When I woke up on Saturday and scrolled through my Twitter feed, I saw nearly everyone talking about DA and debating on how to improve it. Right, the MOZ update came through, that's why half of the blogosphere was excited and fussed about. Since I work in SEO and I’m interested in how to increase the DA of my blog myself, I thought I’d share my ideas and knowledge of it. Hope you’ll find the following helpful.
What Is DA And Why Is It So Important?
Domain Authority (DA) is identified by the service MOZ. It rates and ranks your blogs offsite SEO and tells PRs and brands if your blog has a high value for marketing reasons. Besides DA is a measurement how influential your blog is in terms of Google ranking. If your blog has a high DA, then links placed on your website are valuable and of SEO quality. You can identify your blogs' DA through installing the add-on MOZ bar to your browser.
DA is only available to blogs with their own domain, so blogs with a wordpress.com or blogspot.com attribute in their URL won’t be considered and are regarded as less valuable when it comes to content marketing, hence why bigger brands usually don’t work with those blogs. So the earlier you invest into your own domain, which costs around £20 for two years (123 Reg or Go Daddy) and is super easy to install, the better for your blogs' progress and development.
Brands work with blogs that have a DA of 20+. The higher your DA, the better your collaborations will be.
What Is On/Offsite SEO?
Onsite SEO is optimisation that you do directly on your blog. Many bloggers have written excellent pieces on how to optimise your blogs content and most practices are widely known in the blogosphere for example include relevant keywords, structure your text into paragraphs and include H1, H2, H3 subtitles, tag your pictures, include meta description, adjust your perma link ect.
SEO has, however, another important side that is required in order for your blog to be picked up by Google and MOZ and that is offsite SEO. Offsite SEO is optimisation outside of your blog, for example external link building, and this is important when it comes to DA, because MOZ rates all of your blogs' offsite SEO activities. No matter how well you’ve spread keywords, tagged pictures or adjusted your meta description in your post, it has little to no impact on your DA.
All websites with a domain have a DA, Twitter for example has 100 as a lot of links are generated which makes the social media tool a high valuable platform for marketing. The higher a websites’ DA the more valuable it is rated and Google will rank it in top positions. Every time a website with a high DA posts a link to your blog, Google will pick it up and evaluate your content, as the link from the reputable website has a high value - and Google 'trusts' high valuable websites.
For example the Ben & Jerrys website has a DA of 52. They’ve posted a link to my blog which makes the link super valuable for Google. Not only is Ben & Jerry’s website very reputable, but Google ‘trusts’ the website to link to respective content that is relevant and of quality (and not spam). This link has created a strong pillar in my backlink profile. Getting a link back from a high DA website is therefore your goal in order to raise your blogs' DA.
Link = Link?
When it comes to DA, you have to build a strong network of links - on your blog and also outside of it. One has to make sure that the links that are generated from other websites to your blog are Do-Follow Links.
Do-Follow Links are quality links that drive and generate traffic and have SEO value. The counterpart are No-Follow Links which have a no-follow attribute in their html code. In blogger, when you insert a link in the link option, you can tick a box which adds the no-follow attribute to the link automatically. No-Follow links have no SEO impact and will therefore have no influence on your DA nor on your Google ranking.
Oh, and when you share your blogs' URL in your signature when commenting, the URL will always have a No-Follow attribute and won’t influence DA. Ths is to prevent spam and dodgy ways of increasing DA. Sorry guys, but leaving lots of comments will only provide you with visibility and drive traffic but not increase DA.
How to increase DA?
- Get your domain as early as possible, as domain age is considered by MOZ.
- Try to get natural Do-Follow links from high DA websites and blogs through posting quality and relevant content. Bloggers do share their favourite posts in weekly round ups and if you have a long history of reliable content creation for reputable brands through collaborations, than ask them to share your blog post on their website. I received a Do-Follow link from a stationery website I’ve worked with that has a DA of 45 and this has massively improved my DA and keeps my backlink profile strong.
- Guestblog on high DA blogs and make sure the blogger shares a Do-Follow link to your blog, but be careful, a blog that takes money in order to generate Do-Follow links will be penalised by Google. I've linked in the link building guidelines.
- Do-Follow links to your blogs' generic homepage have less influence on DA as links to specific blog posts (this is called deep linking).
- Make a backlink analysis of your blog and see which websites have shared a link to your blog. Spam websites are penalised by Google and can influence the quality of the link to your blog. In that case write to the administrator of the website and ask to remove your link from their website. The SEO tool Majestics will give you access to a comprehensive backlink analysis and you can also see which keywords have been used as anchor texts to brand your blog (mine are at the moment predominately Caz, Carolin, Style Lingua. I need to improve this to fashion soon).
- Interlink on your own blog as this will strengthen the internal structure and make your blog more stable. Interlinking shows Google that there is relevant content on your blog and the more Do-Follow Links you have to your content, the better for your DA. You can do so by sharing round up posts, start a series or refresh old content. I did so in my recent post Content Ideas For Fashion Bloggers, where I summarised and interlinked (deep linking!) to previous fashion posts.
- Regularly check all links that have been posted on your blog. This is a lot of work and requires at least a day to work out. I do blog maintenance once a month. I check all links if they are still relevant and working and if they are broken, I update or remove them. A handy, free online tool is BrokenLinkCheck and my friend Neesha wrote excellent instructions on how to use it and fix broken links.
- Have a mixture of Do and No-Follow Links but again, be careful when you post Do-Follow Links. Google’s guidelines are super strict and if your blog has an imbalanced link profile of Do and No-Follow Links than you may get penalised for it.
- Don't include more than three Do-Follow Links to the same website in one post, as this looks spammy.
How fast can DA increase and when do I see changes?
Depends. MOZ updates are always on the last Saturday of the month. When I started to use my DA, it was during my first week at the new job. I had barely time to post so at first my DA dropped and was super low at 13 (October). In the coming weeks I posted next to nothing. I think I had two or three posts in November but at the end of the month, the DA increased by 3+, so did it in December and my blog was at a DA of 19. So based on that experience, I think the amount of posts and how often you publish per month has actually not that much of influence - it is really all down to your backlink profile (the links that are shared by other reputable websites to your blog) and your interlinking.
My blog has hit a DA of 21 this weekend :)
My blog has hit a DA of 21 this weekend :)
I’m not an expert and there are other factors that play into MOZ but as far as I have learned through blogging and my work, this is in very short how to influence and grow your DA. I hope I explained it well and you found today’s post useful. Maintaining a blog is hard work, takes a lot of commitment and is so much more than just writing a text and posting some pretty pictures. In the end, keep it natural and don't overoptimise. Please let me know in the comment section if you’ve enjoyed todays post and if you have any tips and tricks how to work on your DA, please share your thoughts!
Till next time,
xx CAZ xx