An essential component of managing your SEO efforts is monitoring and measuring the impact it actually has. One of the most effective ways you can do this is by keeping tabs on the domain authority of your site and seeing how it changes over time, so you can understand which strategies have worked, which haven’t, and which have made it worse. But before you can do this, you have to understand what domain authority is, how it works, and why it matters.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain authority is determined by Moz, a Software as a Service company (SaaS) and leading authority on marketing analytics. It represents Moz’s best prediction for how a website will perform in search engine ranking, and it’s used to compare the strength of websites over time. It can be used for research as well as a way to understand how your site is lacking.

How is it calculated?

To determine domain authority, Moz combines all of their link metrics, such as total number of links or MozRank, into a score. That score is then dropped into a 1-100 point logarithmic scale.

How can I find it?

The best way to see domain authority for sites is by downloading Moz’s free SEO toolbar. On it you can view a site’s domain authority, page authority, spam score, and a handful of other SEO metrics. It’s also available through Open Site Explorer.

What does that mean for me?

Part of what makes domain authority so difficult to influence directly is that the best way to improve your score is by accumulating more and higher authority links over time. That means that short-term and spam-like SEO tactics won’t work and may even be harmful in the big picture of your site.

So, how do I improve my domain authority score?

The most effective and sustainable route to improving the domain authority of your site is to ensure it has a healthy link profile and improve overall SEO. By creating high quality links on sites that not everyone can get a link back on, you build up the presence and authority of your site which, over time, improves your score.