Why did my Domain Authority (DA score) go down and how do I improve it?

Before reading this post I recommend checking out Part 1 – What you need to know about Domain Authority. In that post I talk about what it is, how it’s calculated and how to check your score. It’s important to first understand how it all works, it will make it easier when trying to improve it.

Over the past couple of Domain Authority updates, I’ve seen more and more people talking about their DA score – about how they’ve been working to improve it and it has remained the same or even dropped. This post will go into a bit more detail about how the scoring works, why it may not change even if you’re working on your SEO and some tips on how you can improve it over time.

What is Domain Authority – Summary

Domain authority is a metric by Moz to show how strong your site is as compared to other sites in Search Engine Result Page Rankings. There are dozens of factors that are considered while calculating DA, so it is hard to influence DA with just concentrating on any one factor (like SEO for example). It takes a lot of time to build up.

How to improve your DA score?

Having a higher DA score means that you’re more than likely going to do better in search engines, ranking higher and more frequently. This could also have an impact on the offers your blog gets – such as sponsored content, advertising, and so on. So how do you improve your DA score? Here are a few points to keep in mind while publishing posts and working on your blog.

1. Get a domain!
The sooner you get a custom domain, the sooner you can start growing your Domain Authority. The age of a domain is a major factor of your DA score, so the longer you have it the better. The expiry date of a domain can also influence the score, so that’s something to keep in mind when purchasing a domain.

2. Building Links
Domain Authority is highly dependent on the number of sites that link to you. It looks for how many sites are linking to your domain (50 links from one domain, or 50 links from 50 different domains) and that indirectly helps increase the value of your site.

Think about internal links also – when writing new posts link to previous related posts, but don’t overdo it. Avoid black hat SEO techniques to reduce the risk of links from spammy or very low quality sites. If you do find these links, remove them. Keep on eye on tools like Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools) to see who is linking to you.

3. Moz Rank + Moz Trust
The Moz Rank (ranges from 0-10) of a site is based on it’s link profile. The better quality of the site linking to you, the more influence that will have. So 5 links from a high quality site is considered better than 10 links from a poor quality site.

Moz Trust checks what connection your site has with other trusted authority sites. This connection or network could be through other sites that have linked to you.

4. Quality Content
Everyone always talks about quality content being important, because it really is the key to growth. Quality content is anything that provides value to your readers. If you publish great content on a regularly basis and promote it well you tend to rank higher more often, meaning even more people find you and can link to you. This causes a rise in your authority and online reputation, which then has a positive effect in your Domain Authorithy.

5. Social Shares
If your site is shared a lot of social platforms and posts get a lot of likes then that’s a good indication that you are producing quality content. People found it helpful, valuable or liked it enough to share it. Search engines take notice of this and then promote it more. It also increases your reach by getting your content infront of people who might not see it otherwise, make it easy for people to share your content by adding social share buttons to your post.

6. SEO
How search engine friendly is your site and content? If your site is optimised for search engines (and readers!) then it’s likely to appear more frequently on SERP (search engine results page). Again meaning more poeple are likely to read it, like it, share it, etc. which will increase your authority.

Take a look at your site structure and navigation, user experience (how easy is your site to use), load speed, keywords, image alt tags, heading tags and content in general. Check out my posts on SEO for more information.

7. Patience
Keep working on your site and you will see your rankings improving with time. Remember that there are a lot of factors that influence your Domain Authority so don’t feel disheartened if you don’t see an increase. I see a lot of people talking about how they have increased their SEO efforts in an attempt to raise their DA score, but keep in mind that it has more to do with other sites than your SEO work. As mentioned in Part 1, the number on it’s own doesn’t mean much, it really needs to be compared to competitive sites – so similar blogs that are in the same kind of niche as yours. Then you’ll have a better understanding of how well your DA is.

Why did my DA score drop?

Moz updated the index at the end of last year to provide higher quality, more relevant and more useful link data. This is one reason you may not have seen much of an improvement in your DA score. Your domain authority is relative to the index and sites contained in the index. You can read all about the update here. Other sites also have an influence on your score, so if a site that links to your dropped in DA score this can cause your score to drop also.

Q. My DA score dropped when I changed my URL / got a custom domain on Blogger/WordPress. Why?
This is a question I get time and time again. Your Domain Authority score relates to one specific domain. If you change your domain, then you have to start fresh. If you have a domain ending in .blogspot.com, .wordpress.com or something similar then the DA score you are shown belongs to Blogspot/Blogger, WordPress or whatever other platform you are using. You need a custom domain, to have a DA score! If you change from .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com to a custom domain, then you start fresh (although you can keep link juice and traffic). That is why it’s recommended to get your own domain as soon as you feel you’re building your blog into something more than just a hobby.

I hope you found this post helpful, if you have any questions or other topics you want to see a post on please let me know below!

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