If you’ve been approached by a company to work on advertising, sponsored posts or guest posts on your blog, you might have heard of domain authority. If you’re a member of blogging Facebook groups, you’ve probably noticed people talking about what their DA (domain authority) is and whether it’s increased or decreased with the latest update.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a metric used by a site called Moz to judge how well a site ranks in Google based on various ranking factors. It is measured using Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool.
Because Moz is not Google, domain authority is not entirely accurate. It gives you a good measure of how well a blog is doing in terms of where it ranks in Google searches, but it is only a prediction since no one knows how Google really works…except Google.
A site is given a score out of 100 which places it on a scale of comparison to other sites.
How is domain authority calculated?
The Moz Open Site Explorer regularly crawls the web and creates an index of sites based on this, discovering all the backlinks that the sites it has indexed have between one another. By doing this, it creates a map between different sites which compares how well they’re doing. There are a lot of factors taken into account for this – these are just a few:
Why does my domain authority move up and down constantly?
One update your blog might be at 25; a month later, it might be 28 and you’re celebrating; the next month it might drop to 23. It can be all over the place! People can often be downhearted when they drop, especially if they’ve been working on increasing their domain authority. It’s very important to remember though:
Domain authority is a relative scale.
The sites at the top of the scale are constantly rising. Think Facebook, the BBC, Twitter, and so on. As these rise, the scale gets bigger.
There’s also the fact that the size of Moz’s index changes with each increase – some months they’ll crawl 165 billion domains; others they’ll crawl 195 billion domains. This means that they might not always pick up every single one of your backlinks until another update, so your DA might drop.
And finally, Google can be slow to crawl sites sometimes. With Moz using Google’s search engines to find domains, they might not pick up on a backlink that you’ve acquired for a couple of months. Be patient in these cases, eventually you’ll see the benefits of these.
Why is domain authority important?
Since Google made Pagerank publicly unavailable a few years ago, companies have found it more difficult to judge how well a site ranks. Companies want to know this so they can decide whether that site is worth advertising on – if they don’t rank in Google, it’s likely that the site has some sort of issue. Sites that rank in Google are likely to not only pass more equity, but also to have more traffic and an interested audience.
You might see bloggers stressing over their domain authority because companies often have restrictions on what blogs they can work on based on their domain authority. It’s become one of the go-to metrics for companies to check a blog’s quality.
Working in outreach, I’ve seen it from both sides. We do use domain authority to check blogs, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. There are many other factors to take into account, but it’s generally one that gives a good guideline to companies to know what budget to allocate to them.
As a general guideline, most companies like to find blogs with a DA of 20+. Some companies might be looking for 30+, and 40+ is usually viewed as excellent for a blog.
Again, these aren’t absolute requirements – some companies will be looking more at social following; others might be looking at engagement rates; others might looking for very niche blogs. But working on increasing your domain authority is always going to be a good move for bloggers in all niches.
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