine a website’s relevance to a particular keyword based on the website’s performance profile. You do not need to crack the code here, just keep providing valuable content.
Let the search engine do its work. It already provides us with the Code: the relevance of the content.
Domain Authority and Page Authority are not ranking factors that Google uses to rank websites. These metrics are broken down into several algorithms within Google’s clusters of servers that take into account, among other things, the number of links to a website, the quality and quantity of those links, the relevance of those external links to your content, interactions, technical performance and so on.
Should I Care About Having a good domain authority?
You should care about high domain popularity, forget about domain authority. It is the popularity of your domain that counts in the search results. If the popularity of your domain is high, your chances of landing in the top results are better.
This process does not happen overnight.
First, search engine crawlers will render your page to shop it in their database and run a series of algorithms over your on-page content to look for ranking signals, security measures, warning signals and other checks.
All these algorithms and processes result in your website being ranked in the search engines’ databases of indexed websites.
While your website is in these databases, crawlers continue to crawl your web pages, looking for social signals or signals of human interaction with your content. The latter plays a crucial role when it comes to ranking.
My website is new, speed.cy has been online for a little over 8 months, and yet the search engines do not trust the content 100%. But based on the reactions of my audience, Google ranks my website better than other, much older websites, for some keywords.
Here is a real-life example:
You do not have to rely on my words, you can check your local search results to see if my site ranks better for that keywords than older sites. That is probably the case. In Cyprus, I see this result.
Note the difference between the domain scores on Ahrefs: speed.cy DR 7 vs wordpress.org DR 98.
Is my website getting more organic traffic than WordPress? A clear no.
This shows once again how little important a higher domain authority is for organic traffic. Wake up!
Is a higher or lower domain authority better?
Stop trying to get those numbers up. That will not get your website much further than providing content that really matters to search engines and people.
That’s the bottom line from this article. Not that you do not need backlinks, you do, yes you do. But let them grow naturally if you provide valuable content, as Mr Smith used to say, “After all, it’s inevitable”.
Backlinks come by themselves.
Yes, but so will a targeted audience if you write the right content. It does not get any better if your website is popular in the CBD industry and your business is about fitness. The truth is that people work out faster with CBD in the gym, but that’s another thing! Do not change the topic!
Where is the importance of domain authority?
There is a certain degree of importance that we can assign to domain authority, but always in relation to domain popularity.
Internally, however, within the domain of your own website, the authority of your homepage is crucial. You need to ensure that link equity is properly distributed across your pages. If you do not have a good internal link structure, the search engine crawlers will not understand your website properly, resulting in poor performance.
As you can see, Domain Authority starts with your strongest page, usually the home page, and should extend to all other important pages. Internally, you are free to manipulate backlinks, from one page to another, but within your own domain.
This is because crawlers pay special attention to your internal backlinks, anchor texts, semantic content, bundled articles and other things when understanding your website.
If we look at it from the human side of crawling, visitors will easily jump from one page to another based on the internal links you use on your pages, which can help them complete the information they are looking for.
When Is Domain Authority Important?
When you work on the structure of your website, the search engine crawlers try to evaluate your domain popularity. Because you call it domain authority, Google calls it domain popularity or page relevance. If you want to give it a name that Google will accept, just call it website popularity.
If you want to annoy Google, tell it about your strong domain authority, it will probably ignore it.
The so-called “LSI keywords” are also a big misunderstanding, which we have explained in this article: Truth About LSI Keywords That no one Tells You.
How can I increase the popularity of my domain?
Now you are asking the right questions, my padawan. It is quite simple.
You can start now by making sure your domain meets all the technical SEO optimisation criteria. You must first get your website in order to prepare it for popularity.
Otherwise, visitors will get frustrated when they look forward to reading great content on your website but your website takes forever to load. You do not want to lose momentum.
Then you need to brainstorm with your team about which social networks are good for your business. Focus on working with the ones that make the most sense for your industry.
And then there are the business directories. Depending on your online marketing strategy, it may be a good idea to get your website listed in the main business directories in your area. This will boost your local SEO efforts.
Then you have PR or press releases. These are great for informing others about the launch of your online business or simply introducing a new offer or product.
Do not forget Google my business, you need this free tool or the premium version, it’s up to you, but you definitely need it.
Post Content People Wants to Read
Finally, and no less important, you should focus on publishing content that will attract the attention of your competitor that you have to beat. You should also make sure that educational institutions find your content relevant enough to need for their supporting teaching materials.
So that’s the bottom line:
- Get your website’s technical SEO in order.
- Choose the social networks that are important for your business and syndicate your content and promote your products there, whether you post for free or pay to boost your posts, use them.
- List your business domain in local or international business directories.
- Post press releases regularly to promote your brand and business.
- Create content with interesting information relevant to your industry and to educational institutions or even government agencies.
What’s a good website authority score?
If you are asking yourself this question, you have learned nothing from what has been mentioned in this article. You should scroll up and start again. But let us wallow in this question a little longer before I gouge your eyes out.
The domain authority of your website is important. If you are competing with another domain authority lover, you should aim for 100, my friend!
However, if you are focused on providing great content to your readers, then good website authority depends on the interactions your websites generate. There are no points for this. Just compare your organic traffic to the number of conversions your business is driving – the bigger the latter number, the better.
Domain authority checker tools
I mean, why? Okay, you need this. There are many tools to check your Domain Authority, but here you have the 4 best:
They all have their own database and their own metrics, but if you decide to use one of these databases, you should take a look at Majestic. That’s because Majestic does not just give you the average number of backlinks identified for your website.
You will also find out which industry these websites come from, what relevance they have for your website and what they call trust flow and citation flow.
These two metrics CF and TF are useful if you want to find out what kind of websites link to your website and how often participants from your industry link to your website. You want to get noticed because you need popularity.
Ahref Link Opportunities feature
Also, I can recommend Ahref’s internal linking tool because it helps you structure the internal pages of your website with the preferred anchor texts based on the Ahrefs algorithm. This is how you find link opportunities with Ahrefs:
- Step one: Sign up for Ahrefs.
- Step two: Click on Site Audit
- Step three: Click on the website domain for which you want to find internal linking opportunities.
- Step four: Select Link Opportunities from the menu on the left.
Probably, like me, you prefer to see what is on the internet rather than read it, then here you have the creators’ video:
Common knowledge on the Internet About Domain Authority
The thing is that the information on the internet about Domain Authority is wrong. It is wrong and confuses many new marketers. Yes, it is not all wrong because this site is on the internet, is it? So let us hold that most of the information on the internet about DA is wrong.
The way we use DA needs to be retrained. Yes, there is an authority that your domain gets from the interactions and other domains linking to your site, but this relates to the popularity of the site rather than the “authority” of a domain.
Yes, you will use DA for your internal structure, but the way search engines like Google rank your domain does not depend on DA. It depends on the sum of a variety of criteria and also on the overall strength of your content.
So that’s the way you read Domain Authority on the internet:
Wrapping up Domain Authority
I am sorry to wake you so late, but it’s time you redirected your efforts to meaningful content. Let your domain authority grow as a result of the relevance of your great content. Stop fighting the battle for domain popularity with the wrong skills.
Imagine fighting an army of tanks by putting on a pink tutu and showing attitude. Yes, you will kill one or two with a laugh, but you will not get far!
Domain authority has a new name in your brain, it’s now called domain popularity, and you will succeed, not by paying for backlinks, but by getting visitors to love your content. Your competitors will also have to adjust their backlink strategy because they will soon realise that your website is outranking them.
If you need help reviewing your website’s internal link profile and creating content that matters to your industry, we are here to help.
Work smarter, not harder!