Outreach Monks

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: Which Matters Most For Link Building

Domain Rating Vs Domain Authority

When measuring a website’s performance, Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are two metrics you’ve probably heard about.

They give you an idea of how reputable a website is and its ability to rank well.

Recently, some juicy details from Google’s leaked API documents have surfaced, giving us fresh insights into how search engines might really work. This makes it even more crucial to understand Domain Rating vs Domain Authority.

In this guide, we’re going to break down what these metrics mean, how they’re calculated, and how you can use them to your advantage.

Our aim? To help you figure out which metric matters most for your link-building efforts. Whether you’re curious about DA vs DR or looking to enhance your SEO strategy, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in and demystify DR and DA together!

What is Domain Rating (DR)?

Domain Rating (DR) is a metric developed by Ahrefs that measures the strength of a website’s backlink profile on a scale from 0 to 100. It helps gauge the popularity and authority of a domain compared to others in Ahrefs’ database.

How is Domain Rating Calculated?

Ahrefs calculates DR using several key factors:

  1. Quality of Backlinks: Links from high-DR sites pass more value than links from low-DR sites. This means a backlink from a high-authority site will boost your DR significantly more than multiple backlinks from low-authority sites.
  2. Quantity of Unique Domains: The number of unique domains linking to your site is crucial. The more diverse your backlink profile, the better it is for your DR.
  3. Distribution of Link Juice: If a high-DR site links to many other sites, the value passed to each linked site is lower. Conversely, if it links to fewer sites, each link carries more weight.

Here’s a precise explanation from Ahrefs:

“To calculate DR, we consider:

  • The number of unique domains linking to the target website
  • The DR values of those linking domains
  • The number of unique domains each of those sites link to”​​​​.

Source: Ahrefs

These factors are combined to produce a score that reflects the overall strength of a website’s backlink profile relative to others in Ahrefs’ database.

How To Check DR Online

There are various free tools available to check the Domain Rating (DR). Ahrefs provides a free online DR checker tool.

DR checker Ahrefs

There are some third-party tools, too, like SmallSEOtools, SEO review tools, etc.

What is Domain Authority (DA)?

Domain Authority (DA) is a score created by Moz. It predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). DA scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a better ability to rank.

How is Domain Authority Calculated?

Moz calculates DA using several factors:

  • Linking Root Domains: This counts the number of unique domains linking to your site. More unique domains suggest that your site is trustworthy and popular​​​​.
  • Total Number of Links: This includes the total number of backlinks to your site, both high-quality and low-quality. It shows the overall link popularity of your site​​.
  • Quality of Links: Links from high-authority sites are more valuable than those from low-authority sites. This ensures that DA reflects the quality of the links​​.
  • Machine Learning Model: Moz uses a machine-learning algorithm to predict how likely a site is to rank on search engines. This model looks at over 40 different factors to give an accurate DA score​​​​.
  • Comparative Metric: DA is used to compare your site’s link profile with others. It’s not an absolute measure but a relative one, helping you understand your site’s standing against competitors​​.

How To Check DA Online

You can check DA online with the free domain authority checker tool by Moz. You can also install the Moz bar Chrome extension to check DA, PA, and spam scores on the go.

DA checker-Moz

Also, there are third-party tools to check DA. A few of them are: Small SEO tools, website SEO checker and prepostseo.

Comparative Analysis: Domain Rating vs Domain Authority

Now we know what Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are, let’s take a close look at the similarities and differences between them.

Aspect Domain Rating (DR) Domain Authority (DA)
Developer Ahrefs Moz
Scoring Range 0 to 100 0 to 100
Focus Backlink profile strength Overall ranking potential on SERPs
Calculation Factors Number and quality of backlinks. Uses a logarithmic scale Linking root domains, total links, quality of links. Uses a machine-learning model
Use Cases Evaluating the strength of a site’s backlink profile. Useful for link-building strategies. Predicting overall ranking potential and comparing with competitors.
Relative Nature Changes based on the backlink profiles of other sites. Changes based on the linking profiles of other sites


Both DR and DA are useful tools. They are not direct ranking factors from Google, but they rely on backlinks, which Google considers in its ranking algorithm. Both metrics use a logarithmic scale. This means it is harder to increase your score at higher levels​​​​​​​​.

DR helps you evaluate the quality of your backlinks. This makes it key for link-building campaigns. DA gives a broader view of your site’s ranking potential. This makes it useful for overall SEO planning and competitive analysis.

In the next section, we will look at insights from the recent Google API leaks. These leaks show how backlinks influence Google’s ranking algorithm. This information can help you refine your SEO strategies. Stay tuned!

Insights from Google’s Leaked API Documents

Recent leaks from Google’s Search Content Warehouse API have given us a peek into how Google’s ranking algorithm works. Here are some key points:

  1. Backlinks Matter: Google still sees backlinks as crucial. The quality and quantity of backlinks are important. High-quality backlinks from trusted sites help boost your rankings.
  2. Click Data Usage: Google uses click data to rank pages. This includes metrics like “goodClicks” and “lastLongestClicks.” These metrics show how users interact with search results and help Google decide which pages are best​​​​.
  3. Site Authority: Google uses a metric called “siteAuthority.” This is similar to Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA). It measures how much trust and authority a site has overall​​.
  4. Sandboxing New Sites: New sites may face a delay in ranking improvements. Google uses a “sandbox” effect to control spam. New sites need time to build trust and authority​​.
  5. Chrome Data: Google uses data from the Chrome browser to help rank pages. This includes data on how users interact with websites​​.
  6. Freshness and Originality: Fresh and original content is important. Newer pages and unique content get higher scores. This helps boost their ranking in search results​​.

These insights highlight the need for quality backlinks, good user engagement, and strong site authority. They also show that new sites need time to establish themselves before seeing major ranking improvements.

For more details, check out Search Engine Land and iPullRank.

In the next section, we will give you practical tips on how to improve your Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA). These tips will help you build better backlinks, engage users, and boost your site’s authority. Stay tuned!

Practical Tips for Improving DR and DA

Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are indicators of your website’s health and overall authority. Improving your website’s overall well-being will naturally boost these metrics. Here’s how you can improve DR and DA with a holistic approach:

1. Create High-Quality Content

Quality content attracts backlinks and improves both DR and DA. Here’s how to create it:

  • Focus on Originality: Write unique, valuable content that addresses your audience’s needs. Original research, case studies, and comprehensive guides work well.
  • Use Different Formats: Include various content types like infographics, videos, and in-depth articles. Diverse formats can attract a wider audience and more backlinks​​​​.
  • Update Regularly: Keep your content fresh and relevant. Regular updates show search engines that your site is active and valuable.

2. Build High-Quality Links

High-quality backlinks are essential for improving DR and DA. Here’s how to get them:

  • Reach Out for Guest Posts: Write articles for reputable sites in your industry. This helps you gain high-quality backlinks.
  • Form Relationships: Network with other site owners and influencers in your niche. Building good relationships can lead to more linking opportunities.
  • Use the Skyscraper Technique: Identify popular content in your niche and create even better versions. Then, reach out to sites that linked to the original content and suggest they link to your improved version​​​​.

3. Improve On-Page and Technical SEO

Good on-page and technical SEO can enhance your DR and DA. Follow these steps:

  • Optimize Meta Tags: Use relevant keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and headers. This helps search engines understand your content better.
  • Improve Site Speed: A fast-loading site provides a better user experience and can improve your rankings. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to check and improve your site speed​​​​.
  • Ensure Mobile-Friendliness: Make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google favors mobile-optimized sites in its rankings.

4. Continuous Monitoring and Improvement

Regular monitoring and adjustments are vital for maintaining and improving DR and DA. Here’s how to stay on top:

  • Monitor Backlinks: Use tools like Ahrefs and Moz to keep an eye on your backlink profile. Identify and disavow any low-quality or spammy links​​​​.
  • Track Performance: Regularly check your DR and DA scores. Use the insights to refine your SEO strategy.
  • Stay Updated: SEO is constantly evolving. Keep up with the latest trends and algorithm updates to ensure your strategies remain effective.

Remember, DR and DA are just indicators of your website’s health and authority. Focus on the overall well-being of your website by creating high-quality content, building strong backlinks, and optimizing your on-page and technical SEO. Regularly monitor your performance and adjust your strategies as needed. This holistic approach will help you improve these metrics and boost your site’s authority and search engine rankings.

How Outreach Monks View DR and DA Metrics

At Outreach Monks, we understand that Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are crucial indicators of a website’s authority and overall health.

However, our approach goes beyond these metrics. We focus on a holistic strategy that ensures sustainable and high-quality link-building results.

Our Approach to DR and DA

We integrate DR and DA into our overall SEO strategy by considering a comprehensive set of factors. Here’s how:

  • Quality Over Quantity: We prioritize quality backlinks over sheer quantity. This means targeting reputable sites with high DR and DA, but also ensuring they have genuine organic traffic and valuable content.
  • Holistic Metrics: Apart from DR and DA, we look at other important metrics such as organic traffic, content quality, anchor text ratios, and more. This gives us a complete picture of a site’s value and ensures our clients receive high-quality links​​.


When comparing Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) for link building, it’s a tie. Both metrics are crucial because they focus on the quality and quantity of backlinks. However, DA uses more sophisticated and numerous parameters to predict a website’s rankability.

DR gives you a clear picture of your backlink profile, showing the strength and quality of the links pointing to your site. DA, on the other hand, provides a broader view of your site’s potential to rank in search engines by considering more factors beyond just backlinks.

To get the best results, use both DR and DA together. DR helps you focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks, while DA gives you an overall view of your SEO performance. Set clear goals and track both metrics to measure your progress.

Remember, these metrics are just part of the SEO puzzle. Focus on creating quality content, building strong backlinks, and optimizing your site’s technical aspects. Regularly check your performance and tweak your strategies as needed. This balanced approach will help boost your site’s authority and rankings.

In short, use DR and DA as part of a complete SEO strategy. Set your goals, monitor your progress, and keep improving. This will lead to lasting SEO success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a spike in organic traffic impact DR and DA?

Yes, an increase in organic traffic can positively influence DR and DA over time as it often correlates with higher-quality backlinks.

Does the age of backlinks affect DR and DA?

Older, established backlinks from authoritative sites can have a more significant impact on DR and DA than newer links.

How do nofollow links influence DR and DA?

Nofollow links don't directly contribute to DR and DA but can still drive traffic and build relationships, indirectly benefiting your SEO.

Can disavowing bad backlinks improve my DR and DA?

Yes, disavowing spammy or harmful backlinks can help improve your DR and DA by cleaning up your backlink profile.

How do social signals interact with DR and DA?

While social signals don't directly affect DR and DA, high engagement on social media can attract natural backlinks, boosting these metrics.




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