DA (Domain Authority) is a proprietary measurement developed by the search engine analytics company, MOZ, that is an approximation of how likely a site is to rank on the first page of Google.
PA (Page Authority) is similar, but at the individual page level.
While certainly an imperfect measurement, given the enormous complexity of Google’s PageRank algorithm and its myriad ranking factors, both DA and PA are worth understanding and following when making SEO (and particularly linkbuilding) decisions.
What is a domain authority checker?
A DA PA checker tool is something that provides you with both DA and PA scores for whatever URL you enter in. While MOZ is the original, there are many websites that have integrated the MOZ API where you can check the DA and/or PA of whatever page or site you want.
What is a bulk Domain Authority checker?
A bulk Domain Authority checker allows you to see the DA of multiple domains at the same time. For linkbuilding purposes, these are useful when batch evaluating backlink opportunities for a linkbuilding campaign.
Let’s say you have gone and gathered a couple of dozen websites using Google search for guest posting opportunities and you want to know whether or not the sites in question have DAs that fall within the range you’re looking for.
This is what the one from Linkgraph looks like:
You would enter all of those URLs into a bulk Domain Authority checker to cut down on the amount of manual data entry.
What is Domain Authority?
We briefly alluded to Domain Authority in the introduction above, but it’s worth having a much more thorough understanding of DA.
MOZ’s DA score is essentially an indication of a domain’s ranking strength. It’s based on a 100-point logarithmic scale.
Again, it is important to emphasize that this is not a metric that Google uses or recognizes. It’s a third party’s data-backed estimation of where a website should rank based on things like linking root domains and the total number of links to a domain.
DA is trusted by SEOs and link builders because of how well it correlates, albeit imperfectly, with actual ranking. MOZ details the strength and accuracy of its correlation with actual SERP results on a regular basis.
How Domain Authority factors into a link-building strategy
Why is domain authority important?
A Domain Authority score, however imperfect, is an important metric to consider when evaluating link building opportunities.
Because DA does correlate with rank, it provides good insight into how search engines rate the trustworthiness and authority of a particular page.
You want links from high authority and trustworthy pages if you want to rank higher, so a domain score is definitely something to factor into your link building checklist.
For this reason, a DA checker tool that lets you easily check authority is definitely something every SEO should have bookmarked. Again, you can use MOZ DA checker or one of the many free checkers out there that use the MOZ API.
DA and external links
A website’s domain authority score is also something you should factor into your own external links policy.
When search engines analyze and index your content, they also check the authority of the URLs that you link to from your site.
When you’re creating content, you want to include links to external sources that augment and buttress your points and arguments, and it’s important to link to high domain authority websites.
Your website authority, both in the eyes of Google and of your readers, is affected by the kinds of websites you choose to link to.
Domain Authority score is one of many link building factors
DA, by itself, is not how you should be building links. Using DA PA Checker tools to see how MOZ rates a site is important, and you should absolutely check domain authority before deciding to build a link, but there is a lot more that goes into link building analysis.
A free domain authority checker might tell you that a domain is high authority, but it won’t say anything about whether or not a) it’s a trustworthy site that will provide good SEO value and b) whether the link is relevant.
The quality of a link is determined by more than just its DA.
If your website is in the FinTech niche, a link from the Financial Times is going to be huge for your site. Search engines will interpret this as one of the most trusted and authoritative sites in your niche vouching for you.
If, on the other hand, you get a backlink from a high DA site in the home and garden niche, that’s not going to confer nearly as much SEO value–for obvious reasons.
The DA score of a particular web page matters, but relevance is a major qualifying factor.
When you use a DA PA checker to check domain authority, you need to be aware of a couple of things.
The first, as mentioned, is that a Domain Authority checker tool is a blunt instrument.
Domain authority is an important evaluation metric, but it doesn’t contain a lot of important information you need (e.g., like relevance).
But a domain authority score also doens’t tell you anything about the history of the domain in question.
A Domain Authority Score on its own can be dangerous SHOULD I GIVE IT H4?
This is because there are a lot of websites out there with deceptively high domain authority hiding spammy SEO tactics.
What we’re referring to here are Private Blog Networks (PBNs) and Link Farms.
These are websites that exist solely to sell and pass around backlinks. Black hat SEO.
When you enter a URL into a DA PA checker, it doesn’t give you this information.
A Private Blog Network is a group of websites that link back and forth between one another to pass on link juice (i.e. SEO value) and boost the ranking of a main (money) site.
You don’t want backlinks from these places ?
A link farm is a site that exists solely, or predominantly, to sell backlinks. It used to be that you could just buy a bunch of cheap backlinks from such a place and it would produce quick search engine results.
Google is wise to these tactics now, though, and not only will they penalize sites that engage in these tactics, they will neutralize the SEO value of links from these websites. They might even deindex a site that is sourcing a lot of its backlinks from such places.
It matters that you know this because the way these link scams often operate is someone will purchase an expired domain(s) with high domain authority, load them with low effort content and ´proceed to sell spammy links.
Domain authority, therefore, can sometimes be deceptive.
After putting a website into a DA PA checker, you want to see what its traffic and domain history is like.
If there are red flags like multiple 301 redirects and massive and sudden dips in traffic–signs that a website has been or is being used to generate spammy links–you should think twice about building a link there.
What is Page Authority?
Page authority (PA) is similar to DA, but it predicts how well a specific page (or subdomain) will rank in the search engine result pages. It is also scored on a scale from 1-100 and predicts potential ranking ability.
A DA PA checker will tell you both domain and page rank so that you can make better domain and page-level link-building decisions.
How Page Authority factors into a link building strategy
Page authority is part of the link-building equation because page authority and domain authority impact differently upon a target page.
Ideally, high quality backlinks are those from URLs with both good web page authority and good domain authority.
You might be getting a link from a domain with great Domain Authority, but the specific page that the link is coming from might be low traffic with few backlinks to it.
That’s why it’s useful to pay attention to both the Domain Authority and Page Authority score when you’re using a DA PA checker tool.
How to improve your Domain Authority and Page Authority (i.e., total website authority)
You use a DA PA checker tool to do two things: evaluate link building opportunities (which we’ve already covered), but also to keep track of how your own site is progressing.
Improving your DA and moving up the SERPs is how you enjoy more organic traffic and, if you’ve done a bunch of other on-page things right, more conversions.
Focus on your on page SEO
Your on page search engine optimization metrics include your internal links, page load speed and mobile-friendliness, and they are things that are within your control.
Your internal links are those pointing to other pages on your website.
Using internal links in your content (whether it’s informational blog content or your service and product pages) help both search engines and people better understand and navigate your site.
Google appreciates websites that tell an easy-to-follow coherent story about the intention and significance of pages through links.
Responsiveness (i.e., mobile friendliness)
How responsive your site is matters because most modern web traffic comes from mobile phones. This means mobile browsers and small screens.
You need to make sure your web design takes both things into consideration. This means font, images, and page layout that make it easy for mobile visitors to navigate and use your site.
Page speed is another thing that Google takes into consideration when ranking your site.
Slow pages frustrate visitors, meaning they are bad for UX.
Make sure you are optimizing your images for page speed, including using image file types that load quickly and compression plugins that make sure your images display well without slowing your site down.
People simply don’t have the attention, and the competition is too fierce to neglect page speed. If your site isn’t easy to use, visitors will go elsewhere.
Build More Links
At the end of the day, when you put a domain into a DA PA checker, what you’re getting is a MOZ domain authority score based on links.
Therefore, if you really want to increase domain authority, you need to focus on building high authority backlinks.
Our blog is full of resources on different link building techniques to build backlink profiles that increase your domain authority.
The more linking domains you have to your site and its pages, the better your authority score.
Building more links means creating engaging content
At the end of the day, if you want to build more and better links, you need to invest in quality content creation so that people want to link to your site and its pages.
You also need to create enough content so that you can actually use it to build those links and generate traffic.
Investing time and perhaps even money in a content strategy is, therefore, intimately linked to both domain authority and page authority.
Whether you’re looking to get links via tactics like guest posting, skyscraper, broken link building, or any of the other tactics that link builders commonly use, there needs to be target pages (i.e., content) that those links point to.
Content lies at the heart of your SEO strategy because if you’re targeting high domain authority websites that take user experience seriously, they are only going to want to link back to quality content.
A DA PA Checker is an important tool in your search engine optimization arsenal
A DA PA checker is definitely something that you should have saved (whether it’s the MOZ domain authority checker or one of the many others out there).
Any authority checker is a good way to keep track of your link building progress and something you should use when evaluating link-building opportunities.
While a site’s Domain Authority level is not a ranking factor, it does do quite a good job of approximating ranking potential, which is why so many SEOs trust it.
Reputable sites and a good authority score, more often than not, go hand in hand, but building up a backlink profile that increases this score is time and capital-consuming, which is why a lot of businesses choose to trust the experts when it comes to building high quality links.
If you haven’t got a good DA PA checker in your SEO bookmarks folder, hopefully the above article has convinced you why should get on it ASAP.