Domain Rating Vs. Domain Authority: What Matters Most Now?

Davit Nazaretyan
18 Jan 2024
5 min read

If you’re learning the world of SEO, you have probably heard about Domain Rating and Domain Authority. In a nutshell, these are two of the most essential SEO metrics to show the website's quality and trustworthiness.

Domain Rating (DR) is the metric developed by Ahrefs that shows the quality of the website's backlink profile. Domain Authority (DA), created by Moz, also evaluates and shows the site’s backlink quality. It calculates the number of backlinks directed to the entire domain.

These metrics mean a lot for search engines like Google, Yandex, or Yahoo. They trust websites with high DR and DA and help those websites rank higher.  Understanding those metrics, knowing which one is more important, and how to increase DR and DA can simplify the whole process of SEO (mainly link building). 

So, let’s understand the importance of Domain Rating and Domain Authority, their difference, tools to measure those metrics, and best link building strategies to improve them.

Kicking off!

The Importance of SEO Metrics

Marketing analysis and metrics are highly important for any organization, especially SEO and link building companies. Simply said, Google cares about E-E-A-T, and you have to pick etalons to measure how trustworthy, experienced, authoritative, and expert the website or backlink is. In terms of SEO, it is a long-term process, so constantly analyzing effectiveness is crucial for continuous success. If you’re working with clients, you should consistently report on their campaign progress, including Page Authority and Domain Rating metrics. 

Besides performance evaluation, SEO metrics help you conduct a competitive analysis by comparing companies’ improvements. Knowing your weaknesses and strengths is always significant and helps improve your work.

Finally, SEO metrics simplify calculating Return on Investment (ROI). SEO requires financial investments, so it’s easier to evaluate the success and value of those investments by checking metrics.  

These are just some of the benefits SEO metrics, like DA and DR, can offer. Now, let us understand what Domain Rating and Domain Authority are and what tools we should use to calculate those metrics.

Domain Rating Explained: Tools to Use

What is Domain Rating? A popular Ahrefs metric is an identifier of the backlink profile strength. It is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100. Various tools provide DR-like metrics: for instance, SEMrush’s analog to DR is the Authority Score, and Majestic SEO’s metric is called Trust Flow. To check the domain authority of any website can be done through Ahrefs site explorer by searching your website domain. For example, let’s take a quick look at the DR of Envato, we got a backlink from lately.

Ahrefs suggests a free DR checker tool if you are concerned about only the website’s DR and some basic metrics like the total number of backlinks and unique linking domains the website has. 

Websites with high DR have more potential to rank higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This way, the website visibility is boosted, and the overall authority is improved. 

Even though DR is connected to the website’s organic traffic, you don’t have to work only on this metric’s growth. By concentrating on the overall backlink profile improvement, both DR and search traffic will benefit. Meanwhile, according to Aira’s research, 67% of the respondents value the quality of the backlink considering DR. While it could make sense, the businesses have to consider the backlink profiles, overall healthy traffic trends, and relevancy of the backlinks as well. 

Domain Authority Metrics: Tools to Use

What about another metric? What is Domain Authority? This metric was created by Moz to show the possibility of ranking in the SERPs. The page authority score is also calculated on a scale from 1 to 100. The higher the metric, the higher the probability of ranking higher. This presentation by Moz highlights the main points you need to know about Domain Authority, described from Moz’s perspective. For simple check, you can use Moz DA checker (see below the example of Envato)

Indeed, the primary tool to calculate a website’s DA based on machine learning models is Moz. The higher the DA, the more you can trust the website. In LinkyJuice, we always give DA a spot of higher importance, as our experience shows other metrics could be easily manipulated and increased artificially. At the same time, DA is more accurate regarding ranking potential. Our perspective of including DA as one of the most essential variables metrics set justifies the 2024 ranking factors study by Semrush, claiming that DA strongly correlates with websites' future sight of running higher in SERP.

The other SEO tools have analogs of DA as well. DA is very significant for search engine ranking algorithms. In the same way, as with DR, DA affects the site’s organic traffic and placement in search engine result pages. DA is also closely connected to the backlink profile; with page authority, it is easier to get relevant backlinks.

The Difference Between Two Metrics

The two main SEO metrics are very alike. They both show website authority, backlinks quantity, and quality. What are the main differences?

  • DR concentrates on backlink profile quality, while DA focuses more on the website’s quality, content, and popularity.
  • DR analyzes only backlinks and estimates the site based on them. DA analyzes different kinds of links.
  • The main DR metrics are referring domains, backlink quantity and quality, link Growth, dofollow links, and internal linking. On the other side, DA's main metrics are MozRank, MozTrust, content quality, website structure and user Experience
  • Finally, a high DA often corresponds to a high DR; sometimes, a website may have a high DA but a low DR.

Strategic Applications for Improving Metrics

As we already know, Domain Authority and Domain Rating have numerous differences; we must admit that the strategies for enhancing them are different as well. Let’s move on and understand what strategies help improve each of these vital metrics.

  • Strategies to Boost Domain Rating

How to increase DR? As this metric is closely connected to the backlink profile, getting relevant do-follow links to your website is the best way to increase it. Links must also be from relevant websites with high DR, linking to your site’s relevant pages. How can one get those backlinks? 

  1. Create high-quality content (for instance, unique articles, infographics, and video content).
  2. Outreach to the high DR websites, suggest to them the value they care and request to link to your pages.
  3. Work on your website’s internal linking and solve the technical issues.
  • Strategies for Enhancing Domain Authority 

What about page authority? How to enhance the DA of a website. As many factors are considered while calculating the site’s DA, it is pretty hard to increase it. Here are some strategies that will be helpful:

  1. Get high-authority backlinks.
  2. Avoid spam links.
  3. Improve SEO with an ethical link building strategy.

Practical Insights Through Case Studies

Do you want to know how to increase the DR of a website from 11 to 60 in less than a year? Let’s look at one example of our client and understand the main strategies that helped us skyrocket their Domain Rating.

Our work started in April when the client had only 11 DR. Our primary goals with this social media tool were to optimize the backlink profile (and at the same time DR), keyword rankings, and improvement of organic traffic. Detailed competitive analysis, broken link building, and continuous work in skyscraper link building techniques helped us increase DR to 60 in six months. 

This Social Media Ads Tool case study is a great example that with the correct link building strategies and hard work, it is always possible to improve backlink profile and page authority.

Final Thoughts: Domain Rating vs. Domain Authority?

With many similarities and differences, choosing Domain Rating vs. Domain Authority is hard. Which one is more important, and what matters most? 

Indeed, both metrics are beneficial, and it all depends on what you want to estimate: the overall authority of the site or backlink profile quality. 

Both of these metrics are just numbers, and with the improvement of your website and high-quality link building services, it is easy to boost these numbers and focus on developing overall SEO.

We hope this article was helpful and you found your answer to the common SEO question. 

Stay tuned for more updates by following the LinkyJuice blog!

Share this post