For a website to perform better than its competitors SEO (Search Engine Optimization and online marketing) and building a higher domain authority is necessary. There are many steps to achieve that, but the focus of this article is using high DA websites. In simple terms, in order to achieve high domain authority for your website, you should use relevant existing high DA websites to get you there.
What is Domain Authority and its Importance?
Domain authority represents the predicted ranking score of a website on a search engine. The higher domain authority a website has, the easier it is to access and get attention. For a website to be viewed as credible, it needs to have a large audience. Generally, people don’t go to a website from the tenth section of Google when looking for reliable sources. The score is based on a one to 100 scale with one being the lowest and 100 being the highest. Google hasn’t released an official ranking system so the closest metric people can use is this system developed by Moz.
History of Domain Authority
In the 90’s, HITS was a popular algorithm used to divide link structure into hubs and authorities. The premise was that hubs were websites used to link out sites and authorities were sites that received the most links from hubs
The concept of domain authority had already existed before Moz’s system was developed but it wasn’t quite the same. Before, domain authority was thought to be the product of age and accumulation of links a site had. Moz’s system on the other hand uses metrics that they believe Google uses for ranking.
In the early 2,000’s, Google struggled with their PageRank system creating bias towards sites with a higher rank. This meant that if the site wasn’t relevant to what was searched, it still would appear on the top results. For example, if back then a person searched for a website on Pitbull dogs, a website talking about golden retrievers might surface if it received a higher score. Nowadays, the search engine improved on its system but there is still the issue of old sites holding more authority than new sites.
This just means new sites have more hoops to jump through now more than ever in order to get somewhat authority.
Methods to Use in Order to Draw High DA Websites in
a. To stand out against competitors, it is important that your content is well-written and relevant to your specified niche. Without interesting and overall good content, a website is bound to fail right off the bat. Basically, this is a competition for who can get the highest authority.
a. After producing quality content, try to find competitors’ backlinks. Backlinks are websites who linked to their website. The reason this is important is because you already know they are interested in your content area. Getting in contact would be a great start to potentially getting recognition.
b. Before making any rash moves, it is best not to walk into the interaction looking for backlinks. Take it slow and respectful by just asking for feedback and their opinions on your content and website.
3. Link to different sites
a. By using relevant links on your website, it puts the message out there that you respect their content and in turn they may do the same for you. It is not a guarantee but there is nothing wrong with putting in the effort.
4. DoFollow article submission sites
a. Submission sites are article sites that can help improve authority and backlinks. Using these sites is one of the best ways to get your content out there for the world to see. However, it is still important that you submit quality content to these article directories to attract attention. Just how websites can fail due to the releasing of content that is not relevant or consistent, quality content is key for both cases. Submitting content cost nothing on the content creator’s side so it will not hurt to get your website’s name out there.
Here are some examples of current submission sites to use:
What to Avoid
1. Buying links
a. It may seem the most obvious, but websites can be quite desperate when it comes to getting attention. There are too many unreliable factors that come with using this method. A person could pay for a backlink but then what they get is a link with a nofollow attribute.
2. Links from sites consisting of illegal content
a. Having ties to inappropriate sites takes a big toll on your credibility and can direct individuals to content that is completing unrelated and/or viruses.
3. Asking for backlinks
a. If your contacting a website in the hope of a backlink, avoid asking for a back link. It makes you and your website appear inadequate/unprofessional when it comes to acquiring DA.
4. Poor choice in domain name
a. Even though this is not as extreme as the rest, it still is important. An easy to remember domain name will draw more users in which in turn draws more attention to your website. By getting more attention, there is a higher chance of drawing in those high DA sites.
There are many sites that try to appeal to new websites by promising an excessive number of backlinks for getting more attention. The reason it is best to avoid this method is due to high chance of hidden links and spam sites coming into the mix. This also can result in your keyword and domain authority to drop down a couple levels.
To maintain a high rank, content should be consistent. This means that a website should be producing content at a weekly or monthly basis. Keeping a blog up to date can help keep the attention consistent as well. When looking for sources, people tend to look for blogs that are more recent rather than a couple years old. This is also due to information changing (depending on the topic) over time so relevant information can be detrimental.
However, if the case is that you are keeping up to date with relevant content, but your DA is still low, it could be due to your keyword usage. The term keyword stuffing is self-explanatory, it is the act of over-using a keyword. It is said that the appropriate amount would be from 2–5 times
More internet traffic comes from mobile devices these days so if a website isn’t mobile friendly, they’ll see a decline in authority as well. Google recently made an update basically saying that mobile use will also play a factor in their ranking signal.
Calculating Domain Authority
Calculating domain authority involves looking at multiple factors of a website and putting it into a 100-scale score. A couple factors from the Moz system that apply include:
1. Links to root domains
Total backlinks from different websites. This does not include multiple links from singular websites. If a website receives multiple links from an individual website, that counts as one linking root domain.
a. A metric used by Moz to determine the legitimacy of external links
3. Quality content
This is calculated by the number of likes, comments, and shares a website receives.
a. This refers to the usability of a site from a user standpoint. Mobile friendliness and navigation are a part of determining this matter. Always checking the website to see if everything is running properly is an easy way to know if the problem isn’t there.
Luckily, there are already websites that can calculate domain authority so all you need to have prior is your websites URL. Moz’s Link Explorer is a good place to check domain authority. All it needs is the URL of your website and some account information.
Generally, the closer your DA is to 100 is the best but if a website is only at 50, there is no need to panic. 40–50 is considered average while 50–60 is considered quite good overall.
Examples of High DA Websites
1. Blogging and marketing
- Content Marketing Institute
- The Huffington Post
- Daily Blog Tips
- Blogging Tips
3. Web Designing
- The Pioneer
What Happens When Domain Authority Decreases?
DA isn’t an actual Google ranking but a collection of data so there’s multiple factors that could come into play. Despite domain authority playing a big factor in success, once you achieve a high rank you must continue onward. Domain authority always fluctuates so if your content isn’t well-rounded, you will see a decrease. A good route to improve domain authority and ranking would be creating content aimed at different audiences.
For example, if the main subject of a website was health but they were only focusing on diet, addressing exercise practices could improve views. Broadening a website’s audience should always be the goal rather than just developing a high domain authority. It is also important that you continue publishing on high domain sites. We live in a fast-paced world so if content is not being produced in a timely matter, authority will begin to decline.
What to Take Away from This
To even interact with high domain websites, there are many steps that come into play. Generally, it is a type of exchange where they must see the potential before giving backlinks. The only way for them to see a website’s potential is if they have created a presence due to the use of different outlets. This may include the use of submission sites, releasing quality content, links to relevant websites, and/or have contacted high DA websites for review. High DA is great if the website’s domain name is active, however the name expiration can change everything. Expiration time span is 1–10 years so keep that in check and it is uphill from there.
By taking the time and utilizing the right SEO tools to really create a consistent presence online, you will see an increase in backlinks while also improving upon rank and domain authority.