Authority in SEO

The authority that search engines give you has a significant influence on whether you have successful SEO or not. But what exactly is the authority? And how does Google evaluate it? In this article, we explain the different types that exist and how you can efficiently improve them.

PageRank

As an introduction to the subject, it is essential first to talk about the PageRank—the algorithm created by Google to measure the authorithy of Websites. It was named after its inventor, Larry Page, who is also one of the founders of Google.

Although for a long time, PageRank was used by webmasters and SEOs to know the quality of sites, it is no longer a public metric. Certainly, PageRank is still a valuable part of Google’s internal algorithm, but today we need to use other parameters to understand the authority of a website.

Types of Authority

We must differentiate between two different types of authority that we can find in SEO. 

  • Domain or Website authority
  • Page authority

Let’s take a look at each of them in detail.

Domain authority

The domain authority, also known as Website authority, is an SEO concept that represents how much “strength” a site has to rank in search engines. This term can be easily confused with the Domain Authority (DA) metric developed by Moz. It’s essential to keep in mind that the concept and the metric are two different things.

That said, how do search engines evaluate the strength (or the domain authority ) of your site? 

Just as a librarian would recommend one book over another, search engines also rank websites according to their quality, popularity, and trustworthiness. If you consider the value of a book depending on the quality of its pages, it may be easy to understand that the Domain Authority depends mainly on the sum of the authority given to each page.

Trustworthiness

If we go a little deeper into this subject, search engines consider a website to be reliable when it has an excellent historical record. Although there are many factors to contemplate, this means that it has been offering valuable content since its publication and has received the minimum Google penalties. In other words, websites that have demonstrated good behavior for the longest time are worthy of gaining the trust of search engines. On the contrary, new sites will have to work harder to gain Google’s trust.

Popularity

How do the search engines know if your website is popular? Well, it’s very easy. They know this by the number of times a link from your website is shared. 

The more people talk about you (mention your site), the more popular you are, right? But be aware that not all external links are equally beneficial for your domain and page authority. Depending on the quality of the backlinks, you will get more or less “power.” Keep in mind that if a website that links to you is considered to be of poor quality or spammy, it can even damage your authority.

In short, good popularity consists in having as many backlinks from as many high-quality websites as possible.

How can I check my domain authority?

One way to see the status of your domain authority is to check if you’re ranking for high-volume search queries. Also, as mentioned above, high-quality external links have a direct impact on your authority, so find out how many backlinks you have and where they come from. Are they from different reliable websites? 

Now is the time to talk about the Domain Authority metric. Several tools allow you to see this parameter. All the metrics shown below have a rate from 0 to 100. Whatever application you use, the higher your score, the better.

MOZ: 

Using the Domain Authority (DA) metric, Moz predicts your website’s ranking potential based on links.

Ahrefs: 

Ahrefs has its website authority metric, which is called Domain Rating (DR). The higher a website’s score, the more authoritative it is.

Majestic

There are three Majestic metrics that you should be aware of to learn about your Domain authority. The Citation Flow is the metric that Majestic uses to measure the “power” of a website according to the links. This metric is used in combination with Trust Flow.  This last one reflects the quality of your website, according to the “trustworthiness” of the sites and URLs pointing back to you. Citation Flow and Trust Flow together form the Majestic’s Flow Metrics algorithm. Finally, the Topical Trust Flow shows the relative influence of a website, sub-domain, or root domain on a given topic or category.

How can I improve my domain authority?

Considering that search engines give more authority to those websites with higher quality, popularity, and reliability, you almost have the answer to this question.

  • Publish high-quality content periodically that match users search intent
  • Gain the trust of search engines with a good practice of on-page SEO and avoiding Google penalties
  • Get as many backlinks as possible from valuable websites

Page Authority

Page authority is a very similar concept to domain authority but with a little differentiation. While DA indicates a domain’s “strength” to rank organically, PA reflects the same, but for a particular site page.

What is the Page Authority useful for?

Page Authority indicates how well a particular page can be positioned. It is handy to know if your content strategy is working, as you may be able to perceive the preferences of your target. Also, you can detect if you need to improve the positioning for some pages in particular that could be harming the authority of the whole website (domain authority).

Compare the pages with more and less authority. What is it about the page that performs well compared to the one with a low score? Analyze it in detail and learn from it. You’ll gain valuable knowledge to improve the effectiveness of your pages.

Taking advantage of this element, you can also evaluate if the links coming from other pages (backlinks) are of good quality or helpful to improve your ranking since you can know their authority.

How can I improve my Page Authority?

Bearing in mind that the Page Authority refers to the same concept as the Domain Authority (the “strength” to rank on SERPs), but focused on a particular page, it is not surprising that we are again talking about quality and popularity in this section.

Fresh quality content

Google likes to see up-to-date content that meets the users’ queries. Provide high-quality information on a regular basis that interests your target audience. Having only old content on your site will hurt your Page Authority score. Also, don’t forget to optimize the content for both users and search engines.

Popularity

As we have explained previously, backlinks prove your popularity. You want to obtain as many as possible from relevant websites within your industry. The more quality external links that point to your page, the more authority you’ll get.

How can I check the Page Authorithy?

To understand the state of your Page Authorithy, you may analyze the following aspects. Is your page ranking for a high-volume search query? How many backlinks do you have on the page? Are they of high quality?

If you want to see the score of your Page Authority metric, you can use the same tools listed for DA: MOZ, Ahrefs, Majestic.

 

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