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Domain Authority: Defined

One of the most asked questions by clients in digital marketing is “what exactly is a domain authority?” This is definitely an SEO term that anyone with a website should know. Domain authority or DA is the overall measure of power that your domain name has. It’s the score that pretty much tells search engines that you’re reliable. Your website’s DA is also just one of the many search engine ranking factors along with meta data, original content, visibility and credibility.
The SEO gurus at Moz can be credited with the metric we now know as domain authority. Moz’s own search algorithm gauges the quality of any given site based on a combination of factors that gives a result of a score between 0 and 100. A brand new site, for example, will have a score of 0 whereas a very high authority site like Facebook or Amazon might have a score of 80 to 100. Your website’s domain authority score is based on three main factors that you should definitely keep in mind. These factors are: age, popularity, and size.
A search engine’s job is to provide users with website results that can be trusted and that are relevant to the search. New websites pop up every day so it’s up to the search engines to what websites will stay and which ones will go. Domain age of a website indicates a trust factor because it proves to the search engines that the website has longevity and has been trusted for a longer period of time. If the website owner has maintained registration of a website consistently and has generated an increase in traffic to that domain over time, the search engines conclude that it must serve a purpose and is a trusted source and will rank that site higher than other competitor sites.
Your domain popularity is measured in part by the number of inbound links from other quality sites. Inbound links to a domain are a signal that that website has useful information that is worth sharing. Practices like blogging, blog commenting, press release distribution, directory and profile submission, article marketing, and social media help to build inbound links to a domain and generate traffic over time. These white hat SEO link building efforts are very important for building your domain popularity.
The size of a website, the number of pages that exist on the site, contributes towards its domain authority as well. The number of pages correlates with the amount of content that can generate inbound links. A larger website with quality original content on each page will have more inbound links than a smaller website.
So where can you find your Domain Authority?
You can find your domain authority and the DA of any website with the following metrics available on Moz. You can measure Domain Authority using Open Site Explorer or the MozBar, Moz's free SEO toolbar. Moz incorporates Authority metrics into all Moz Analytics campaigns, as well as the Mozscape API. You can probably find other SEO outlets to find DA scores, but Moz is definitely the go-to for anyone in the SEO world.
Domain Authority gives those working in the field of online marketing a useful metric by which to consider quality of any site. Domain authority gives the final grade of how your site is doing, so this is a number that you, as the domain owner, want to keep in mind and want to keep an eye on. If your DA drops or isn’t increasing the way that you want it, then you know it’s time to change up those SEO practices. 
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