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Intro to Authority

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What is Authority?

Authority: The power, control, influence, and/or command that a particular site or page has on the world wide web.

To make things objective, authority is represented or measured as a score out of 100 that determines the ranking strength of your website, with 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest.

Brand new websites will start out with a score of one (1). Simply put, it is the quality of a site on the internet on a scale of 1-100.

Originally coined by Moz, ‘authority’ has become a yardstick for estimating how well a website performs in the search results.  

There are two types of authority:

  • Domain Authority
  • Page Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is for the whole website, while Page Authority (PA) is for the specific individual page. 

Other SEO companies have their own equivalent of DA. For example, Ahrefs uses Domain Rating (DR) and Majestic SEO uses Trust Flow. Still, Moz DA remains the most popular.

However, it is important to note that DA and PA are not metrics officially used by the Google Search Algorithm. Having a high authority usually translates to ranking well for the related terms. 

A website’s authority is not static. It will increase or decrease over time based on how the changes you make to the site. It is also measured on a logarithmic scale, meaning it is easier to get from 10 to 15 than it is to get from 60 to 65.

Just like Google has many factors that impact your ranking, Moz uses over 40 different factors to determine DA. These include linking root domains, trustworthiness, content, social signals, and site structure. The good news is that improvements in these areas will please Google as well.

DA and PA scores are best used as a relative performance metric and in comparison with similar websites rather than an absolute metric. With this being said, any site with a DA of 30 or more is generally considered good.

On March 5th, 2019, Moz announced an update to their Domain Authority metric, releasing DA 2.0. This new DA would take more factors into account, along with a better way to measure the quality of links.

Google also has its own metrics for judging Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T). Google’s evaluators rank pages based on subject matter expertise, how much authority they have, and whether or not they can be trusted.

High-quality pages have a high E-A-T while pages of low quality do not. Websites need enough expertise to be deemed authoritative and trustworthy.

This is especially true for medical and financial websites. These fall under the Your Money Or Your Life (YMYL) category. These are pages so important that they impact a person’s life, income, and happiness.

If they end up being low-quality, it would be detrimental to the reader. The rating standards for these pages are higher than normal.

Websites related to e-commerce, diseases, the stock market, legal information, and even car repair and maintenance where if wrong or misleading information was given, it would harm the person physically, emotionally, or financially, come under heavy scrutiny by Google.

This is because Google doesn’t want to show incorrect facts and figures, or cause people to suffer because of something they saw at the top of the Google search results.

Recommended Tools

Domain Authority Checker – Check Domain Authority, Page Authority, and Moz Rank

Domain Age Checker – View age of any domain

Moz Link Explorer – Moz’s tool to check DA and PA

Who Is – Get domain age and information

DigitalBull GO – The world’s #1 GMB audit and optimization tool!

For more on Authority, read our article for Optimizing Authority.

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