Do you want to easily check the authority of any domain name?
You can check domain authority before you buy a domain to predict how well your website will rank in search results. You can also use domain authority checkers to find out how competitor domains perform.
In this guide, we’ll show you the best tools to use to check the domain authority of any website.
But first, let’s be clear about what domain authority is and what we can understand from it.
What is Domain Authority
Domain authority (DA) is a score from 1 to 100 given to a domain to indicate its SEO strength. The higher the score, the better your chances of ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
So in other words, it serves as a scale to know whether the website has a likelihood of ranking for certain keywords.
Domain authority was created by a company called Moz – a marketing analytics software for SEO, links, and branding. Since then, a number of other SEO and analytics platforms have created their own version of domain authority.
In general, DA scores are calculated based on a number of factors including:
- Total number of links
- Linking root domain
- Relevance of backlinks
- Content quality
- Social signals
An important thing to note is domain authority does not have an effect on Google rankings. It works independently of Google and only predicts how well a domain might rank on Google search results.
That said, DA scores can be really helpful to website owners, domain buyers, SEO specialists, and marketing professionals. It can help you estimate the domain’s ability to get organic traffic from Google.
Now let’s take a look at the top 3 tools to check domain authority of any website.
3 Best Tools to Check Domain Authority
Ahrefs has their own website authority metrics to find out a domain’s SEO strength.
We’ll be looking at 3 of these metrics:
- Domain Rating (DR)
- Ahrefs Rank (AR)
- URL Rating (UR)
Similar to Moz’s Domain Authority, Domain Rating is a website authority score that runs on a scale from zero to a hundred. The higher the DR, the better the domain’s authority.
Ahrefs calculates DR based on the quantity and quality of external backlinks to a specific domain. It checks how many unique links are coming into the target website and it also checks the authority of those linking domains.
After that, it checks how many unique domains each of those sites link to. Finally, it uses an algorithm to plot out the domain rating score.
So DR is dependent on not only the total number of high-DR sites that link to your domain, but also on how many other websites these high-DR sites link to.
Keep in mind, it doesn’t account for any other variables like link spam, traffic, domain age, etc.
Now Ahrefs makes it clear that there isn’t a specific score that you need to aim for, such as 70 or 80. Domain ratings are relative and should be viewed in comparison to similar sites.
If your DR is higher than competitor/similar websites, then you have a better chance of ranking on Google. If they’re doing better than your domain, then you can use Ahrefs Site Explorer to analyze their backlink profile and find untapped link opportunities.
AR (Ahrefs Rank) is a more granular version of DR and ranks all the websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlink profiles.
This comes in handy when you find that your DR is the same as other websites. You can go a step further and check Ahrefs Rank (AR).
So if your domain AR is 1990, it means you stand at the 1990th position in their database according to your backlink profile. Then you can compare that to similar websites and see if they at higher or lower positions than you.
URL Rating or UR shows the strength of a page’s link profile. Instead of analyzing a domain, it checks just that specific URL making it a page-level metric.
So for instance, if you check the UR for a website, you’ll get the metrics only for homepage.
This rating takes into account both internal and external links. It also respects the nofollow attribute.
To make sure there are no linking loops – where two websites are exchanging rating scores in a loop – Ahrefs has a spotter to find and cut off these loops. It also checks for links that can artificially increase UR.
Semrush is a marketing platform that can help you boost your SEO, content marketing, and social media marketing.
The Semrush Authority Score is a metric that measures a domain’s overall SEO performance and quality. You can use this tool to check the score for domains and individual web pages.
The authority score is based on a number of factors including
- Number of referring domains pointing to the site
- Authority of each referring domain
- Total number of backlinks pointing to the site
- Follow vs. nofollow links pointing away from the site (outbound links)
- Number of outbound links from each referring domain
- Follow vs. nofollow links pointing to the site (inbound links)
- Number of referring IPs pointing to the site
- Number of referring subnets pointing to the site
The score is then measured on a scale of zero to 100. The higher the score, the better your domain authority. Similar to Ahrefs, you need to read this score in comparison to similar domains to understand whether your domain is performing better or worse than others.
Similar to Ahrefs, Semrush also has a domain ranker.
You can check the Semrush rank tracker to see where your domain is placed in their database.
Moz, the original maker of domain authority, developed the ranking score to predict how likely a website is to rank in SERPs.
This tool is free and can be used by anyone without signing up.
On the results page, you can view the domain authority, linking root domains, ranking keywords, and spam score. You can also see the top pages by links and the top linking domains.
Moz’s Domain Authority tool is based on machine learning models and a predictive ‘best fit’ algorithm that correlates all the data it has across thousands (maybe even millions) of search results.
They use dozens of factors to calculate these scores including the total number of links and linking root domain.
Keep in mind that the domain authority score can fluctuate often and change over time. It can be affected by other domains gaining quality backlinks faster than you.
You can install the MozBar which is a free SEO toolbar extension for browsers.
Then when you visit a website, you can automatically see its domain authority, linking root domains, ranking keywords, and spam score.
Moz also has a Page Authority score that measures the SEO strength of individual pages.
That’s it! These are the top 3 tools to check domain authority. Next we’ll answer important questions about domain authority.
FAQs on Domain Authority
Why should I use domain authority when it isn’t linked to Google?
Even though Google says domain authority isn’t a ranking factor, it plays an important role in SEO.
- If you want to build a backlink profile and reach out to other bloggers to link to you, they will likely check your domain authority scores to vet you.
- You can also use it to judge linking building prospects
- Domain authority also helps you decide whether to buy a domain or not.
- If you’re selling your domain, you can use the DA score to quote a higher price as it shows the domain carries value.
- It can be used to run a competitor analysis and find linking opportunities
- You can track your SEO efforts over time
How to increase my domain authority?
If you want to increase domain authority, here are a few tips:
- Get more high-quality backinks from authority websites
- Create quality content that users will find helpful
- Audit your site and remove bad/toxic links
- Optimize your website’s SEO using tools like AIOSEO
- Improve your internal linking profile
- Find directory websites and get listed for your niche
What is a good or average domain authority score?
Domain authority scores should be compared to similar websites to get a clear picture of the domain’s performance. You may have a score of 40 while your competitor has a score of 78. In this case, your score needs to be improved.
However, if your score is 40 and your competitors are also around 30-35, then your domain is performing comparatively better.
That’s all we have for you. We hope you found this guide helpful to find the domain authority score for any website.
Next, you’ll want to see our other guides:
- How to Check a Domain’s History Before Buying it (Steps + Tips)
- How to Get Started with Google Analytics for your Domain
- 8 WordPress Plugins to Step up Your SEO Game
These guides will help you up your SEO game by knowing your domain’s performance and authority in and out.