People often ask us, how do I increase my website’s domain level of authority, and I often avoid this question because the score itself shouldn’t be your focus. What you should focus on is what causes that score to rise, and that’s high quality backwards from authoritative websites. So today we’re going to talk about the three core factors that will improve your website’s link authority in a meaningful way. Stay tuned. So if you’re new to the concept of website authority, it’s actually a made up metric from tool companies.
Now, whether you call it domain rating, domain authority, website authority or whatever, they all save the same general purpose. They try to measure the relative strength of a website’s back and profile compared to other sites in their index. Now, while some tools claim that their website authority metric can predict a website’s ranking potential, I take that with a grain of salt. Yes, I think CEOs generally agree that website authority does play somewhat of a factor in rankings. In fact, we found a clear correlation between domain rating and a number of keywords a website ranks for. But correlation doesn’t prove causation. Google ranks pages and not websites, so having a goal to improve domain rating is too broad and could actually make you lose focus from your true goal, which is to rank and Google and get more organic traffic. So by putting the focus at the website level instead of the page level, it’s like painting your whole house just to make your bathroom look good. It might work to a certain extent, but 90 percent of your efforts actually have no effect on the end goal. Now, the things that cause an increase in your website’s authority can help you rank higher in Google, and it all comes down to the main thing responsible for calculating this metric, and that’s links. Now, I can’t speak on behalf of other tool providers because I don’t know how they calculate their website authority metric. But I can expand a bit on trust website authority metric called domain rating. So again, domain rating represents the overall strength of a website’s background profile. And when I say strength, it isn’t just the pure numbers game. We look at both quantity and quality of the links pointing at a website. Now, domain rating isn’t linear. It’s plotted on a logarithmic scale from zero to one hundred to understand the scale a bit better. Think of it like gaining status in a video game. You might start off as a scout and to gain your ranger badge. It might only take a few hours, but jumping to the next level could take you months. Then only the truly elite players will get to epic status. And don’t even get me started on legendary. This is reserved only for the chosen ones. In the same way, increasing a website’s domain rating from seventy nine to eighty would be a much bigger jump than going from three to four or even from three to 10. In short, you can’t say that a website with a D.R 40 is twice as authoritative as a website with a 20. It’ll be more than that, although improving domain rating shouldn’t be your aim. Let’s talk about the three main things that impact the score. First are the number of unique websites that link to you at HFS. We call these referring domains and in our calculations we only account for follow links, meaning links with no follow. UGC or sponsor values won’t improve a websites D-R score. Now, since we count referring domains here and not backlog’s subsequent links from the same website won’t improve a website story either. The second thing we look at are the domain ratings of the linking domains and this is one of the ways we keep D-R reliable and tougher to manipulate. For example, if a website has a thousand followed referring domains that all come from D-R zero websites, it’s unlikely that those links will do much for the linked page. And we want to reflect that by not overinflating D-R scores based on quantity alone. This also means that a websites D-R can increase if the domain ratings of the linking websites go up. For example, I built a link from a D-R 15 site back in twenty seventeen and today that same website has a domain rating of fifty eight. The more the story is not to judge a website by its alone if there are less authoritative sites, but you see them grindy and consistently building links to their pages, then the value of your link can increase over time. This is the referring domains graph for the site I got a link from and this is around the day. I got a link from the slow and steady increase in referring domains. Plus the person’s content were good indicators that the site would continue to do well. So I invested my time to get a link from a low D.R site and it paid off. And the third thing we look at are the number of sites the referring websites link to with at least one follow link. The more unique websites the site links to the less so-called D-R equity. A Kompass, for example.
If you had a new website, I got a link from the New York Times, you might think you’d get a nice pop in your domain rating. After all, The New York Times has a domain rating of ninety four and it’s one of the most well-known sites in the world. But because of the sheer number of external website it links to with at least one follow link, it won’t have that much of an impact on D-R. As you can see in the linked domains report in site, explore the link to over two hundred and eighty thousand websites with the link. So how much of an impact would a link from NY Times dot com have on a website? Well, it depends, but to give you a better picture, this website only has one link in total, and it’s from The New York Times and it has a score of just two. And remember, D-R runs on a logarithmic scale. So if you had a dark 70 site, that link may not visibly impact your domain rating. Now, let’s compare that to a site like IMDB, which has a D-R of ninety three. According to the Linked Domains Report, Incyte explore the only link out to around five thousand websites with the following link. Now if we look at this domain, which has just the single referring domain from IMDB and no other websites, you’ll see the website has a score of thirty four. So does that mean that the D-R thirty four site is more authoritative than the DA to say, or that a link from IMDB is better than one from the New York Times? Definitely not. And this is exactly why I don’t recommend using domain rating scores as a standalone metric. It’s not a good indicator of a website’s quality or legitimacy. It’s merely a measure of linked popularity. Instead, it’s better if you combine D-R with other metrics like domain level traffic or you URL rating, which estimates the overall strength of a page is Page’s baffling profile. So what are the key takeaways here? I’ll tell you as it is, don’t obsess over increasing your domain rating. Instead, focus on. Two things, number one, build links to pages you want to rank again, Google ranks pages and not websites. And if you want to rank your pages for popular or competitive topics, you’re going to need links. In fact, we found that the number of referring domains to a page is the strongest correlating back and factor as far as rankings are concerned. So rather than building them to every page across your site, focus on the ones you care about most and number to try to get links from authoritative and high quality websites. At the end of the day, you want to rank your pages high and Google and the links that are going to move the needle are high quality back links from relevant and authoritative pages. I won’t expand on these qualities right now because we have a full video that outlines the characteristics of high quality back links, which I’ve linked up in the description. Now, if you focus on these two things, which were to build links to pages you want to rank and to get links from authoritative sources, the byproduct is going to be higher Google rankings and an increase in your domain rating. And we have a ton of step by step tutorials on how to build links to your website. So I highly recommend checking out our link building playlist.