What is Domain Authority Domain Rating


Hi guys. And welcome to another edition of Zupo SEO Talk & Tea. 

Today's conversation is what is domain authority or what is domain rating? That's a really popular question. Domain authority is a very popular metric used online, especially in the SEO world. And domain ratings are similar. So today we're going to go over what those two things are.

In addition, this is a Zupo SEO Talk & Tea, so we have our little golden bag over here. We have a recurring tea, the chrysanthemum tea. I like to always have this every so often just because it's flowery, I guess, I don't typically like flowery drinks, but we're going to have it today. So let's go ahead and get brewing. And then we're going to go ahead and get into this conversation about domain authority. So I have the wrong teapot. It's this one. So there you go, that's the right one. Oops.

But what is domain authority? Sorry, let me get back on track. What is domain authority and domain rating? First things first is domain authority and domain rating can be seen as synonyms for each other. Let's just start with domain authority and what domain authority is.

Domain authority is this metric that is created by a company called Moz. Moz is an SEO software company, a very popular company for a lot of companies to use for their own SEO purposes. Their software is pretty popular and they are seen as one of the leaders in education for SEO, even for myself, a lot of beginning education I had an SEO was with Moz. But anyways, so what domain authority is, is... I think the best way to explain it is let me go back in history just a little bit.

In the early days of Google and SEO, they used to have what was called PageRank. It was a score of one to 10. And what PageRank was, was a score that they would score each page on, on the web from a score of one to 10, 10 being the highest and one being the lowest. And so the higher you were to 10 the better your page was seemed to be optimized. The lower you were on the scale, the worst you were seen by Google. Now Google has essentially has taken that score off, PageRank does not exist to the public anymore. There is a lot of speculation that they still use PageRank internally, but there is no way for the public to be able to see their own PageRank. So what has been done is that other companies have created a similar metric, in lieu of Google taking that away.

And that brings us domain authority. Domain authority is a score that Moz has created from the zero to a hundred that essentially does the same thing as page rank. It just uses it on a different scale. So whereas PageRank was zero to 10 domain authority is zero to a hundred. So you can do the ratios it's for every 10, it's a one on page rank. And so a lot of people use domain authority as the next defacto metric, to kind of determine if their site as well optimized. A higher domain authority to a hundred probably means the site is stronger, the lower to zero, probably the weaker it is. In terms of what actually is used to calculate domain authority, that would be the nitpicking heart of it. We'll probably need to go to Moz and even Moz won't disclose the whole algorithm, many companies don't, but I usually domain authority is calculated based on a level of how many referring domains and links are coming into your site, and some onsite factors, maybe internal links or content. Generally though, it's built around link building and referring domains.

And then that leads me to domain rating. Domain rating is almost the exact same score, but it's Ahrefs, which is a different SEO software, almost a rival of Moz. They do very similar things on their softwares, some are a little bit better on one, some a little bit on the other. And so I personally use domain rating much more. I'm an Ahrefs user. So that software, I use their domain rating metric. And domain rating is exactly the same thing, it's zero to 100. And Ahrefs has said that their domain rating score is much more highly dependent on the number of links and referring domains coming into a site. And that's how they calculate their domain rating. So when it comes to domain authority, a domain rating, though, what we need to know is that, again, this is not a Google metrics.

Google has it out in the open, very publicly said that they do not use those metrics and though they knew that they exist, they don't exactly acknowledge them as part of a Google ranking factor. A lot of people have asked the Google team if the domain authority is higher, why are they not ranking better, and Google will always respond, that's not part of their ranking algorithm. So the best way to understand those two though, and how to use it, is understand that it's not a causality ranking factor, but it is correlating. So what that means is the higher domain authority is, the higher you probably will rank, but don't confuse it with just optimizing your domain authority. Of course, you should be optimizing your rankings, not your domain authority. So in that case, what that means though, is when... so use the metric to get you to higher rankings. Don't use the metric as the end all be all. So yes, try to get your domain authority and domain rating higher, but it doesn't always mean higher rankings. And so we've seen many sites where they rank high, but have a low domain authority or domain rating, right?

So the best way to kind of use it, is my company we definitely use domain rating and domain authority just to understand the competitive layout of the land, but we don't watch it every single day. We use them more for competitive analysis, just general benchmarking and understanding how our site is improving, but we don't measure on a day to day level. We more so measure rankings and then traffic and leads, right? So domain authority, domain rating is important, but in conclusion, use it as a research tool and a gauging tool, not a goal KPI metric that you should be going for.

In that case, you can sometimes mess with your own SEO because it will deviate you from the ultimate goal of rankings and leads. So hopefully that explains domain authority and domain rating, that those are very popular metrics. We use it at the agency. A lot of people use it. It will help you in understanding your research and competition. But if you guys found that valuable, please like, and subscribe, and I'm going to go ahead and have my first cup of tea for the day and hope to see you guys again soon. Thanks.

Jason Khoo

Jason is founder and CEO of Zupo, which is an Orange County based SEO consulting agency helping construct powerful long term SEO strategies for our clients. Jason also enjoys multiple cups of tea a day, hiding away on weekends catching up on reading and rewatching The Simpsons for the 20th time.