You might have seen domain authority or DA referenced by SEO tools. But what is it and how does it affect your website’s ability to rank well in search engine results?
What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is a method of identifying strong-performing websites that provide quality content that satisfies the queries of searchers.
It often refers to a website that has strong external backlinks pointing to its pages. For example, a website with DA50 will have more high-value backlinks (and therefore “perform” better) than a website with DA10.
However whilst SEO tools generally use backlinks as a strong indicator of a site’s domain authority. The way Google sees authority is quite different from how SEO tools detect theirs. Google sees beyond backlinks meaning that you can rank even if you don’t have a lower authority score provided that the information your site contains is better suited as an answer to a searcher’s query. This means that a good way of building your DA is through developing topical authority. In other words, create content around a topic and related sub-topics that are of interest and relevance to your audience.
How Important Is Domain Authority?
SEO tools will have you thinking that having a high DA is a must in order to perform well in search engine results pages. However, as mentioned above it is just one of over 200 factors that Google will use to determine which sites are shown for a query.
What DA does offer is a guide to show whether the popularity of your website is increasing or decreasing. As shown in the example below.
Overall, Domain Authority is a vanity metric for sure, but it does provide a useful guideline that should be considered in the context of everything else you know about the site.