What is Domain Authority in SEO? How to Reach That Level.

A site that does successfully in SEO has many traits, and one of them is high domain authority. Let me explain what this is and how to get your site to that level.

what is domain authority in seo

Domain authority is basically a term used to evaluate the ranking potential of a website.

If you go to Google and look up this topic, you’ll likely find an article at the top by Moz, which basically says that it grades the domain authority of a site on a metric scale, from 1 all the way up to 100, and the higher that number is for your site, the better rankings it’ll have. 

Now Moz has it’s own list of qualifications to reach that number (here is a link), but I personally don’t really follow that, nor do I buy their tools to help me out with this stuff. I know how to get to that number on my own through years of making my own sites that have reached that point.

I find that my approach is far easier to understand and more pragmatic. Really, all I do is follow some basic SEO trends and the rest is taken care of. I prefer that over tons and tons of simple and complex bullet points that many programs tell you that you need to follow to get those high rankings. It’s just too complex in my opinion.

Let me explain it this way: 

If the scale is set at 1-100, the goal would obviously be for your site is to get closer to that 100 number right? Well I’ll show you how to do that in this article.

There are 5 components of high domain authority (100):

Here are the 5:

  • 1) It needs to be out of the Google Sandbox.
  • 2) It needs to be have a lot of content and I would say a good start is 50 articles.
  • 3) These 50 articles EACH need to have these 10 simple optimization tips.
  • 4) The site needs to be at least 6 months old.
  • 5) There needs to be a consistent flow of new content coming in to keep it growing it’s domain authority.

Now if any of these 5 components confuse you, don’t worry, I’ll be detailing each of them coming up, but I can tell you that they will be simple to understand as you read their details, and while at first they may be hard to implement, overtime, you’ll find this becomes easy.

As a result as you implement them on your site, it’s domain authority will grow and the higher it grows and gets closer to that 100 number, the better rankings it’ll start to get and the more organic traffic it’ll bring in.

And like I said, I personally have more than 1 site to prove that this works and I will be giving you some examples of them as well.

By the way: Page authority is pretty much the same thing as domain authority.

These 2 terms are pretty synonymous and odds are you’ll hear one or both used separately, but they are the same thing.

Let’s break down each component:

1) It needs to be out of the Google sandbox.

What exactly is that?

Well it’s explained here, but in summary, it’s a “hold” that Google has over new sites in that for a number of months, they won’t let new sites rank high on their search engine, until that hold is lifted. That hold is the Google Sandbox in essence. 

Once it is lifted and the article linked above explains how to get out of this hold, that is an important metric for domain authority because the content it has and will produce will now be able to rank high on Google. 

2) 50 articles, aim for this.

I think every site owner/blogger needs to set this initial goal when they start. 50 articles on a site is really a good measure of IF that site has a lot of content. 

Posting a few blog posts a week, over a period of several months will get you to this goal and I have also found that around the time many of my blogs hit 50 and above articles, that’s when I start to see the site come out of the sandbox.

3) Each article should be SEO optimized. 

If the second component was a bit broad, this next tip should help you figure out exactly what your site’s articles and blogs need to perform better on Google.

Writing content is easy, but writing SEO optimized content is a different story. Writing a daily blog about your day doesn’t really get you traffic, writing a daily blog about a particular topic that is interesting to masses, is, and to add to that, optimizing that blog that Google can get that article out to the right audience and get your blog a lot of traffic is just as important.

So read these 10 optimization tips and know this:

Even though 10 might sound like a lot, with practice, you will be able to plug these 10 things into each of your blog posts on autopilot and know that your articles are performing at their peak so your efforts aren’t wasted.

You should be applying these 10 optimization tips into the 50 or more articles I listed as a good starting point, in order for them to rank better.

4) The age of the site is important. Give it 6 months.

With SEO, the age of a site has merit.

Usually after 6 months is when the site is unofficially out of the Google sandbox. But I said in the article that talks about the sandbox, you shouldn’t just sit around and not do anything on the site. 

You should be growing it during that period, because it will produce better rankings at the end of it. A person who grows their site will see tremendous growth after 6 months vs one that doesn’t do anything with their site, that sits around and waits (they won’t see anything).

5) Consistently growing the blog is key.

  • Suppose you reach the 50 article point.
  • Suppose you optimize it as I indicated.
  • Suppose you wait the 6 months to step out of the sandbox.

You will generally start seeing results (more organic traffic), and that is a sign that your site’s domain authority has grown. But what happens after this period? 

Do you just stop and enjoy the results? No, do not make this mistake!

A site that passes through the above bullet points is a rare one and it will be a valuable site, whether you wish to sell it or make money from it, but you shouldn’t stop there, because I promise you, that site WILL depreciate, in rankings, traffic and everything if you just stop. Sometimes it’ll happen quickly and most of the time, it’ll happen slowly. 

Let me say this:

As of right now, after publishing THIS specific article, I have reached 46 articles in total. Very close to the 50.

But I am telling you this: Even after I reach 50, I’ll still keep writing. Blogging consistently keeps the blog growing (here is why).

Not to mention the fact that once your site actually passes the first major point, why wouldn’t you want to use the new perks of the domain authority it has to grow the site through targeting new keywords and ranking for other terms to get more traffic and make more money?

Plus growing it further helps it reach new levels of rankings, traffic and money generation. If you can hit 50 articles, and wait out the 6 months to finally get into that trust period with Google, everything you did before that will now rank better and anything new you create (content) will also rank better.

You will literally have all the SEO doors open to you to grow your site and have it reach new levels and every new work you put in after passing that first period will not have to go through that same waiting period.

  • You will see faster results.
  • You will see faster rankings.
  • You will see faster and more traffic.
  • You will make MORE money through SEO as a result of this (here’s a number of options).

These 5 components checked off = greater domain authority.

Like I have said, I have had and still have sites that have these particular components checked off so I have seen and still see what following them brings (all the benefits just stated above).

Where to start, knowing all of this:

You’ve got to start with your first site and grow it from day 1. You don’t need to post every single day but investing the time into these 5 components will truly reward that site with better rankings later, that is how SEO works and knowing this, you have to decide if SEO is worth it to you.

It certainly is for me and this is my business, which is why I have become an expert in it (ask me questions here). Thanks for reading my article on domain authority! 

14 thoughts on “What is Domain Authority in SEO? How to Reach That Level.”

  1. Hi Vitaliy. This is a freakin awesome article on domain authority. Fully packed with powerful information. Also, I must apologize that I didn’t yet go through the other useful links you’ve mentioned in this article yet, but I’ll go through them later this evening for sure. 

    My website is 1 month old and has 8 posts so far, so I feel very lucky to get to read this post at the right time. There’s a lot to learn from your website. I’ve noted your 5 points and will look into the links for more details. 

    As a beginner my challenge is to come up with new idea for my blog post. How did you overcome that when you started off? 

    Have you read so many books on SEO? 

    What would you suggest to have authority in this area? 

    As of now, I’ll start learning from your website. Thanks a lot for sharing this article, it’s an eye opener for me. 

    • Hi, no need to apologize, you’re welcome to read my other content at whatever pace you like 🙂

      1) You mentioned you have a new website with 8 articles, this is a good start but what is the topic about? If you tell me the basic idea, I can give you tips on what sort of content to add where to find ideas.

      2) I haven’t really read any SEO books. I followed the advice of successful SEO people I know and then just became an expert myself.

      3) For the question on authority, it really comes down to how much you know about your site’s topic, how much and how often you write about it and how well you write to show readers how much you know, and the better all these angles are covered, the bigger your authority will be.

      This is why anyone who does SEO, who obviously needs to blog a lot to get success needs to know the topic well. That knowledge is what helps the site grow through content.

      If there’s any answer I gave which didn’t make sense, let me know.

  2. I actually made one of the mistakes you talk about in this article. After 1 year and thirty five blog posts I started to become complacent and I slacked off. Let me say, it took me almost another year to get this website back in Googles good Grace. 

    I wish I knew how serious the impact would be back then because I never would have let my site get thrown back into the Google sandbox. Thanks for sharing this information, I am going to head back to this article and read some of the other links to your content related to this topic. I’m in need of quite a bit of help on this subject. 

    Regards,

    Jason 

    • When it comes to leaving a site without any fresh content for long periods of time, when you do eventually come back, there is going to be a period where it has to go through another sandbox from what I know, but it’s not as long, because the domain already carries previous authority.

      35 blog posts tells me a little bit Jason, but there should be more info on this. Were these 30+ blog posts of yours following SEO tips like these? If so, then you should have a much easier time getting this site back on track.

      And if not, I would optimize your existing posts (whichever are not ranking well) and then re-fetch them via Google’s Webmaster Tools, it’ll help give it a boost.

  3. What a great article on SEO! I am a newbie in this area and have so much to learn. I started a blog-type website about a month and a half ago, and I’ve been posting content and have about 13 articles so far. 

    It’s really helpful to hear from you that 50 articles is a good goal to aim for. So I’m now setting that goal for myself.

    I also clicked over and read your 10 tips for SEO optimization, which was super-helpful. I do have one question:

    Do I need to fill in the Meta Description somewhere for each article, or does the first paragraph of each article automatically get picked up by Google for the description?

    Thanks so much for all your tips! I’m going to be applying these and I’m sure they’ll help improve my rankings in Google and bring me more traffic.

    Kind Regards,

    Joanie

    • Hi Joanie I usually leave the meta description blank and indeed it does get auto filled in on. Some people I know who know SEO suggest editing that, so it’s up to you.

      • Thanks, Vitaliy! That’s helpful. I’m leaning toward leaving the meta description blank. I think if I’m careful about how I write the first paragraph of each of my articles it should work out.

        • Yeah that’s exactly how I have been doing it Joanie. I have recently started experimenting with filling in the meta description with something different than my first paragraph, but it hasn’t shown anything major (positive or negative) for SEO.

  4. Thanks for sharing your website with us and thanks for clearing up on how SEO works. I want to know how to get my content indexed quicker and get more traffic coming to my website.

    • Hi Roger…

      For faster indexing, use Google’s fetch tool (explained here).

      For more traffic, you need to blog more often through long tailed keywords. Read my other posts on these subjects.

  5. Hi Vitaliy,

    Thanks for clearing up some facts for me. Today I was looking at some competition for my site and I had one of those “I can never reach that” moments because I see that competition is tough in my niche.  

    After reading this post, I can see it again how important it is to stick to a website and not give up. The time will come that it pays of. I am currently sitting at around 50 articles for my site, and have stopped producing content for a while. I am working on optimization and making sure that content is great. Doing that on 50 two-thousand word articles can take weeks and months if you only work on it 10-15 hours a week. 

    So, it has taken me long, but I an slowly seeing improvement. And it has been a steep learning curve for me. Not making those same mistakes again anytime soon. 

    My daily visitors are going up. I am seeing between 6-10 organic visitors daily, which is not much, but I found out that I was leaving out 2 steps in optimizing content when I had those 50 articles up, and that is what almost made me abandon my site at some point. 

    But when I found that out, I instantly knew that it was the reason I got no traction because it is not optimized in every aspect. So, now I am currently working on all that. Hoping to see improvement very soon, and am starting to write new content again.

    Oh, and yes, my site is over 6 months old already, getting close to a year. I do think that as soon as I am done with revamping everything, my new content will rank well and quickly. I have a few posts sitting on pages 2-3 in Google, which makes me happy, although I would have wanted to see it sit there long before, but it didn’t happen because of my mistakes.

    The good thing is that I learned more about SEO in time, and that has helped me a lot.

    Thanks for this eye-opening post,

    Oscar

    • Hi Oscar, here’s a few thoughts on everything you told me about your site:

      1) It IS starting to exit out of the sandbox and you WILL notice a good increase in organic traffic over the next few months. The current number you’re seeing shows me that it’s leaving the sandbox but is not completely out of it, but it will be.

      2) You need to keep posting. To write so much content and then just stop is going to stagnate rankings in a few months. I have made this mistake before where I posted a lot, saw the rankings climb, then stopped and the effect took place later and during that time, I really lost a lot of traffic. You need to keep posting and I wouldn’t post as much as you did before, but you should keep new content coming in, so 1-2 posts weekly should be fine for now.

      3) Yes, good work on going through the optimization tips I gave. Make sure you complete that (after posting new content). 

      4) Having results in pages 2-3 like you said is a good sign your site is almost ready to surface into page 1 rankings. Again, optimize your current blog posts, interlink them, and keep writing new content. I am certain your traffic will climb MUCH higher from you doing these things.

      • Hi Vitaliy,

        Thanks for your valuable feedback on my website. It motivates me to start writing again.

        As said, I have not abandoned that site, but as I reread some posts, I just felt that I posted articles before they were completely ready, so I decided to go through all of them again and make sure they were ready for my readers.

        Due to time constraints, I have not been posting recently, but have instead been working a lot on revamping everything. I should soon be done with that and then I will be ready to post at least once per week again.

        I will sure be back to you and share an update on traffic and improvements.

        Thanks again,

        Oscar

        • Yeah absolutely Oscar, you’re more than welcome to ask questions about your site and any SEO ideas you may have. Looking forward to hearing your updated report 🙂

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