What is Authority?
Authority: The power, control, influence, and/or command that a particular site or page has on the world wide web.
Originally coined by Moz, ‘authority’ has become the go-to metric for perceiving how a domain or webpage may be rated by Google’s internal ranking system. Authority is marketed in the search engine ecosystem as a mirror to Google’s domain or website ranking or grading system. This is true to some extent since websites with higher ‘authority’ tend to rank better. However, I would like to emphatically state that correlation is not causation in this case
It is important to note that DA and PA are not metrics officially used by the Google Search Algorithm. Having a high authority score does help in website comparison, backlink analysis and clients love the increase in DA scores.
A note of caution: Authority of subdomains should not be treated as equal to that of the parent domain.
There are two types of authority:
- Domain Authority
- Page Authority
Domain Authority (DA) is for the whole website, while Page Authority (PA) is for the specific individual page.
Other SEO tools have their competitive equivalent of Moz DA. For example, Ahrefs uses Domain Rating (DR) and Majestic SEO uses Trust Flow (TF). Still, Moz DA remains the most popular.
Here’s how DA, DR, and TF Work: The domain authority is represented or measured on a scale of 1-100 that determines the ranking strength of your website, with 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. Moz, Ahrefs, and Majestic have each set their own criteria on how they arrive at the authority scores which can be looked up on their websites.
However, our analysis shows that a major focus is on the domain age, quality of backlinks, site popularity, etc. Other factors that affect authority as per these software tools include linking root domains and site structure.
A website’s authority is not static. It will increase or decrease over time based on how the changes you make to the site. It is also measured on a logarithmic scale, meaning it is easier to get from 10 to 15 than it is to get from 60 to 65.
Older authoritative sites like Wikipedia or LinkedIn were grandfathered by Moz into their ranking system and tend to have a high DA.
Brand new websites, however will start with a score of 1. In reality, it becomes much more difficult for new sites to quickly attain a high DA since Moz has subsequently tightened its DA parameters.
DA and PA are best used as a relative performance metric and in comparison with similar websites rather than an absolute metric. Any site with a DA of 40 or more is generally considered good in SEO circles, especially when it comes to backlinks and citations, which we will cover down the line.
DigitalBull GO Tip: Check the DA of the subdomain before transacting with anybody claiming to offer backlinks from high DA sites. DA of the parent site is not equal to the DA of a subdomain of that site.