Go anywhere that bloggers congregate on the internet, and before long you’ll hear someone mention the words ‘Domain Authority’. It might be a brand who are looking to work with bloggers who have a Domain Authority above a certain figure. Or it could be a blogger who just wants to know what on earth it is!
So in this #BlogTips post, I’m going to cover some of the most common Domain Authority questions. Disclaimer – I’m not a professional SEO expert, and if you have any in-depth questions then I would advise you to consult a professional.
What is Domain Authority?
Since Google stopped updating PageRank, Domain Authority has become one of the most popular tools used to compare and rank websites. It is a scoring system devised by Moz, which predicts how well a website is likely to rank on a search engine. Each website is designated a score from 1-100, with 1 being lowest, and it is more difficult to increase your score as you move higher. So it is easier to get from 10 to 20, than it is to get from 30 to 40.
Domain Authority is calculated by a pretty complicated system, because it is trying to calculate how Google will rank your site. And we all know how complicated that can be! This means that it’s harder to ‘game’ Domain Authority than it is on some other metrics and ranking lists.
Over time, you can use Domain Authority to check whether the strength of your website is increasing or decreasing, relative to other blogs.
How can I check my site’s Domain Authority?
There are various websites around which will allow you to check your Domain Authority. But the easiest and most reliable way is to go direct to the Open Site Explorer page on the Moz website. You can check your site without having to sign up for a paid account, although there is a limit on how many searches you can run per day.
If you use the Chrome or Firefox browsers, you can also install the Moz toolbar on your browser. This will allow you to see immediately what the Domain Authority of a website is.
What is Page Authority?
It’s similar to Domain Authority, but covers a specific page rather than the website as a whole. You’re not likely to see many brands and PRs asking for a minimum Page Authority.
How often is Domain Authority updated?
Good question! It appears to be every 4-6 weeks although sometimes the release can run a little late if it’s a particularly big crawl. The Open Site Explorer page will show you the date of the last update, as well as the scheduled date for the next one. It’s also worth keeping a check on the Moz API Update page, as they put details of each release up on there.
What is a ‘good’ Domain Authority score?
How long is a piece of string? It depends on how long you’ve been blogging and a host of other factors. But if you are looking for paid opportunities and reviews from brands, mid-teens to 20 seems to be a good starting point. The better opportunities generally start to appear when you reach DA25.
The more established bloggers (certainly the ones I know in the parenting and beauty niches) tend to have a Domain Authority over 30, and the top bloggers are over DA40 or even over DA50. The really high Domain Authority scores tend to be seen on news websites, or social media websites.
So if my Blogger/Wordpress.com website has a DA of 74 or 97 – is that good?
Ah, unfortunately if your domain ends in wordpress.com or blogspot.co.uk, that’s not your Domain Authority Score – it’s the score given to theBlogger or WordPress.com address. Your website is being hosted on a sub-domain, and Domain Authority is assigned to the root domain.
You can still get your own Domain Authority score without going self-hosted though. You simply need to use a vanity URL. More on that at a later date…
What is a Spam Score? Should I be worried about it?
Spam score is Moz’s metric which assesses how likely a domain is to be penalized by Google. It checks 17 different factors, and turns each one into a score. The more flags, the more likely your site is to look spammy to Google. These factors include things like the number of pages linking to your site, the number of internal links on the site, and whether or not contact details can be found on the site.
Whether or not you should be worried about your Spam score depends on what it is, really. It also depends on whether you are worried about being penalised by Google, but I’m assuming that you are if you are asking this question! If you have 3 flags or fewer, then there is quite a low risk of being penalised by Google. Between 4 and 6 flags is borderline, and you should probably think about trying to improve some of them. If you have 7 or more flags, then the risk of you being penalised is rising and you probably want to try and improve some of these factors.
If you want to read more about Spam score, visit this page on the Moz site.
My Domain Authority is low – does that mean brands won’t work with me?
Well, partly that depends on how low, but don’t worry. You might not get the top opportunities (yet!) but blogging is a marathon not a sprint. There are plenty of brands that are happy to work with newer bloggers, so if you want to take your first steps into working with brands, go for it!
Sometimes brands are happy to work with bloggers with a Domain Authority slightly lower than the number they request. This is especially true if you have a good social media following, or even if they just love the way you write. Keep concentrating on your blog, improving your work, and the opportunities will start to present themselves.
My blog is fairly new and my DA is 1 – how long do I have to wait for it to increase?
It might take a few months for your Domain Authority to increase, because Moz don’t crawl every website every month. From what I’ve seen, anything up to 3 or 4 months is normal so try to focus on producing great content on a regular basis. That way, by the time your site is crawled you should have a good chance of your DA score going up a few points.
My Domain Authority didn’t move last month – does that mean that my blog hasn’t got any better?
Definitely don’t worry about this one. Moz don’t crawl every site on each update, so your blog might not get updated every month. Keep calm and keep on blogging!
How can I improve my blog’s Domain Authority?
I plan to address this in the next #BlogTips post so in the meantime, just keep on writing great content! Try not to worry too much about your DA score – if you are blogging purely as a hobby then you don’t need to worry about it at all. If you are working with brands, then it’s better to concentrate on your blog than to get too fixated on this month’s Moz update.
I hope you enjoyed this #BlogTips post. If I missed your Domain Authority question, leave it in the comments below and I’ll try and address it in a future #BlogTips post.