What Is Domain Authority and How Can I Use It?

When comparing the relative popularity of one site over another, we can look at hard statistics like the number of unique monthly users and the number of unique monthly page views. That’s all well and good, but it is also accompanied by two key problems. First, that information is not publicly accessible, because we can’t just dig into the Google Analytics account of just any old website. Second, the number of page views is not necessarily indicative of how well the website ranks in a search engine.

For the latter, we find ourselves turning to a myriad of other quantitative scores. These numbers offer some indication about how well the website can and does rank in search engines like Google. If a new post were to be published, how likely would it show up in the first page of the Google search results? These numbers are also used by different agencies to gauge the popularity of a site. In the case of sponsored content, it can also be used to determine what the “suggested” rate should be.

In addition to Compete, Alexa, Quantcast and several others, one of the most widely accepted standards is something called Domain Authority. This score was largely developed by Moz and it is used to predict “how well a website will rank on search engines.” The algorithm for its calculation is based on several different metrics, providing a final score on a scale of 0 to 100 (higher is better).


Moz says that it uses over 40 signals as part of its calculation of Domain Authority, looking into such factors as the total number of inbound links. As a result, you’ll find that your Domain Authority can fluctuate dramatically from day to day. And remember that Domain Authority looks at your domain as a whole, unlike Page Authority that — you guessed it — looks at the relative strength of an individual webpage. That’s another key difference with Google PageRank, for example.

One of the more important things to note about Domain Authority is that it is meant to be used more as a comparative tool than it is to be used as an historical tool. You should compare the Domain Authority of Site X against the Domain Authority of Site Y to gauge which one will be better at ranking in Google. It’s not necessarily as useful to compare the Domain Authority of Site X in June 2014 against the Domain Authority of Site X in June 2015.

And even though Domain Authority is on a 100-point scale, it is not a linear scale; it’s a logarithmic scale, similar to Google PageRank. Improving your Domain Authority score from 10 to 20 is a lot easier than increasing it from 70 to 80. As you move further up the scale, the harder it is to gain more points.


There are a grand number of Internet marketing and search engine optimization tools and utilities out there that can provide you with your Domain Authority score, along with several other metrics for measuring how SEO-friendly your website is. If you want to perform a quick check on your Domain Authority, the web-based tool at smallseotools.com is simple and functional.

It may be true that if you live by the Google, you’ll die by the Google. It’s also true that ranking well for your target keywords can only help bolster your online business, driving more traffic to your website and dramatically increasing your earning potential.

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