Business professionals love to quantify performance. And they should. After all, if you can’t measure, collate, examine, and calculate how effective your business efforts are, then you’ll never know how to improve them in the future. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that there are several ways to judge a website’s ability to rank on search engines. One of the most commonly used metrics is Moz’s domain authority, which takes a number of factors into account to develop a ranking score for websites. By contrast, fewer professionals know and use the lesser-publicized page authority score. What is page authority? In brief, it’s a measurement of an individual page’s capacity to rank on search engines. Here we’ll explain the difference between domain authority and page authority, and explore a few ways you can work to improve both:

Calculating Domain and Page Authority

In one sense, domain authority is a made-up number. The SEO consulting company Moz created it as a way to express a website’s effectiveness (or lack thereof) in regard to ranking search engines. (Consider that both Google and Ahrefs use similar ranking systems as well to express backlink profiles and overall website “trustworthiness.”) What’s more, domain authority is as fluid and arcane as search engine rankings themselves. A myriad of factors determines a website’s given domain authority. One of the major contributors to the score, though, is a site’s ability to garner backlinks from across the web. Unless you’re willing to create your own algorithm, you’ll struggle to calculate domain authority from scratch. Of course, the same goes for page authority.

Domain and Page Authority FAQs

We understand that professionals who haven’t encountered domain and page authority scores before might have a few questions regarding how they work. This section aims to answer them concisely:

  • Why is domain authority important? The number itself isn’t important. What is important is your site’s ability to rank with high visibility on search engines, and your domain authority can be a good indicator of how well your pages can rank when compared to competitors. (In other words, how well your SEO tactics are working.) The same goes for individual pages on your site. 
  • What are good domain authority and page authority scores? Maddeningly, there is no universal answer to this question. Moz uses a 0-100 scale to measure website domains, with zero being the “worst authority” and 100 being the best. Think of this where a brand new domain would have a 0 domain authority and Google would have a 99 domain authority. The most practical use of this tool is to directly compare your business’s site with your closest competitors.
  • Should I focus on domain authority or page authority more? In truth, business owners should pay attention to both. However, it’s not feasible to try and optimize a single web page and ignore everything else on your site. On the other hand, it is sometimes a wise play to take extra steps to promote important pages on your site.

Improving Domain and Page Authority

Once business owners realize what domain and page authority is, the next logical step is to figure out how to improve them. Unfortunately, there is no magic optimization button that will give your page rankings a boost. One of the major factors that influence authority rankings is the number of links that refer to a page or domain. What’s more, the quality and diversity of the sites that link to your page will also influence authority. You can of course improve your chances of garnering backlinks from other sites by writing compelling content and sharing it on social media. In addition, internal links to other pages on your own site can help you strengthen your overall domain authority and specific page authority. Domain age also has an effect on domain and page authority as well.

The Bottom Line

Domain and page authority can help explain why two seemingly similar websites perform so differently on search engines. Be wary of unscrupulous marketing firms who promise to increase your authority rankings by “x” points, though. Domain authority operates on a logarithmic scale, which means that the higher your ranking is, the more difficult it is to improve upon it. So while it’s relatively easy to raise the ranking of a brand new site, it may take substantially more time and effort to bolster an already established one. At Agile & Co., we understand how to build marketing strategies that make sense based on your website’s potential and your unique situation. Contact us here to learn more about how we form strategies. Or, to get a first-hand view of our methods download our free eBook here:

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