What Is Domain Authority?

If you follow me on Twitter, you will have seen multiple tweets on the search for bloggers to work with in my day job as an SEO Executive. Although people probably assume that SEO Executives spend all day searching for bloggers and working with them, you’d be surprised to learn that it probably accounts for around 30% of the over all job. The rest of the time is spent improving on-page metrics for brands, keyword planning and research, reporting using Google Analytics and soooo many other factors I can’t even begin to explain.

what is domain authority and how can I improve my DA on Hello Terri Lowe blog.

But I digress…. Let’s get back to the point. One thing we need to be aware of when working with bloggers is the Domain Authority of the site.

But what is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is basically how influential your website is to Google and is one of many factors search engines consider when it comes to ranking your site. It takes three factors in to account: age, popularity and size of your domain. It’s very hard to manipulate your Domain Authority and it’s measured from 0 – 100. 
Age is a given. So if you bought your domain name around a day ago, you’re not going to have any domain authority yet. It takes around 6 months at least to build up any domain authority at all really.
Popularity is measured by how many other sites are linking back to your site. If a trusted website is linking back to you, then Google will see your site as being of value and relevant. But this is where you have to be careful. Don’t go trying black hat SEO techniques in a bid to try and increase your DA. Google is savvy to that shit and will penalise your site if it picks up on any spammy ways to try and manipulate links.
Size of your domain refers to the amount indexed pages you have on your website (indexed pretty much just means how many pages Google has indexed to pick up). The more pages you have the more Google can think ‘Hey! This site is creating loads of dead good, quality content around relevant subjects, let’s give it some brownie points!’

What is a ‘Good’ Domain Authority?

The general rule of thumb in the world of SEO is that you look for blogs to link build with who have a DA of 20 or above. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles I’m afraid. There’s no point sending out 10 products to bloggers who all have a DA of 1.

If links to a website are being linked from multiple low authority sites Google might think that it’s a black hat technique, especially if the links go live all within a short space of time. Another reason is that for every 10 x DA1 blog you use, you could just use 1 x DA20 blog really. So the cost for blogger outreach in general is a bit lower.

I’ve had a few bloggers contacting me from my shout outs on Twitter with low Domain Authority and I always just ask them a few questions to find out why it’s low. In some cases it has been that the blog has been using a blogspot.com URL and transferred over to an own domain. Although it doesn’t happen straight away, the authority you have built up on the old URL will eventually transfer over. It might not be all of the DA, but it will be a good chunk so all is not lost.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that people with blogspot.com or wordpress.com URL’s see that their DA is about 97 and assume it’s a good thing. For SEO purposes it’s not great as it means it’s not from a separate root domain. This just means that if an SEO Executive uses 10 bloggers all hosted on a blogspot.com URL, the value of the links isn’t as great because they are all stemming from one root domain. But if they were all custom/own domains each one would add to the influence separately. So even though your blog may be amazing (and quite often they are!) it can be a shame if your URL is holding you back slightly from some great campaigns. 

How Can I Improve My Domain Authority?

There are a few ways to help improve your DA, but don’t for the love of God try and manipulate it by using spammy techniques.

Guest Posting is quite a good way to improve your Domain Authority. This is why you probably get 100000 emails a week from companies asking to guest post on your blog. Why not try it the other way round and approach companies with an idea to write on their blog. You’d be surprised how many websites have ‘Write For Us’ schemes! And sometimes they have incentives like vouchers for doing so if your post is published. You can also exchange guest posts with fellow blogging friends to not only increase DA, but also get your blog out there to new people!

Commenting on other blogs can also help towards DA sightly. This doesn’t mean that you should go around spamming fellow bloggers with useless comments linking back to your own site. But make worthwhile comments and spend time on other blogs. If you’re leaving a real comment in reply to the post most bloggers don’t care or mind if you sneak your link in with it.

Update your blog regularly, but not *too* regularly. Leaving your site dormant and not posting for months on end isn’t going to be great for your DA, but sometimes posting too regularly can be off putting too. If a blog has a classic layout where you scroll down the page for posts, some companies may think that their product will become diluted within the content and not be on the front page of your blog for long enough for people to notice (although that’s SEO discretion of course). I’m sure if Google found a site updating 100 times a day it would probably seem a bit weird, so try not to post more than once per day or every other day.

Basically: The higher your DA = The more influential your site is to Google = The more valuable a link on your site will be.

You can check your Domain Authority by using Open Site Explorer HERE.

There’s a million other factors to take in to account, but Domain Authority is something I always get questions about, so this sums it up as simply as possible.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, ask in the comments section below!