So DA, or domain authority – the new player which seems to have entered (at least my) blogging world recently. It seems to be a bit of an unknown for a lot of people – SEO has been around for awhile, with a whole heap of people covering and figuring out techniques, but DA, uh what is that? Luckily, I’ve been on a researching mission this month to explain exactly what DA is, and how it is influenced. And happily for us, it links nicely with SEO!
What is DA?
So what actually is DA? Well you know all this chatting about SEO? DA pretty much measures how well your blog is doing on a search engine. Back in the days, google created this thing called ‘page rank’, page rank was a way to see how well your blog was doing on google, from a list of 1-10. But, then google decided that they didn’t like it anymore and stopped using it.
This meant that people had no way of seeing how well a website was doing in terms of searches and reach. So along came a company called ‘Moz’ who capitalised on a niche in the market and began giving scores to websites based on their ‘strength’ or how they performed in searches. This is known as your domain authority.
DA is a score from 1-100. It’s made in a logarithmic scale. This means that as you move up the scale, it gets harder and harder to move from one score to another, such as moving from 1-10 takes 20% effort, but moving from 40-50 make take 2000% effort. This means that even HUGE websites like blogspot have a score of 71 (not 100 like I would think!). If you are a dentist, for example, you will want to improve your website to get more dental clients, therefore be using SEO techniques to try to increase your DA score.
DA is updated every month, so it’s common for your score to flux up and down.
Edit: I got asked what is a ‘good’ DA score. This is totally dependent on who is judging! But from my experience, I usually see PRs on twitter requesting for a DA above 25.
What makes up your DA score?
Your DA score is made up of a huge bunch of factors. But luckily, a lot of these factors are things which we can focus on in daily SEO. Moz (and google) don’t publicise what all of these factors are, but some of them are:
- Link counts: number of websites which provide follow links back to your blog (check out my no follow links post for more info)
- Internal and back linking: links within your own site to old posts, links to other websites
- Alt tags – this links your photos to google image search which increases links back to your blog
- Links from trusted sources – DA likes links for ‘trusted’ websites with a high level of DA
- Key words
- Domain age – the older your domain, likely the more links
- Size of your blog – the more posts, the better
- Social media – linking your posts from social media
Most of these I cover in full detail in my 8 ways to increase your SEO post.
How do I check my DA?
You can check your DA using the Open Site Explorer by putting your domain name in the box. It then gives you your domain authority, page authority, spam score and some break down of what makes up your own score.
What if I don’t have my own domain?
DA does not work if you do not have your own domain. Seriously, get one! Not just because PRs and companies use DA but because your own domain looks so much better. If your domain ends in: .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com or .co.vu – then your DA score will reflect the score of blogger/wordpress/vu. This means your DA may appear to be 71 or 80 when in reality it isn’t.
When you buy your own domain your DA will automatically be 1. This means the sooner you buy your own domain the better! Domain age is a big factor, the longer you’ve had your domain, the more links, the more DA.
Seriously, get your own domain! I can’t recommend it more. I even wrote a whole post about if you need more convincing!
How do I increase my DA?
It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what to do to increase your DA as it is made up of so many factors but ensuring that you are keeping up with your SEO techniques as covered in my last post will put you pretty good stead. As a summary, some good actions to take will be:
- Get your domain as soon as possible – domain age is important
- Create shareable content which will be linked to from other quality websites
- Participate in link ups or guest blogging to get good quality back links
- Commenting with your link on other blogs can help – but make sure it’s not spammy
- Use alt tags on your pictures to be linked in google image sites
- Make sure your social media accounts are linked to your blog (you can check with something like nibblr – just see if it picks up any associated accounts, if they aren’t there then you need to check all your links)
- Use internal links within each blog post
- Share your links on your social networking sites – twitter, instagram, pinterest, G+
- Post regularly!
I hope that helps to give you an overview of what DA actually is, and what factors are included in it. Leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you want a more indepth post on any of the topics!