The domain authority (DA) of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry. This relevance has a direct impact on its ranking by search engines. It is a dark art amongst many in the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) world.
Essentially DA is increased by four factors;
- The prestige of the site and authors - how is "prestige" determined? No one except the boffins behind the Google algorithm could tell you exactly but there are a couple of things that we know help. Think of it like word-of-mouth referrals in the real world, in the web world a link from another site to yours (back link) says to the algorithm "ok these guys has something interesting to talk about". The more "prestigious" the site linking to yours is, the more valuable the link is to you from a DA perspective. Domain age, volatility of ownership, organic search volumes also affect prestige - these are often out of your control though.
- The quality of the information on the site - how this is determined is all AI driven from Google's perspective, so again really grey area and always changing, but there are a few things that we know have an impact. Quantity of textual content on each page, format and readability - things like heading and paragraph structures, lack of repetition and relevancy - does the subject matter match the intent of the site. You should consider this closely when you are writing your content.
- Website centrality - like prestige, centrality considers the links between your site and others. Unlike prestige though, centrality looks at both inbound and outbound links, so those links your site is pointing to. For example, if you provide links of other third-party web pages on your website, those would be external links to your site. It is more granular than prestige that looks at "whole of site" value whereas centrality looks at things like quality of your last blog post. Think of it like a restaurant, prestige is analogous to how "good" is the restaurant considered generally, centrality is like, how "good" are the meals rating last week. The take away here (pardon the pun) is that is about content "freshness", how active is the content on the site, how current. Consider blogs, news and project updates as ways to keep the content flowing on your site. And keep active in your community, link to others, connect to other content, be that publican that everyone knows.
- Competition or "Relative Domain Authority" - so if we think restaurants again, you might be a really good restaurant, say number 5 in a list of 100. You happen to be a Thai restaurant. Just so happens that the 4 better restaurants are also Thai restaurants. Get the idea? The competitiveness of your subject matter plays a part in Domain Authority and its importance to your rank. The upshot is that if there are no Thai restaurants in the list and you rank 99. You're still the top dog, so in non-competitive subjects DA is less important.
We are not an SEO company in that we don't actively assist you in building DA through link building or content SEO. What we do though is understand how to build websites that are optimised in a technical sense for search engines. We are always mindful of SEO techniques when we migrate or establish your Online ID for instance. By ensuring we are establishing your site on authoritative directories assist in increasing your Domain Authority.