Domain rating. Domain authority. Page rank.
Among SEO practitioners, it’s easy to get confused among these three terms. In fact, a lot of people looking to rank their websites higher on search results often confuse these terms.
If you want to increase domain rating for your website, you cannot afford to be confused.
Domain rating shows the overall strength of your website’s existing backlinks. It is a way of measuring the overall quality of the links that are pointing to your site.
Please keep in mind that domain rating is intended, primarily, to help you improve the strength and quality of your backlink profile, which can then later translate to increased rankings on Google.
Domain rating itself has no direct effect on a web page’s Google rankings—let’s get that out of the way. It works in an indirect way. It’s also a great way to measure the popularity of your pages.
At the end of the day, it can still translate to more traffic, but in an indirect way. You use your domain rating to help you in your link-building campaigns.
Domain authority, on the other hand, is a metric that's developed by the SEO tool company Moz. It seeks to summarize the existing authority of your complete website.
You're supposed to use domain authority rankings when it comes to figuring out which websites are worth getting backlinks from. A DA is also used to determine the value of different expired domains when building a new private blog network or PBN.
Page rank is a defunct metric that was used by Google back in the day. Page rank was openly publicized by Google, so you know the relative quality of different pages, as far as Google is concerned.
SEOs would use page rank when building backlinks or developing link networks.
As you can well imagine—since this information was widely available—SEOs used a wide range of both scrupulous and not-so-scrupulous methods to “farm” page rank. This directly affected rankings.
Given the tremendous incentive created by a public page rank system, Google stopped showing this information to the public. It’s anybody’s guess whether they still use this or a similar page quality ranking system privately.
Still, page rank is no longer publicly available, and that's why many SEOs have switched over to domain authority or domain rating when it comes to backlink-building decisions.
How Is Domain Rating Calculated?
DR is the product of three elements that have long been thought to have an impact on overall domain link quality.
First, it factors in the number of different websites that link to your domain.
The second factor is the domain ratings of those linking domains.
Another related factor is the relevance of these links. Are they random links, or are they contextual links?
Implicit in these three factors is the consideration of how many distinct domains link to a particular page. Do all these links come from a small number of separate websites, or are they pretty evenly distributed?
Another implicit factor is the quality of the content that the inbound link is found on. Is it garbage? Is it auto-generated? Is it badly written?
Tangentially, domain rating might also be affected by social media signals. This is incidental in nature, at best, and it is not all that obvious.
How Do You Increase Domain Rating for Your Site?
To boost your domain rating, you need to focus on the content that you want other websites to link to—this is nonnegotiable. You have to start with a firm, high-quality content foundation.
To maximize the chances that many outside sites would link to a page of yours, make sure that the content is noncommercial, not spammy, actually offers real value to readers, and is based on content that you know already attracts links.
In other words, it helps if you reverse-engineer existing successful content that you either published on your own site or already exists on the site of your competitors.
The next step is to pitch your high-quality content to authoritative and relevant websites.
Maybe you mention several people in your article as experts or sources? Maybe they publish websites, or they run a blog? Or they are connected to a company that runs a website!
Contact these people, and you might get the pages to which they are connected to link to the article they're featured in.
You can also contact people who have written about the same topics your content focuses on. They are more likely to be interested in what you're talking about, and—if they like the quality—they might include a link to your page from their existing article.
The same goes with people who already featured links going to your competitors’ similar content. If you show these blogs that you feature better-quality content on the same topics, they might want to include a link to your site as well.
Increase Domain Rating Through Better Interlinking
Did you know that by linking your internal pages strategically, you can boost your domain rating?
It’s important to make sure that you use accurate links for your internal pages. This means you can't use a target keyword to link to a page that has nothing to do with that keyword.
Also, your links have to be contextual. Put simply, they have to add value to the page that you are linking from.
Other Ways You Can Increase Domain Rating
You can do an audit of your site to figure out its loading speed.
If it’s on the slow side, you might want to change your theme or install a plugin that would boost the overall speed of your site. To push things to the next level, you might even want to consider signing up for the Google AMP program for your website.
Also, you might want to make sure that your website is 100% mobile-responsive. This means that no matter the size of the screen your visitor uses to view your site, your content will look good.
Please keep in mind that these domain authority improvement tips can take time to impact your domain authority score.
Still, make sure all your new content comply with the tips above, so you can get the domain authority improvement that you're looking for—sooner rather than later.