Domain Authority: Increase Your Domain Authority, Increase Your Traffic

domain authorityWould you like to be able to write a blog post targeting specific keywords and, within a day, be ranked on Google for a popular search term?

This doesn’t happen overnight but it is possible.   One thing that is extremely important is building up the domain authority of your website, which makes it much easier to rank for content.

In this article we outline what domain authority is all about and how an improved domain authority can drive more traffic to your website.



What is Domain Authority?

This can mean several things but for the purpose of this article we’re talking about the ‘domain authority’ term which is used by a company called Moz (formerly SEOMoz).

Moz is a company that provides Marketing Analytics/SEO software to help you understand and grow your traffic.  Several years ago they developed a proprietary algorithm that analyzed millions of websites and gave each one a score out of 100.  This was their domain authority.  The higher the domain authority, the more influential the website is.

The calculation is based on 40 different signals.

As you move up the scale it becomes harder and harder to increase your rank.  For example, going from 20 to 30 is much easier than going from 70 to 80.

The calculation is based on 40 different signals they use.

What’s the difference between Domain Authority and Page Authority?

As well as domain authority, Moz also calculates page authority, which is a ranking system for the pages on a website.

This is significant because search engines index pages rather than full websites.  To rank well you need to have a good domain authority overall, but the page authority does also come into play.

If you write an article that attracts a lot of links from relevant sources, this will help increase its page authority.

Page authority is not permanent, so over time, if you ignore a page then its authority won’t increase and may even decrease, which can mean you stop ranking for something you ranked for before.

How do I check my domain authority?

There are a couple of ways of checking your domain authority.

Opensite Explorer

Moz provides a tool called Opensite Explorer.  Without a subscription to Moz’s products you can check the domain authority of up to 3 websites a day.

When you enter your website address you will see information like the following:


Moz Rank

This is a very high rank to achieve!


This shows the domain authority of the overall domain.  The page authority displayed is for the home page.  Generally your page authority for your home page will be higher than your domain authority because most links you get to your website will be to your home page.

The linking root domains shows you the number of unique domains (websites) that link to you.  It’s better to get a spread of links from a range of sites rather than most links coming from a few sites.  If your website is popular a lot of different websites (some with low domain authority and some with high domain authority) will link to you.

If you drill down in the tool it will show you a selection of links that are helping to build your domain authority.  With the free version you are restricted but with the paid version you can see all the links.

Here’s an example of some links displayed to my friend Donna from Socially Sorted:


domain links

This shows the links to the domain we are analyzing


Here’s an explanation of each section:

1.  This shows the page that links to this website.

2.  This shows the text that was used in the link.  This is known as the anchor text.

3. The page authority of the page with the link is 77.  This is very high, and if it is combined with a high domain authority, that would be very valuable.

4.  The domain authority is 85 which is really high.

The first link displayed is the one from the website with the highest domain/page authority, so typically this is the most valuable link.

You can see the 3rd and 4th links on this list are marked as ‘nofollow’.  When a link is marked as ‘nofollow’, it tells Google not to pass any benefit to this link.    So in theory a ‘nofollow’ link is not of benefit, but it’s highly likely that Google does pass some authority, plus even ‘nofollow links will send site visitors your way.

Moz Toolbar

The Moz Toolbar is a free plugin that you can install on your browser.

When you install it, if you search for anything on Google you will see the domain/page rank for any web page listed in the search results.

This is really useful when you are researching new content to write.  If I do my keyword research using Google Keyword Planner or other tools and I then do a search on Google, I want to see what my competition is like.

If you see that any search results have a much higher domain and page rank than you, it’s less likely you’ll be able to rank for this content.


Moz Toolbar

You can see the domain and page authority beside each of the search results

I suggest that you use a browser without the plugin for normal browsing, because it can be distracting and slow down your searches.  When you want to do some SEO research use a separate browser with the plugin installed.

How do I increase my domain authority?

Your domain authority will increase or decrease over time depending on 40 different signals.  The exact signals are not shared but if you want to increase your domain authority here are some tips:

Monitor your domain authority over time

If you keep a regular check on it you’ll see it going up or down.  If you see your domain authority going up then you should look at the links you are getting and try to get more of them (e.g. from other similar sites). If it’s going down you’ll need to check to see if you are losing links or getting low quality ones.

If you regularly check your domain authority you’ll begin to understand what works and doesn’t work, and you will be able to make an effort to do more of the things that are the most effective.

Review your competitors

Analyze your competitors and find those that have a high domain authority.  Find out their most powerful links and try to get links from these sites.

Ahref is a very useful tool for analyzing competitor links.

Guest Blogging

Writing high quality posts on sites on high traffic websites that are relevant to your industry is good for your domain rank.  That’s as long as you get a link back to your site!

Matt Cutts (Head of Google web spam) wrote an article recently about the death of guest blogging.  He said there is far too much spam with people writing lots of guest posts for links and they are going to do something about it!

This doesn’t mean that guest posting is a bad strategy.  Writing lots of short meaningless blog posts and placing them on a a wide variety of sites is not going to give you any benefit.

But Google looks for high quality relevant content.  There’s nothing wrong with writing high quality content on a relevant site.  Links is not the only benefit to writing content on highly relevant sites.    This helps build up your brand and this will result in more traffic which will result in more links anyway!

When I write guest posts I only write it on sites that are hugely respected in the industry.  These just happen to have high traffic and a high domain authority also!

Write amazing content

If you write really good content people will link to it naturally, though you will have to work harder for some links by promoting your work. Promoting your content is so important:  you might have the most amazing piece of content but if you don’t tell people then they won’t find it!

We recently created an infographic which was very popular and resulted in over 100 backlinks from different websites.  Some of these links were from websites with really high domain authority.  So think about doing some content that sticks out because that will help you get a lot of links.

Network with relevant people

If you build up a network of influential people in your area of expertise, they will naturally talk about you and your content and this means additional links.

If you put in the work to build relationships it will benefit you over time.

What’s next?

We love some action around here!

a). Check out the tools we’ve listed above and find out your domain authority

b). Leave a comment below.

c). Share this with your friends!


  • Brandon Schaefer

    Ian, Moz is a powerhouse… it just takes some time and consistency for people just starting out to get some domain authority… so everyone that’s just starting out, hang in there!

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Brandon!

    • Rob Hook

      I like that advice Brandon, thanks

  • Omkar Mishra

    Thanks Ian..This was really helpful..With Google declining any role of social in their SERP, Do you have any idea if Moz considers Social Metrics for their Domain Authority related metrics ?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Omkar, if they do I doubt if it effects the rank much at this stage!

  • luke martin

    Ian, links from established blogs within our niche makes perfect sense. The goal shouldn’t be to target just anyone but instead those within our circle of niche.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Luke, I agree with you! PIck the sites you work with wisely!

  • SmartySEO

    This post is really help. Thanks @iancleary:disqus :)

    • Ian Cleary

      Thank you!

  • Sanchit Khera

    Thanks for sharing the tactical ways of finding out and improving your domain authority. Really helpful. And of course, you gotta remember to link-back from high domain authority sites in your own industry. Google gets suspicious when a blog about social media gets back-links from sites about cooking. Remember to pay attention to the CNAME ip addresses as well

    • Ian Cleary

      Absolutely Sanchit, highly relevant high profile sites is the way to go!!! Ian

  • Emanuel Dragomir

    Very useful post! I didn’t have no idea about domain authority.

    • Ian Cleary


  • Mrs Chasing the Donkey

    Great read, this clears up some confusion that I had :)

    • Ian Cleary


  • andrea

    Very useful. Tks

    • Ian Cleary

      You are welcome!

  • Nebulas Web Design Chelmsford

    Great post. The way I see it Domain Authority is now the score to aspire to in order to get your website ranking well. I had a good idea backlinks are the main way to get your authority up.

    • Ian Cleary

      Yes, a good domain authority score is very useful!

  • xuhair raxa

    first of all nice post, second my page authority is 23 is it well or
    not? and i am not getting indexed in 16 to 17 hour so what should i do ?

    my blog is

  • Poo@beautyandmakeupmatters

    Thanks for writing such an awesome posts Ian.. It really helped me understand all the technicalities involved in improving I will start working on them for my Beauty Blog :)

    • Ian Cleary

      Best of luck, glad it was useful!

  • Vimlesh Maurya

    Thanks Ian Cleary for sharing great info.

  • Chris Romero

    This is tremendous. Do you generally find that creating social media profiles helps give domains an increase in domain authority?

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Chris,

      Nope it doesn’t. But being active on social media means more people hear about your content so are more likely to link to it!


  • Jason Dea

    The funniest thing to me is in the age of the internet everything happens at lighting speed… BUT seo (arguably the most important element of the internet for marketers) requires lots, of patience, and lots of time. :)

    • Ian Cleary

      Yes absolutely, writing content also takes a lot of time and patience!!!

  • Winnie Aurelio

    Somewhat newbie here. I am really confused with the symantics of Domain Authority. For example, my old site which is has a DA of 92 (which I already abandoned since December-no postings) while my new one since December which has more posts and some are even topping google search engines- only has a DA of 17. Kind of confused actually.

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Winnie, your old website is not your website, it’s and this has a high domain authority. But you’re better off building the domain authority of your own site which will start off low and then build up over time! Ian

    • pradeep kumar

      i am also confused some times ago, now as you have to build some high quality backlinks to get better DA.. meanwhile i think if you are ranking somewhere on top.. then you must focus more on quality and quantity which matters more now days.

  • officialessentialz .

    Nice article Ian! Im just confused as to why my sites and don’t show any numbers but my main site does show some metrics. Is it this because faspix and comedy brothers are subdomains? thank you!

  • DEBt DEBs

    I’m only 2 months into blogging and trying to learn all this technical stuff is rather… well… er.. trying.

    Thank you for explaining the concepts in a clear, easy-to-understand manner.
    I’ve linked this post on my Pinterest board where I’m collecting blogging tips so I can find refer to it later, if I forget some stuff.

    I was trying to figure out why I had no scores for PA and DA etc. on this site of Top Ranked Personal Finance Blogs and I think (I hope) I just have to wait a little longer for MOZ to catch up with my data (started only Mar 11, 2014).
    I’m pretty much at the bottom of the list at the moment #205, but that’s too be expected right now.

    debt debs

    • Ian Cleary

      You are welcome!

  • Venkat Reddy

    Thank you Ian, being a technical writer i am always in the look out for great content like your’s.

    • Ian Cleary

      Thanks Venkat.

  • juel rahman

    Above the point for increasing domain authority is excellent particularly guest blogging point.

  • pradeep

    hey that is great info. but i want to know that; some of the websites that does not have much backlinks than also they have better DA than those who has more links..
    i want to gain DA for my websites to rank higher

  • Clelia

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the useful article! I am aware about the DA and PA and check them regularly, unfortunately they are not improving over time even if I’m putting all my effort to follow the advice you give.

    I got some very good back links (do follow), I had my content shared and liked back a few times, interviews with back links to my website and so on.

    Results? My DA went from 32 to 27! I really don’t get what I’m doing wrong. The funny thing is that a few of my articles rank really high on google (one of them is at n.2 or 3 at page 1 since 1 year). I look at the competition and blogs that are younger than mine (almost 2 years now) are quickly reaching the same DA as mine.

    What should I do more? I really don’t get it.

    My website is I had content that went viral and shared 9K times on the web, backlinks from sites like Cosmopolitan and Tripadvisor (the tripadvisor one was do follow but now is no-follow and I’m trying to get that fixed) but anyway, nothing seem to help here.

    Sites on my niche linked back to mine, I’m trying to remove all the poor links pointing to my site. Still NOTHING.

    What’s wrong?

    Thanks for any suggestion!

    • Ian Cleary

      Hi Clelia,

      The DA may not always be right.

      I had a look at some analytics on your site. It appears that you weren’t effected by the recent Panda (google code name for their changes) and traffic is going up.

      If you look at ahrefs have a look at your ahrefs domain rank and compare that with your competitors to see you see the same issue.

      On ahrefs it shows you building lots of new links and then the first week in June you lost a lot of links. This may have effected your domain rank calculation.

      I had a look at SEMrush and it looks like you’re ranking for good relevant terms.

      So I don’t see you doing anything wrong. I would continue what you’re doing and if traffic is going up and ranking is improving (use SEMRush to check) then you’re on the right course and domain rank will increase over time.

      I hope that helps!


      p.s. Also check Google webmaster tools to see if there are any errors reported by Google.

  • Panda Cash Back

    Great post, i have been using Moz for a while but i wasn’t aware of their toolbar.

    • Ian Cleary


  • kasper

    I would like to know how to increase my domain authority on this site

  • kasper

    I would like to know how to increase my domain authority on this site

  • kasper
  • nicole orriëns

    Hi I started out at blogger and then bought my own domain name. But the strange thing is: when I check my domain autority on Open Site Explorer I get different scores for the same blog.

    And if I use the url I get a much higher score!

    For example: get a DA of 27 gets a DA of 93!

    Do you know why this is? I don’t get it!


  • Jawad

    i have old site 1 year it’s pr 1 is but DA 16 how we increase our DA

  • Joey Ambrose

    Hey Ian. I stumbled on your blog to answer a question I had while doing a little research on domain authority. I too use Moz heavily for doing competitive comparisons. Your advice is spot on. As I’m literally look at a comparison on my other screen as I write this, I’d like to add that the tool not only does an amazing job at giving you the overall page authority, it also let’s you dig into what makes it so. I attached a screenshot of 3 sites I’m comparing now, trying to answer the question “why are they ranking higher?” and what I can do to pushing my page higher.

    Digging deeper into the page authority (and then the actual links using Moz as well), I can see my page has higher authority but I have some improve by building the number of high quality links to the page. My takeaway is that I don’t have far to go to get the result I want. Well worth some time to learn the tool.

    This stuff can get pretty deep, but tools from Moz and others make it sooooo much easier!

    • Ian Cleary

      Hey Joey, thanks so much for sharing. I love when comments like yours add extra value to the post. Thank you! Ian

  • kirsten

    Thanks for this post, Im definitely going to check the tools mentioned and hopefully this will improve my sites authority rankings right now our websites are way below like its a year old domain and im trying to rank it, unfortunately its not moving up as expected. :(

  • Amin Zare

    I think amazing Content means Content that attract people, and it’s very Useful for any website.
    وکیوم بزرگ کننده سینه

  • nod_pcba

    DA improvement pratices are easily to find on internet, but it’s hard work. Keep doing.

  • Mohamed Fathy
  • Java programming tutorial

    Amazing post. This might help me in increasing my site authority. I will try whatever you have suggested here.