Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: Which Metric Matters More?
The domain’s authority and rating both explain the credibility of the domain. Both are the key SEO metrics provided by third parties.
- Moz – Domain Authority
- Ahref – Domain Rating
Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) are prevalent ranking factors used by SEO experts. Many agencies and consultants use these key metrics to test new campaigns’ performance or benchmark existing campaigns’ performance.
But often, beginners get confused between DA and DR metrics. To remove that confusion, we came up with this article – Domain Authority vs Domain Rating.
From calculating them to their importance in SEO, let’s cover everything in this article. So, without wasting any further time, let’s begin.
What is DA and How Does it Work?
Domain Authority (DA) is a metric created by Moz to predict how likely a website is to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). It scores websites on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater likelihood of ranking.
How Does it Work? Here are the key points in simple terms:
- Links Analysis: DA is largely based on the number and quality of links pointing to a site. The more high-quality links a site has from reputable and relevant sites, the higher its DA.
- Moz’s Machine Learning Model: It uses a machine learning model to identify the algorithm that best correlates with rankings across thousands of search results that they predict against.
- Comparative Metric: DA is best used as a comparative metric rather than an absolute one. It’s more valuable to compare the DA of your site to that of similar sites than to look at your DA in isolation.
- Not a Google Ranking Factor: It’s important to understand that DA is not used by Google in determining search rankings. It’s a Moz-specific metric.
- Updates and Fluctuations: DA can fluctuate when Moz updates its index or changes the calculation algorithm. It reflects how competitive the web has become.
Moz measures websites’ Domain Authority (DA) score on a logarithmic scale. So, increasing a website’s Domain Authority (DA) score from 60 to 70 is far more challenging than boosting the DA score from 10 to 20.
What is DR and How Does it Work?
Domain Rating (DR) is a metric developed by Ahrefs to estimate the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to the others in their database on a 100-point scale.
Compared to the DA metric from Moz, the DR metric from Ahrefs is less complicated. However, the working of Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR) metric is pretty much similar to Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) metric.
How Does it Work? Here are the key points in simple terms:
- Backlink Profile Strength: DR assesses a website based on the quantity and quality of external backlinks. Sites with more high-quality backlinks generally have a higher DR.
- Ahrefs Database Comparison: DR is calculated by looking at how a website’s backlink profile compares to the other sites in Ahrefs’ extensive website database.
- Relative Metric: Just like DA, DR is a relative metric. It’s more beneficial to compare your website’s DR with that of similar websites rather than focusing on the absolute value.
- Exclusive to Ahrefs: DR is specific to the Ahrefs tool and is not a direct factor in Google’s ranking algorithms. It’s a metric used within the SEO community for insight into a site’s link popularity.
On a scale of 0-100, 1 being the worst and 100 being the best. A website with 100 DR is (just) a theoretical perspective because even top websites do not have a 100 Domain Rating (DR) score.
Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: Key Measuring Metrics
Understanding Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) is essential for gauging a website’s potential to rank on search engine results pages. Each uses different metrics to predict how well a website will perform in search engine rankings. Let’s explore these metrics separately, using easy-to-understand and interactive language.
Domain Authority (DA) Metrics:
- Link Profile: DA primarily considers the number and quality of external links pointing to your website. More high-quality links generally lead to a higher DA.
- MozRank: This metric reflects the quality and quantity of these links. It’s essentially a score of link popularity.
- MozTrust: Unlike MozRank, MozTrust focuses on the trustworthiness of the links. Links from reputable sources can significantly boost this metric.
- Website Structure and User Experience: A well-organized, user-friendly website is more likely to attract high-quality links and, consequently, a higher DA.
- Content Quality: Engaging and SEO-optimized content is more likely to attract quality links, positively affecting the DA.
Domain Rating (DR) Metrics:
- Referring Domains: DR considers the number of unique domains that link to your website. A higher number of unique domains usually means a higher DR.
- Backlink Quantity and Quality: Ahrefs assesses the quantity and quality of backlinks against its vast database, impacting the DR score.
- Dofollow Links: ‘Dofollow’ links, which pass on link equity, are particularly valuable in calculating DR.
- Link Growth: The rate at which a website acquires backlinks can indicate an improving or declining DR.
- Internal Linking: Proper internal linking can influence DR by helping distribute link equity throughout the site.
Both DA and DR are dynamic, often fluctuating with changes in your website’s backlink profile or algorithm updates from Moz and Ahrefs. They should be considered as part of a broader SEO and website analysis.
How do you increase the DA and DR of a website?
Boosting your website’s Domain Authority and Domain Rating isn’t just about ticking boxes; it’s about crafting a reputable, valuable online presence. Embark on this journey with clear, actionable strategies, and watch as your site climbs the ranks of search visibility.
Increasing Domain Authority (DA):
- Improve Internal Linking: Ensure that your content is well-connected within your site, making it easier for search engines to index and for users to navigate.
- Create Linkable Content: Develop comprehensive, unique, and valuable content that others want to link to, such as in-depth guides, tutorials, and insightful analyses.
- Remove Bad Links: Regularly audit your link profile to remove or disavow spammy or harmful links that might be pulling your DA down.
- Optimize On-Page Elements: Ensure that your titles, headers, and meta descriptions are optimized for relevant keywords and user engagement.
- Mobile-Friendliness: Ensure your site is responsive and mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of web traffic is mobile.
Increasing Domain Rating (DR):
- Gain High-Quality Backlinks: Focus on earning backlinks from high-DR sites. Guest blogging, digital PR, and partnerships can be effective strategies.
- Avoid Link Farms: Steer clear of easy backlink tactics like buying from link farms, as these can negatively impact your DR.
- Regularly Refresh Old Content: Update your existing content to remain relevant and valuable, making it more likely to earn new links.
- Diversify Link Types: Strive for a natural and diverse backlink profile with a mix of dofollow and nofollow links from various types of websites.
- Competitor Analysis: Study where high-DR sites in your niche are getting their links and target similar sources.
You Think Link Building Alone Boosts Your DA? Think Again!
Do you also think that link building alone will help you increase your site’s DA?
Well, it’s not quite that simple! While piling up those links might give your Domain Rating (DR) a little nudge, Domain Authority (DA) wants more.
It’s about quality over quantity, pal! Think about user experience, site structure, and kickin’ content.
For DA, it’s a mixed bag of goodies, not just a one-trick link building. So, let’s diversify and watch that DA climb!
Confusions Regarding These Third-Party Metrics
Besides the battle between Domain Rating vs Domain Authority, people still get confused about these DR and DA PA checker metrics. So, let’s clear the most common confusion regarding these third-party metrics.
- Google doesn’t rank the web pages of a website according to their Domain Authority and Domain Ratings. So, a web admin, blogger, or SEO expert should not entirely focus on increasing the Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) of his website or blog.
- Most digital marketers think that a website’s Domain Rating (DR) is linked to its number of keywords. But this information is not true because there is no link between the number of keywords and a website’s Domain Rating (DR).
- No-follow links do not increase a website’s Domain Rating (DR).
- Multiple links from the same domain will not increase a website’s Domain Rating (DR).
Some Downsides of These Third-Party Metrics
Being third-party metrics, Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) have some downsides. So, let’s discuss those downsides.
- These metrics do not provide a complete picture.
- Domain Authority (DA) is not an accurate metric for measuring the ranking power of a blog or website.
DA Vs DR: Final Thoughts
So this brings us to the end of this comprehensive DA vs DR comparison. Now, the only question remains: which one should you focus on?
Previously, SEO experts considered DA over DR. Because it was designed to show how efficient a site is at achieving high ranks in search engines.
However, as per the current marketing trends, practitioners rely on the DR for their SEO decisions. This is because Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR) metric is pretty easy to use and provides accurate and result-driven data. Moreover, while crawling your website, AhrefsBot makes notes of outbound links and securely adds them to the database. This is done while weighing the backlink quantity and quality.
On the flip side, DA can be easily manipulated, and people do use Black Hat SEO strategies to alter DA metrics that Google doesn’t like and penalize the site if found.
On the other end of the spectrum, DR is a strong factor that is hard to exploit. And DR goes quite well with Google rankings. That’s the reason why SEO experts at Outreach Monks suggest considering DR over DA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can DA and DR fluctuate over time?
Yes, both DA and DR can fluctuate due to changes in backlink profiles, algorithm updates by Moz or Ahrefs, and shifts in the competitive landscape.
Are DA and DR important for SEO?
While not direct ranking factors for search engines, high DA and DR indicate a strong link profile, which is influential in search rankings.
How often should I check my DA and DR?
It's good practice to check them monthly or quarterly to understand your site's progress and adjust strategies accordingly.
Can I improve my DA and DR quickly?
Improving DA and DR is a gradual process focusing on building high-quality backlinks, content, and a solid SEO foundation; quick fixes are often ineffective or harmful.
Do DA and DR affect each other?
While DA and DR are calculated differently by separate entities, improvements in your site's overall link profile and SEO can positively impact both metrics.