What is Domain Authority and Does it Really Matter?

Written by Melanie Smith: Digital marketing manager.
· 4 minute read

Domain authority is often considered to be a pretty important metric to many marketers and SEO professionals, but what actually is it? Is it really something we need to be paying close attention to? Or is it just another vanity metric?

What is Domain Authority?

Developed by Moz, domain authority all started as a way of measuring the SEO ‘strength’ of a website, and how likely the website is to rank well in search engines. Measured between 1 to 100, the higher your domain authority score, the stronger your domain is deemed to be, and the more likely it is to rank for target keywords.

According to Moz, a domains authority is based on several factors, including how many backlinks your website has (and the quality of those backlinks!), how search engine and user friendly your website is, as well as the quality of your content. Social signals such as likes, shares and comments are also considered.

How to check your Domain Authority

Aside from Moz, there are many other ways to check a domains authority – although each may vary slightly, the overall idea is the same.

  • Moz – There are several ways to check your domain authority through Moz’s library of tools, including the Open Site Explorer, MozBar and the Keyword Explorer.
  • Ahrefs – Ahrefs.com equivalent to domain authority is their ‘Domain Rating’ metric. Domain Rating from ahrefs is scored between 1 to 100, and shows how strong the overall backlink profile of a domain is.
  • Majestic – Majestic label their domain metrics as ‘Trust Flow’ and ‘Citation Flow’, scores range from 0 to 100, and is again based on links and how trustworthy the links are

Does it really matter?

Yes and no.

It’s more important to ensure your website is optimised for both users, and search engines. Focus on good quality and engaging content, be sure your website is well optimised, covering all technical SEO fundamentals.

By following these steps, yes your domain authority may well increase as a result, but more importantly you’re setting yourself up to have a better performing website, offering users a better experience and are more likely to rank well  – which is surely much more beneficial than a number?