Thursday, January 16, 2020

What Are Page Authority And Domain Authority?

What Are Page Authority And Domain Authority?

If you are currently operating a website, then congratulations! You’ve overcome several hurdles and put in a lot of work, and now you have something awesome to show for it. However, just because you’re website is up and running doesn’t automatically mean that it’s getting the attention you want it to get. If you feel that your website might be underperforming and isn’t being seen, then the reason might actually be very simple: it’s possible that when people search for a website that offers the services yours does, your site is just buried under search results for other sites.

This is a common problem, and it could be because your site currently has a poor ranking potential with regard to SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. Basically, it means that when someone performs a search for the content that your site provides, even though your careful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts might still get your site on the results pages, it could be at the bottom of the page, or even on the second or third pages. Luckily, there is a way to see for yourself how well your website, or even an individual page, is doing. If you feel that your website isn’t performing as well as you hoped, or if you’re just curious to know how well it’s ranking, you could test your Domain and Page Authority scores.

Who Offers these Tests?

Domain and Page Authority are two metrics that were developed by a web company called Moz. The company was founded in 2004 and continues to provide an array of SEO and Search related services, products, and even guides.They have access to a huge amount of Internet search related data and they use that data to come up with metrics that can accurately predict the success of certain factors of different websites, such as, in this case, search ranking potential.

What are Domain and Page Authority

Domain authority is a metric developed by Moz that returns a “score” for a certain domain that reflects how well the domain does with regard to SERPs, or Search Engine Results Pages. The score is logarithmic, meaning that the difference between a score of 70 and 80 is far more substantial than between 20 and 30. Most of the time, the domain authority given by Moz is in reference to the domain in its entirety, even when you’re on a subdomain. In some instances, Moz will give a different score when you’re on a specific subdomain because it has reason to believe that the subdomain is operating at its own site. Examples of this include datastudio.google.com, which currently has a DA of 71 versus mail.google.com which currently has a DA of 95. To learn the difference between a subdomain and a subfolder, read this helpful article by 101domain.

Page Authority works much the same way, except that instead of considering the ranking potential of an entire domain, it only considers the ranking potential of a single page.

While the intuitive reaction is to think of this score as being comparable to a test score, where 100 is perfect, Moz clarifies that the actual value of the metric is comparing the score of your own site with the score of your competitors sites. According to Moz, only the absolute largest entities on the Internet, such as Facebook, can achieve a score of 100 (in a helpful video they include on their website, they say that Facebook currently has a score of 100, Amazon has a score of 96, and Wikipedia has a score of 86). This is because these sites have a ludicrous amount of traffic and literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of links.



Creating one of these Internet megastructures just to increase your score isn’t really practical, and shouldn’t be your goal anyway. After all, your website likely isn’t in direct competition with Facebook or Amazon, it is in competition with other similarly sized sites that offer similar services.

So instead, they recommend looking at only how your score compares to the scores of those at the same level as you, competing for the same traffic. For example, if you operate a small eCommerce site where you sell sunglasses for cats, a score of 21 is perfectly fine, so long as your closest competitor has a lower score than you. If they do, then your domain/page will still be more likely to appear first when someone performs a search like “accessories for cats.”

How is Authority Scored

There is not much information on Moz’s website about the specifics of how Domain and Page Authority are scored. They only say that they use a 100-point logarithmic metric, as this article has already mentioned. However, they do go into detail about how Authority scores are generated.
Domain Authority is based on data from our Link Explorer web index and uses dozens of factors in its calculations. The actual Domain Authority calculation itself uses a machine learning model to predictively find a "best fit" algorithm that most closely correlates our link data with rankings across thousands of actual search results that we use as standards to scale against. (Source)
Likewise for Page Authority:
Page Authority is calculated in the same way as Domain Authority, but at the individual page level. Page Authority is based off data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts and dozens of other factors (more than 40 in total). Importantly, it does not take into consideration specific on-page elements like keyword use or content optimization. (Source)

How to Increase your Authority

Unfortunately, given the nature of how Domain and Page Authority scores are generated, it is a little tricky to influence these scores directly. According to Moz:
Domain Authority is difficult to influence directly. It is made up of an aggregate of metrics and link data that have an impact on the authority score. This was done intentionally; this metric is meant to approximate how competitive a given site is in Google search results. Since Google takes a lot of factors into account, a metric that tries to calculate it must incorporate a lot of factors as well. (Source)
However, they do say that the best way to increase your Page Authority score is to improve the page’s backlink profile. Based on the types of websites that receive the highest scores, namely site’s that receive huge amounts of traffic and that contain huge numbers of links, it can be inferred that these are two of the most important factors that influence your Authority score. There are other ways to increase your DA and PA, and pages like this one make several suggestions as to how to do so.

However, don’t be discouraged if you have trouble increasing your score. As Moz and this article have both insisted, the score only matters insofar as it relates to the scores of your competitors. Likewise, your score is a holistic value comprising many factors of your website, so you are unlikely to be able to watch your score improve before your eyes just from adding a few more links.

How to Use Domain and Page Authority

So what are these numbers actually good for anyway? Truth be told, it all depends on what you do with it. Your score is just a number, nothing more. Finding out your score isn’t like receiving a certificate of quality, it’s just a piece of information. The real value in having that information is that it gives you an idea, rough though it may be, of how visible your website is. It lets you compare that number to other websites, some of which may be more successful than yours, and start to think about what those sites do that yours isn’t that might be holding it back.

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