What Is Website Authority? The Role of Domain Authority in SEO

Brody Hall
Nov 7, 2023

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Website authority is a strange beast. Although it’s not a Google ranking factor, research has uncovered that a high website authority score correlates with high rankings.

So what gives?

To answer this question and much more, stick around as we

  1. explore the question, “What is website authority,”
  2. uncover its importance in the SEO and broader content marketing world,
  3. and delve into actionable strategies that’ll enhance your site’s authority.

What Is Website Authority?

Website authority is a metric used to gauge a website’s credibility, trustworthiness, and rankability. While it provides insights into a website’s potential performance on search engine results pages (SERPs), it’s essential to note that these metrics are not direct ranking factors used by search engines like Google.

So, how do we measure website authority? Different search engine optimization (SEO) tools use slightly different approaches to measure a perceived website’s authority. Each methodology places varying amounts of weight on differing factors, often leading to different scores for the same website.

Learn more: Interested in broadening your SEO knowledge even further? Check out our SEO glossary, where we’ve explained over 250+ terms.

The Different Metrics of Website Authority

  • Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz. DA has a scoring range of between 0 to 100. A higher DA score indicates greater chances of ranking higher. Moz considers multiple factors to determine DA, including linking root domains and the number of total links.
  • Domain Rating (DR) is Ahref’s way of measuring website authority. DR also ranges from 0 to 100 and represents the strength of a website’s backlink profile. Unlike DA, DR focuses more on the quality of the links rather than quantity.

Learn more: domain rating vs. domain authority.

Website Authority vs. Page Authority

Before we move on, let’s tackle one more thing: the difference between website authority and page authority.

While website authority offers a score representing an entire domain’s trustworthiness and rankability, page authority zeroes in on the strength and ranking potential of a single web page of that domain. In other words, think of website authority as the general reputation of a website, while page authority is the popularity of a specific product or article.

Both are just as important as the other: a high website authority boosts individual pages, while cornerstone content elevates the entire site’s perceived value in search engines.

Why Is Website Authority Important?

Google has consistently maintained that website authority, as a specific metric, isn’t a direct factor in their ranking algorithm. Google’s John Mueller has previously hinted at this. Responding to a comment on X (Twitter), when asked: “…does high domain authority with backlinks guarantee high ranking on Google?” To this, John simply answered, “No.”

So, if Google doesn’t use metrics like DA or DR directly, why should we care about them?

The answer lies in the factors that shape these metrics. Google’s search algorithms, which consider over 200 ranking factors, focus on the quality and relevance of backlinks—a core component of both DA and DR. So. At the same time, Google might not look at DA or DR scores, the factors influencing these scores resonate with what Google deems important for ranking.

This isn’t just a hunch. It’s backed by research.

The Correlation Between Website Authority and Rankings

As you can imagine, because of Google’s stance, website authority, as a concept, has long been a topic of debate among SEO professionals. So, let’s put our lab coats on and cut through the noise.

Ahrefs conducted a comprehensive study to understand the relationship between keyword rankings and domain rating. After analyzing 218,713 domains, each ranking for at least 100 keywords, a clear correlation emerged. Onely’s study further elaborates on this correlation, revealing that for domain authority, the average correlation coefficient is 0.16, while for domain rating, it’s 0.14.

It’s also worth noting that Google still uses PageRank, a form of measuring link equity, as a ranking signal in its algorithm. This further emphasizes the importance of a website’s backlink profile in determining its authority and, by extension, its potential ranking on SERPs.

How to Improve Your Website Authority

As we’ve established, Moz and Ahrefs determine DA and DR primarily by focusing on a website’s backlink profiles, including linking root domains, the total number of links, the quality of those links, and their relevance. However, it’s worth understanding that while backlinks play a significant role, DA and DR are holistic metrics that encapsulate a website’s overall “authority” and “trustworthiness.”

In other words, to truly boost your website authority score, you’ll need to adopt a comprehensive approach beyond simply securing backlinks. Here’s how:

Master the Art of Backlinking

Backlinks are the backbone of both DA and DR. To enhance your website’s authority:

  • Engage in Guest Posting: Collaborate with reputable websites in your niche to contribute content and earn quality backlinks.
  • Leverage Broken Link Building: Identify broken links on other websites and offer your content as a replacement.

Craft High-Quality Content

Content is king for a reason. Exceptional content attracts organic backlinks. Regularly publish:

  • In-depth Articles: Comprehensive pieces that cover topics extensively.
  • Infographics: Visual content often gets shared, earning you backlinks.

Optimize User Experience (UX)

A user-friendly site that provides value is more likely to earn organic backlinks. Focus on:

  • Mobile Optimization: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
  • Fast Loading Times: A slow site can deter visitors and potential backlinks.

Strengthen Technical SEO

While not a direct backlink strategy, a technically sound website is more link-worthy:

  • Regular Audits: Identify and rectify SEO issues.
  • Optimize On-page Elements: Ensure every element is optimized from meta tags to schema markup.

Foster Trust and Credibility

A trustworthy site is more likely to attract quality backlinks:

  • Secure Your Site: Use HTTPS to ensure data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Showcase Testimonials and Reviews: Social proof can enhance your site’s credibility.

Learn more: how to increase domain authority.

Website Authority FAQs

Q1: What Is a Good Domain Authority for Small Businesses?

A good domain authority (DA) score for small businesses varies, but as a general guideline, a DA between 10-30 is considered average, 40-60 is good, and anything above 60 is excellent.

Q2: How Can I Check My Domain Authority?

You can determine your Domain Authority using Loganix’s domain authority checker tool. Our tool offers insights into your website’s perceived authority based on various metrics and allows you to check up to 10 URLs every 24 hours for free.

Q3: How Long Does It Take To Get Domain Authority?

Building or improving domain authority is a gradual process influenced by various factors, including the quality and relevance of backlinks, content quality, and technical SEO. While some websites may see improvements within months, others might take years, depending on their strategies and competition.

Conclusion and Next Steps

Mastering website authority is essential, but it’s just the beginning. Businesses require a holistic SEO strategy that covers content creation, technical optimization, local SEO, and beyond.

Enter Loganix. We don’t just offer SEO services—we deliver results.

Our tailored solutions address every aspect of your online presence, ensuring you stand out and stay ahead. Whether you’re looking to boost your website’s authority or dominate local searches, Loganix’s got you covered.

🚀 Discover the full potential of Loganix’s SEO services, and let us propel your business to new heights. 🚀

Hand off the toughest tasks in SEO, PPC, and content without compromising quality

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Written by Brody Hall on November 7, 2023

Content Marketer and Writer at Loganix. Deeply passionate about creating and curating content that truly resonates with our audience. Always striving to deliver powerful insights that both empower and educate. Flying the Loganix flag high from Down Under on the Sunshine Coast, Australia.