The SEO world is full of metrics that influence how teams steer strategies. Authority plays a central role in these insights because authority impacts both human users searching for solutions and search engine bots crawling websites.
How do these metrics differ and why are they important?
The most common discussions revolve around four important SEO metrics:
Domain authority vs page authority
Domain rating vs URL rating
As you probably can tell, these metrics center on a website’s level of authority.
Why Domain Authority Matters In SEO Metrics
Where do you turn when you have a specific request? What do you consider in the early stages of research? If you’re researching how to manage deductions for your taxes, you would seek information from your accountant, not your barista. You would trust a financial advisor to help you manage your investments, right?
In other words, you’re searching for an authoritative resource. And when you find an authority, you continue going to them for help.
Authority is needed to earn trust. In the marketing world, when your audience trusts you, you become a go-to resource and build a meaningful relationship with them over time.
Building trust within your industry obviously delivers a lot of awesome results. You'll generate more traffic and leads, earn high quality backlinks from industry professionals, and set your company up to drive sales.
Search engine algorithms weigh plenty of factors when determining the level of authority you have in the digital world.
Two of the biggest factors you need to focus on are content and links.
Kickass content reigns supreme, but the emphasis here is on the kickass factor. Your content is not king if you're simply publishing content for the sake of having a blog.
Great content is thoughtful and inspired. It's part of a targeted content strategy built by your team to fully answer questions your buyer personas have.
Your content needs to be relevant for search queries. Search engine bots analyze language, structure, and several other elements to understand how well a webpage addresses a topic and how much the content can benefit users searching for answers.
The page is indexed, and then the algorithm starts assesses external signals, which leads to the next big factor…
Backlinks act as votes of confidence from one site to another. This concept is called link equity or link juice.
Building high quality links is how you strengthen authority on the internet. As you earn links from sites with high quality link profiles, you boost your ranking potential.
This is why you can't just create content and simply hope others will link to you. Sure, your readers might share your content, and you'll generate favorable word of mouth with awesome content. But you also need to create a proactive link building process to really start seeing results and improving your authority-specific SEO metrics.
Now, let’s go through each of the most important metrics.
It’s important to first define what domain authority is not – it is not a metric Google uses to determine search rankings.
It is actually a proprietary ranking score developed by Moz, which was recently updated to improve accuracy and reliability of the score. It’s calculated by factors like number of links and linking root domains.
The score is measured on a 100-point logarithmic scale, so it’s harder to boost your score the higher you go.
How You Can Use Domain Authority
This metric sheds light on how well a website can rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). It is a comparative metric – you want to aim to have a higher score than your competitors. Many people mistakenly think of it as a concrete metric and strive to earn a perfect score.
But in reality, it's a great metric to use to see which competitors you should strive to outrank. You can improve your score by earning high quality links throughout your domain.
One of the most commonly asked questions is, “What is a good domain authority?”
The answer is – there is no true good or bad. It's not as easy as simply stating, “Any website with a DA of 70 or more are the good sites.”
Your score is for comparing your domain with others in your industry. So really, you can gauge how “good” yours is by simply looking at your top competitors.
Use MozBar or Moz Pro for measuring domain authority and tracking how yours and your competitors' scores change over time.
How Does Moz Calculate Domain Authority?
Domain authority is scored on a scale of 1 to 100 (1 being the worst, 100 being the best) using an algorithm designed by Moz. Its logarithmic scale means that it’s much easier to improve your score if your domain authority is at a 20 or a 30 than if it was at a 70 or an 80. Domain authority between 40 and 50 is considered average, between 50 and 60 is considered good and over 60 is considered excellent.
So how exactly does Moz determine your Domain Authority score? It uses over 40 different factors, but the following are some of the most important:
Linking Root Domains – This is the number of unique backlinks your website has earned. So if it has obtained 20 external links from two different websites, then you’ve only had two linking root domains. Earning a few links from different websites will boost your ranking more than earning many links from the same website.
MozRank – MozRank is the metric used to score the strength of your website’s external links. It takes into account not just the number of links that are pointing back to your site, but also the quality of those links. Quality tends to beat quantity, which means that one good external link is better to have than two low-quality links. MozRank uses a 0-10 scale (with 10 being the highest). The average MozRank rating for a website is a 3.
MozTrust – Like MozRank, MozTrust is a metric used to help determine the quality of your external links. However, it’s a little more specific in that it measures how closely your website is connected to trusted websites. Trusted websites are .edu or .gov sites. Even if a .edu or .gov site links to a site that then links to you, it’s considered a sign of trust that helps increase your MozTrustrating, which is also based on a 0-10 rating.
Quality Content – Content is one of the main factors on which a website’s search engine ranking is based on, so it should come as no surprise that the quality of your website’s content is a factor in determining its domain authority. While domain authority may help improve your search engine ranking, it also correlates closely with it.
Social Signals – Google uses social signals as one of the main factors in identifying good quality content. For example, it’s safe to assume that a piece of content that is shared, liked and commented on hundreds of times must be of some quality. Moz uses the same social signals in determining domain authority.
Search Engine Friendliness – This refers to the use of SEO as well as to the site structure and user-friendliness of your website. Site structure can directly affect usability in that poor site structure makes your site difficult to navigate. It also makes it difficult for search engines to properly crawl and index your site, which can hurt your rankings. This is essential for your domain authority as well.
How Does Moz Calculate Page Authority?
Although domain authority provides a better understanding of how your entire website is performing, it doesn’t mean that page authority isn’t as useful. In fact, the page authority of your site’s webpages has a direct impact on your overall domain authority as well as your search engine ranking, after all.
Moz uses a similar scale as domain authority to score page authority, meaning a 100-point, logarithmic scale. Keep in mind that even if you haven’t done anything to a page, its score may still fluctuate due to the fact that Moz is constantly updating their algorithm.
The following are some of the ranking factors that Moz uses to determine page authority:
Social signals, such as the number of Google+1’s, Facebook Likes, Twitter Retweets or LinkedIn Shares a page has received.
The number of root domains linking to the page.
The number of root domains linking to the page using partial match anchor text.
The number of subdomains that link to the page.
The number of quality websites linking to the page.
The number of external links a page has.
How To Increase Your Domain Authority
Now that you understand why domain authority is important and the ranking factors used by Moz to determine a website’s domain authority, you’re probably wondering how you can put that to use in order to actually increase your domain authority score.
How Often Will Your Domain Authority Score Gets an Update?
According to Moz, they update their DA metrics in real-time as links are being recognized. In relations to this is their link analysis data whereby the Moz Mozscape Index is updated every 3 to 4 weeks, which is the time you should check for your DA after you have made any updates to your website.
The following are the 9 steps that you should follow to increase domain authority, from the very beginning of your site’s creation:
Step 1: Choose A Good Domain Name
If you are just starting out, then pick a domain name that is relevant to your website. It should be something that’s relatively easy to remember so that visitors won’t have any issues returning to your site because they forgot your domain name. You may even want to buy an old domain so that you don’t have to make a domain age.
If you already have a domain, make sure it’s not going to expire anytime soon by renewing it for at least three to five years.
Step 2: Optimize Your On-Page Content
SEO matters for both Google search engine ranking as well as your domain authority, so make sure that you optimize all on-page code, including your title tags, image alt tags and the content itself.
Step 3: Create Linkable Content
In order to earn high-quality links form multiple domains, which both MozRank and MozTrust use as important factors, you need to create high-quality content that is published at regularly.
The better your content is, the more likely it will be that another authoritative site will link to it. This means that your content has to be relevant to your brand and to your audience, informative, creative, and well written.
Step 4: Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
Many websites are so concerned about earning external links that they overlook the importance of internal links. Internal links help to direct visitors to what they are trying to find, thereby improving their user experience. This means that if they’ve burrowed deep into your back catalog of blog posts, they can still easily find their way to your homepage by one of your internal links.
Internal links help prevent visitors from leaving out of frustration, and also help to keep them engaged with your website at the same time. Additionally, internal links make it easier for search engines to index your entire site.
Step 5: Remove Bad And Toxic Links
Every once in a while, you should go through your link profile and search for any backlinks that are bad or toxic. This will allow you to remove links from bad sources that could end up hurting your domain authority instead of helping it.
You should also remove any links posted throughout your website that lead to bad sites or are broken as these will have a negative impact as well.
Step 6: Make Sure That Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
A huge number of online users access the web through mobile devices. If your website hasn’t been optimized for mobile use yet, then you’re way behind.
Not only will it hurt your mobile search engine rankings, but you’ll lose out on a lot of visitors who will simply leave your site once they realize that it’s not being properly displayed on their smartphone or tablet.
This can only be done by creating great content and engaging with your followers and consumers on social media in a meaningful manner.
By boosting your reputation as an authority, you’ll strengthen the identity of your brand, which will not only help increase traffic, but also increase the number of external links you earn from other high-quality sources.
Another way to increase your website authority is by doing guest blogs on other websites that are relevant to your industry.
Step 8: Increase The Loading Speed Of Your Webpages
Poor loading speed can have a nasty effect on your bounce rate. Most users have very little patience for a page that takes too long to load and will end up leaving your website altogether if their patience wears out.
You can also check your website’s loading speed with the PageSpeed tool by Google Developers. Not only it will analyze the speed of your site, it will identify some ways for you to make your site faster and improve user experience.
Step 9: Promote Your Content Via Social Media
Because social signals are a big ranking factor, you’ll need to promote your content on social media in order to obtain those signals. Otherwise, your content is just going to sit on your site all by itself.
Post links to your content on your various social media pages and be sure to encourage followers to like, share or comment on it. You should also include social share buttons directly on your webpages.
Wrapping It Up
Domain authority is important for a number of reasons. It allows you to judge the overall performance of your website. It also lets you compare your score to that of competing websites to see where you stand.
By being able to identify the domain authority of other sites, you can also identify other sites worth linking to in your content as well as sites that are industry authorities that are worth establishing a relationship with. Not to mention that it can help bring in stronger traffic.
Before you go, here’s a quick guide to check your domain authority and a checklist on how to increase domain authority. Don’t forget to tick these off:
Pick a domain name that is relevant to your niche.
Optimize on-page SEO including your title tags, image alt tags, and the content.
Produce high-quality content that people will link to.
Include internal links to improve user experience.
Run an audit to remove bad and broken links for a healthy website.
To put it simply, this score follows the same concept as domain authority, sharing several elements:
It’s a proprietary score created by Moz.
It’s scored on a 100-point logarithmic scale and based on many factors.
It’s a comparative tool, so when you ask, “What is a good page authority?,” you need to see how you stack up against competitors.
Page authority is calculated in the same way DA is, but it looks at the individual page level, not the entire domain. It's a good metric to keep in mind as you're looking at individual pages.
How You Can Use Page Authority
Compare your pages with similar ones from your competitors. For example, you can track the authority of your latest pillar page you published and see how it compares to your competitor's pillar page addressing a similar topic.
You can improve your page authority by building your link profile and earning links for the specific page you’re measuring. One of the most surefire ways to earn backlinks is by producing and continually publishing relevant, comprehensive, easy-to-read content that addresses a specific topic.
How To Increase Your Page Authority
Now that you know what Page Authority is and what factors Moz uses in order to determine the Page Authority scoring of a page, you’re probably a bit curious as to how you can improve the Page Authority of one of your web pages.
The higher a Page Authority score one of your web pages receive, the better chance it has of ranking high on Google’s search engine results pages, after all.
The following are three of the most effective ways that you can increase your Page Authority:
1. Create Fresh Content
Good, fresh content is the best way to assure a good Page Authority score. As previously mentioned, it all starts with good content.
You need to create high-quality content that is relevant to your brand, and you need to post new content on a regular basis. The better your content ends up being, the more likely it is to be shared, commented or liked by readers – and the more likely other sites are to link to your page.
Since both of these factors weigh heavily on your Page Authority, you’ll want to make it a point to focus on content creation. The following are a few tips to help you create high quality, fresh content:
Make sure your content is interesting.One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to write fluff pieces that contain no substance. They only care about SEO and think that anything will do, as long as they can throw a few keywords in there. The thing is, they’re wrong.If your content isn’t interesting, then you won’t earn any social signals. Nobody is going to like, share or comment on uninteresting content – and you certainly won’t earn any links this way.
Make sure you update your content regularly.Fresh content is important. Google looks for content that is up-to-date and relevant in order to better meet user queries.To keep your content fresh, you need to regularly update your site with brand new content. If all of your content is old, it’s going to end up hurting your Page Authority score.
Make sure your content is useful and relevant.Just because your content is interesting doesn’t mean it’s useful and relevant. This is because you may be writing for the wrong audience.Make sure that the content you create is informative or helpful to your target audience.
Make sure your content is easy to read.You may be producing the best content on the Internet – but if it’s difficult to read, nobody’s going to read it. And if nobody is reading it, then kiss those social signals and external links goodbye.How can you make your content easier to read?
By breaking it up into smaller paragraphs with different headers as well as by using bullet points and numbers to deliver important information. Using visuals, such as infographics or images, to break up the monotony of text is a good idea as well.
2. Earn External Links
External links are important for a variety of reason
For example, if a website posts a link to one of your blog posts in an article, then their audience will be exposed to your brand, which can help bring more web traffic to your site as well.
Obviously, the higher quality the site is that links to your pages, the higher quality the traffic will be. Additionally, external links from high-quality sites are considered a strong indicator of quality – something Google deems incredibly important.
So how can you earn external links?
First of all, the content needs to be good. Without good content, you’re facing an uphill battle.
Secondly, promote your content on social media. The more social signals you have, the more exposure your content has, which means other sites have a better chance at coming across it.
Thirdly, you should also link to other authority sites in your blog posts. These sites will take note of the fact that you are sending them traffic and will often return the favor by linking to your site as well.
Last but not least, writing guest blogs for other sites within your industry is a good way to earn external links while also building brand authority to boot.
3. Use Images
Believe it or not, but the use of images can have quite a big impact on your Page Authority. Using images – especially images that are of original content – can provide your page with a number of benefits.
The following are a few of the benefits of using images throughout your content:
Images can greatly increase the readability of your posts and contribute to your Page Authority.
Images make content more readable.Written content can sometimes be difficult to read simply because large blocks of text can be overwhelming to your readers. Images are helpful because they allow you to break up your text with a visual component.Additionally, they make it much easier for readers to scan your content. A reader should be able to scan your page quickly and get a good idea of what it’s about. An image that is relevant to your text will provide context for the subject matter of your content.
Images are more shareable.People are much more likely to share visual content than they are written content.Additionally, when you post a link to your content on your social media pages, the accompanying image will make the post stand out to your followers more as well as help draw them to your content, making it more likely that they’ll follow the link to your page in order to read the content.
Images can improve SEO.Google appreciates the use of images to complement the written content. However, Google can’t identify what the images you are using are unless you use descriptive ALT text to tell Google what they are.Make sure that you use strong SEO keywords in this ALT text so that your images can be found on Google’s search engine, thereby improving that page’s ability to generate more traffic.
What Is Domain Rating (DR)?
Essentially, domain rating is Ahrefs’ version of Moz's domain authority. DR shows the strength of a website’s total backlink profile, and it’s measured on a 100-point logarithmic scale.
Look at how many unique domains have at least one dofollow link to your website.
Take into account the DR of the linking domains.
Take into account how many unique domains each of those sites link to.
Calculate “raw” DR scores through the algorithm.
Plot scores on a 0–100 scale, which changes over time.
How You Can Use Domain Rating
As with these other authority-centric SEO metrics, you can use domain rating to see how well built your link profile is compared to your competitors. This is how you determine if your score is good, just like when you use domain and page authority scores.
You need to spy on others in your industry on a consistent basis.
Keep these things in mind when you’re trying to boost your domain rating:
Strive for dofollow links only; a nofollow link does nothing.
Linking websites that increase their DR leads to a ripple effect, boosting the DR of each site they add dofollow links to.
Earning more links from the a unique domain won’t move the needle; remember, aim for unique linking domains.
These tips will help you prioritize your tactics so you can boost your rating in an efficient way.
What Is URL Rating (UR)?
This proprietary score from Ahrefs shows the strength of a specific page’s backlink profile. It is also scored on a 100-point logarithmic scale. As you can see, it is very similar to Moz’s page authority score.
It uses similar principals as Google PageRank, which is why this score is a reliable indicator of ranking potential. It also accounts for both internal and external links, weighing them differently.
Each page passes some of its value to each of the links it includes. An overly simplistic example would be involve a page with a UR of 100, linking to 10 other pages. Each of these dofollow links will carry an equal amount of the little bit of the linking page's UR that passes through the links.
As a general rule of thumb, high URL ratings show a high level of link popularity for the associated page.
How You Can Use URL Rating
Just as you do with page authority, you need to compare your content with similar webpages. This analysis will shed light on how to make better content, which is your best bet for earning more quality backlinks.
Speaking of backlinks, this leads into your biggest takeaway…
The Bottom Line
The best way to outrank your competitors in these SEO metrics is by delivering content that is better and stronger for your target audience.
When you’re looking at domain authority vs. page authority while comparing URL rating and domain rating, keep your SEO best practices in mind and build a comprehensive strategy to earn more authority than your competitors.
Faqs Domain Authority, Page Authority Vs Domain Rating
What is a good domain authority score?
Its logarithmic scale means that it's much easier to improve your score if your domain authority is at a 20 or a 30 than if it was at a 70 or an 80. Domain authority between 40 and 50 is considered average, between 50 and 60 is considered good and over 60 is considered excellent
What does domain rating mean?
What is Domain Rating DR? Domain Rating is a proprietary Ahrefs' metric that shows the strength of a target website's total backlink profile in terms of its size and quality. DR is measured on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100, with the latter being the strongest
What is DR and UR in SEO?
Domain Rating and URL Rating are the metrics Ahrefs uses to rate the backlink profile of a website. DR is a measure of the quantity and quality of the backlinks going to an entire domain, while UR rates the backlinks going to a specific page.
What is backlink in SEO?
Backlink is a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website's prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website's SEO ranking. Search engines calculate rankings using multiple factors to display search results.
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