If you’re a website owner or webmaster at all interested in search engine optimization, you have likely come across the idea of a DA score. Dozens of SEO and online marketing platforms across the web incorporate DA scores.
However, it can be a little unclear what these scores are. What, exactly, do they mean? How are they calculated, and how do they come about? What does a DA score measure?
A score for your website
The concept of Domain Authority dates all the way back to 1999, in a paper by Cornell Computer scientist Jon Kleinberg. In his paper, he noted that trustworthy sites tended to accumulate lots of inbound links from external sites. A DA score, short for “Domain Authority”, is a metric created by the software company Moz meant to estimate a given site’s chances of ranking high on search engine results pages.
Moz is involved in the business of inbound marketing and search engine optimization. Domain Authority is calculated using several different factors, fed into a machine learning formula. Domain Authority is important because it can identify what several search engines, including Google, weigh heavily in their search algorithms.
DA scores range between 1 and 100. However, they are arranged on a logarithmic scale, which means that it is much easier to go from 40 to 50 than it is to go from 80 to 90. Sites with lots of high-quality external links (that is, websites that lots of other websites link to) have higher DA scores than websites with fewer external links, or with lots of internal links.
News websites, Wikipedia, and popular social media sites tend to have much higher Domain Authority scores than small business websites and sites with fewer inbound links. New websites will always have a DA score of one.
How to use DA scores
Importantly, though, Domain Authority scores are always a comparative metric, rather than a comprehensive one. This means that DA ranking are always changing relative to the state of the web. If thousands of people were to suddenly link to your website, your website’s DA score would increase, and while others’ sites would drop relative to yours. If a rival website were to suddenly gain thousands of links, then your site’s DA score would drop.
Furthermore, different types of sites have different ranges of DA scores. As we said, new organizations and large corporations have high DA scores, while a local cupcake shop probably has a lower DA score. If your site has a low-seeming DA score, try not to sweat it. In their guide, Moz recommends looking at the Domain Authority scores of the sites you are directly competing with, and trying to have a higher score than them.
A “good” or “bad” Domain Authority score is only meaningful compared to other sites that you may be competing with. So, although your cupcake shop’s DA score is certainly lower than that of the New York Times, if it is higher than that of other cupcake shops in your area, you can feel confident that you’re on the right track.
If you’re a developer or a website owner, a bulk DA checker is a good way to check multiple URLs at once, in order to compare your site’s DA score with those of your competitors. Bulk DA checkers are useful for creating SEO plans, especially when it comes to planning out link-building.
With it, you can estimate not only where you fall, but also what sites will add the most equity to your site if they link to you. This can also be useful when developing marketing plans. If you have the means to place sponsored content, a DA checker can help you decide which sites will get you the most bang for your buck.