Blogging on a Saturday, what is wrong with me? Obviousley I don’t have a life.
Anyway what I wanted to discuss today was domain authority. You see keyword authority, PageRank and Domain Authority tend to be muddled up a bit, in so much so, that many struggle to differentiate them in the SEO industry. I just want to go over them briefly so that we know where we stand, then I am going to go through exactly what domain authority is and how we get it.
This is how much authority you possess for a particular keyword, I have refered to it as “the line of relevance before” or is your keyword in;
External Linking Page -> Anchor Text -> Homepage -> Outbound Link
This is a very broad overview, but if all areas of your crawl point to a select keyword, your authority level will be high.
PageRank is Googles own system for ranking the authority of sites. The elements that make up PageRank are never disclosed fully, but we do know it runs in line with domain authority which we will look at in a minute. Most people assess thier PageRank by using the Google toolbar, but “real” PageRank can change on a daily basis, the tool bar simply provides a guide.
OK this is what I really wanted to get onto, helping your site achieve a solid domain authority is one of the best gifts you can give your site. It will assist in ranking new pages and adding to your keyword authority, which will see you at the top of the search engine results page (serp). Which is more powerful, domain authority or keyword authority? This one will never be solved but in my opinion you will need a healthy portion of both.
How Do We Gain a Good Domain Authority
There are a number of elements to creating this domain authoriy and they concern these 4 areas:-
- Link Juice
- Link Diversity
- Link Trends
- Link Distribution
Yes thats right, your domain authority is established mainly by external factors, it is super important to know what these are and how to implement them.
OK Link Juice simply means the amount of link authority that flows back to your page. When thinking about link juice we need to be thinking about link quality and link quantity. Getting a load of links from low PageRank pages on it’s own will only do so much, just the same as having a few links from high PageRank pages will not give us the results were looking for.
When I am starting a link campaign I seperate it, 70% of my link building time goes into boosting link popularity and 30% of time goes into building link quality. So for most of your time you need to be article marketing, sending press releases, guest blogging, link baiting, directory submitting and for the other 30% you need to be looking for high quality link partners. This can be debated until the cows come home, but one simple fact that cannot be escaped is that even the most popular sites have the majority of their links coming from low quality pages that pass little in terms of PageRank.
This is my opinion on link popularity and it works for me and my clients.
Link diversity is about where your links are coming from. If you have thousands of links but they all come from the same top level domain (TLD) the chances are that this is not going to increase your domain authority. It is easy to get thousands of links from 3 or 4 top level domains. However it is much harder to create these same links from 100 different sources.
When I have researched the search rankings it seems the best sites have around 10% link diversity. So if you have 1000 links, 100 of them should be coming from unique sources or TLD’s.
It is hard to say how much of an impact this area has but it is aimed at Googles algorithm to tackle spammers. See the 2 graphs below (which are really poorly drawn but explain my point), they show what a normal link graph looks like and what a suspect graph looks like, the suspect graph is one that could be associated with spam.
As you can see a normal link graph should show a steady increase of links, gradually increasing overtime. A link graph that may raise a few alarm bells is one that suddenly spikes. There are many reasons why a link graph could do this, one innocent way being social links to a hot post, however it could also suggest bought links or spamming software. Spammers don’t like to have to wait for their links.
Social links are normally directed to a particular page rather than a homepage or TLD, this could be one way of distinguishing between social links and spam. Either way the idea is to have a steady yet ever growing link popularity.
The final point I would like to touch on is link distribution. How are your links distributed between your pages, all your pages? If your homepage is the only page to have links to it, you are basically telling Google and other search engines that your homepage is the only one worth indexing. You are missing out on massive opportunities to increase organic traffic by doing this. You want Google to think all of your site is filled with great information, better yet all of your site should be filled with great information. When you do this each sub domain of your site will pass authority between pages. Build Links To All Your Pages
I hope this has been useful, I gave up a couple of hours on a Saturday to write it
See you next time.
Author: Tim (294 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.