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What is Domain Authority, and how to calculate it?

To see your SEO efforts bear fruits, you must ensure proper optimization for both on-page and off-page SEO and focus on Domain Authority (DA) or Domain Rating (DR), a critical element that influences search ranking.

When using any SEO tool like Moz, Ahref’s, SEMrush, you will become more familiar with Domain Authority which is an important SEO metric that uses a logarithmic scale of 1-100. It means that in the early stages, you can progress fast to achieve a certain level of DA, but after that, the job becomes tougher.

The time it takes to move from 69-70 is much longer than what it takes to move from 9-10, explains the experts at

In this article, we will explain the method of calculating Domain Authority.

How to calculate Domain Authority

To help you understand the methodology of calculating Domain Authority, we will use Ahref’s as the benchmark. The factors that contribute to your Domain Rating are the backlinks acquired from other websites and their DR scores, as well as the number of websites linked to each referring domain.

Now, let us explore each of these factors in more detail to understand its implication on your Domain Rating.

The websites that link to your website – Referring domains are the websites that link to your website that includes any of the website’s pages.  From a layman’s perspective, the number of referring sites might directly relate to the Domain Rating, meaning that the higher the number of websites, the higher will be the Domain Rating. However, besides the numbers, the quality of the links matter as much to the tools that calculate DA or DR. Ahref’s only considers ‘followed’ links to determine DA but excludes sponsored links, no-follow links, and links with UGC.

DA score of linking domains – Since Google attaches extreme importance to the quality of backlinks than the number of links collected, you must avoid gathering low-quality links originating from low-quality websites. Ahref focuses on website quality from which the links originate and factors for calculating the DA of your website. Therefore, numbers become inconsequential, and it is better to have fewer high-quality backlinks than too many poor backlinks. The latter will adversely affect your DA score and best avoided. On the other hand, backlinks from high-quality websites will enhance your DA score.

However, if websites with low DA scores today improve the score after some time, it will positively affect your DA score.

Sites linked to referring domains – If you come across two good quality websites with the same DA score, you must know how to choose between the two. Consider the number of websites behind these links, which must contain at least one ‘do follow’ link.  If any website has links to multiple unique websites, its ability to pass on the DA score to your website will be low, which will affect your DA score.

However, you need not keep away from websites linked to several unique websites because many other factors might come into play to treat them as good backlinks.