What is Domain Authority?

Backlink Recommendations

Domain authority is a term a lot of local business owners either don’t understand or it seems out of reach for them and their local business website. But when you really understand what it is, knowing how to build it is easier.

Domain Authority is a measurement that Moz.com created to mimic the old Google Page Rank measurement that Google used to publish up until 2013. Both Domain Authority and Page Rank measure and try to predict how well a website will rank based on the quality, quantity, relativity, and authority of the websites that contextually link to a given website.

In this article, I first touch on why domain authority is important, and then I will break down further exactly what Domain Authority is by looking at how it measures a website’s backlinks to try to predict how well the site will rank. Please also read my article “How To Increase Domain Authority In Local SEO!

Why Is Domain Authority Important?


I get asked a lot by people new to SEO: “Why is domain authority important?” If they have been around the given for a while, they often ask, “Is domain authority still relevant?” So let’s talk about it.

When a search engine like Google sees a website linking to another website, especially if it uses a do-follow contextual link, it views that link as a referral or recommendation of that website, specifically of the page it is linked to. Google sees these links as vouching for the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of the content it links to.

The more directly related the page is to the website it is linking to, and the more trusted and authoritative that page is to the search engine, the more authority is passed from the first page to the second through the link.

So, the more directly related high authority links a website receives, the more Domain Authority the search engines feel it has. Assuming Moz continues to accurately measure Domain Authority, the more Domain Authority a site has, the higher a website should rank for its targeted keywords.

How Is Domain Authority Calculated?

Moz calculates Domain Authority (DA) by including a variety of factors in its measurements. It considers the strength of the linking root domains and the total number of links when putting together a website’s DA score.

Since Moz’s update in early 2019, it now uses machine learning algorithm predictions about how often Google uses that domain in its search results. The domains Moz sees showing up more in Google SERPs Moz considers must have a higher DA than those it has found showing up less often.

Now that a website’s DA score is based on Moz’s machine learning calculations, your website’s score will fluctuate with the amount and different kinds of data points as they become available. For example, if your website were to acquire more and more relative, authoritative backlinks over time, your competitor’s DA score would drop in relation to yours as a result.

How Is Domain Authority Calculated For Local Business Websites?

Local Business SEO

What’s different about DA in local SEO is that instead of just wanting high-authority backlinks from websites relevant to our industry, we also want high-authority backlinks relevant to our neighborhood or city.

Google Maps is all about location. To rank well, you have to be more authoritative for your industry (products and services) and your town or city. Getting contextual backlinks from authoritative websites from both your industry and from your city (like a city magazine website) is how you do it.

Final Thoughts

Remember not to fall for the “local SEO” services where you buy backlinks. Almost without exception, those will be garbage spammy backlinks that will lower your Domain Authority Score, not increase it. I have seen local businesses get their websites penalized by Google for employing those types of tactics. They might help a little bit, only to penalize your website. Don’t risk it.

If you go up to the search option on the top of this website and search for the term “backlink,” you will find articles where I teach you how to get relevant, authoritative backlinks that will help your DA score and rankings long term, not just immediately.

Finally, be sure to go to my YouTube channel and search for backlinks in the video search. I have a lot of really good videos on that topic as well.


When I was first introduced to the local SEO industry, I took a job working for a company that did it nationally. To my surprise I eventually learned that the company I was working for had no idea what they were doing. As I began to take various local SEO courses to try to help my clients, I also learned that most courses didn't teach methods that actually worked. Fortunately, over the years, I was able to find some that did know what they were doing and over the last decade or so, have had great success getting my business clients on the first page of Google locally, even in competitive niches and markets. The purpose of this website is to teach any local business owner, or employee, how to do their own local SEO so that they can get their own websites in the Google Maps 3 Pack, and on the first page in the regular organic listings as well.

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