If you’ve been blogging for a while then you will have more than likely been exposed to the utter mind fuck that is DA. When I started blogging I was in blissful ignorance of DA, SEO and various other random abbreviations that I’d never heard. Even when I got my first domain 4ish years ago, DA still didn’t even enter my mind…Mainly because I still had absolutely no fucking idea what the hell it meant.
It wasn’t until mid last year were my eyes opened to the fucking minefield that is SEO.
So what does DA stand for?
DA stands for Domain Authority. It’s basically the tip of the ice burg of the sea of confusion when it comes to SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.
Great! Now we know what it stands for but what the fuck does it even mean?
Domain Authority is basically how much Google loves your website.
If you have your own domain e.g yourblog.co.uk not yourblog.blogspot or yourblog.wordpress then you’re good to go. There are various domain authority checkers online but the best one I’ve found is Moz and this is the one everyone seems to use.
So why do I have to have my own domain to have a DA?
If you don’t have your own domain, your URL will contain the site in which your blog is hosted. Moz will lock on to this part of the URL and give you WordPress or Blogger’s DA.
I’m going to use screenshots as examples here because it’ll be a heck of a lost easier to explain.
Take exhibit A, this is my super old blogspot address that I’ve not used for years.
Note how the URL has my old (and super cringe) blog name then .blogpost instead of just .com or .co.uk.
If you whack a blog with this kind of URL into Moz it will calculate the DA of Blogger, or WordPress if your blog has .wordpress in the URL instead. As you can see the DA for giamay.blogspot.com is 89. In other words – super fucking high and also super inaccurate unless I am Blogger. Which I am not.
Now, let’s take my current URL which is a domain I purchased myself which means I own that domain. It’s not owned by Blogger, WordPress or any third party, just me.
Only when you chuck in your own domain will Moz be able to accurately calculate your domain authority. As you can see from the image below, or exhibit B (haha), the DA is a lot more humble 23 (which annoyingly went down this month because I switched from Blogger to WordPress and went self hosted AKA a massive ballache, anyway, I digress).
What’s a good DA?
Anything over 20 is generally considered an acceptable DA and bloggers tend to only ever reach the 40s. Only massive sites such as Google, Facebook and Instagram reach 100 so don’t worry about trying to get that high. Brands tend to average at about 25 for collaborations but there are PRs that require a higher rank and also ones that aren’t really fussed so don’t be disheartened if you have a lower DA.
Do I have to be arsed about my score?
Now this depends, are you wanting to make money from your blog or work with brands at any point?
If the answer is yes then getting your DA to an acceptable score is important to work with companies and get opportunities. A huge misconception about blogging is that it’s “not a proper job” which fucks me right off. Blogging isn’t just chucking a post on and that’s that, it’s networking, writing, photographing, editing and maintaining your DA alone is a full time job and successfully growing your blog takes more effort than non bloggers can imagine but let’s leave that for a different blog post.
If you’re just blogging as a hobby and aren’t that arsed about working with brands then you can live in blissful ignorance of stats and DA.
Okay, cool. I get it now but how do I improve my score?
Now, this is the biggest ball ache. Well, I say ballache, it’s not that hard once you get the hang of it but if you’re starting completely clueless like I did, it’s going to be a ballache for a while whilst you get your head around it.
Boosting your DA has a lot to do with backlinks but also about how search engine friendly your posts are.
Here are some tips to help boost your DA –
01. Download Yoast – This was recommended to me by the wonderful Alex who I badgered for ages when I was switching hosts (soz Ar). If you are in a self hosted WordPress set up the this plug in is where it’s at! It basically tells you everything you should be doing to optimise your post for search engines so Google loves you.
02. Make sure you anchor text is relevant to the link – Google loves relevant links so instead of anchoring a link to “click here” or something like that, anchor it to something relevant, for example, let’s say you’re linking to a review you wrote about a Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick, instead of saying “click here to read my post about this Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick” and placing the link over “click here”, place it over “Charlotte Tilbury Lipstick”.
03. Make sure your posts hit at least 300 words – Google loves posts over 300 words.
04. Set a focus keyword – Say you’re writing about cake, if you want your page to rank highly then you’re going to want to set your keyword as cake, include it in the title, the first paragraph, and dot it about throughout your post. But don’t over do it! Google hates that too.
05. Linking, linking and more linking – The more links to and from high ranking sites will make Google “trust” your website more meaning you will rank higher in search engines ands thus, your DA will be higher. Crowdsourcing and guest posting will help this and also, if you mention another blogger then link back to them and it’ll help both your DAs out in the process. Win, win!
06. One the topic of linking, make sure you internally link – If you refer to a past blog post in a newer post then link the shit out of it! If you write blog posts in the future that you can link back to in older posts then link the shit out of it! The more internal linking you do the better because not only will in improve your DA but it will also increase your views. Also keeping track of your backlinks and removing any spammy looking ones will help you from being arse fucked by Google and their penalty system for Spammy McSpammers.
07. Social media is your friend – The more your links get shared around various social media platforms the more exposure your site will get and then up the chances of developing more backlinks when more people discover and fall in love with your blog.
08. Be patient – If your site is new, Google may not have ever crawled your site yet so you may find you jump up quite a bit once their bots discover your site. The age of a domain also influences your domain authority; the longer you’ve had a domain, the higher your DA will get.
It took me a good 6 months to get my head around this utter mind fuck. Don’t get too hung up on the numbers though because they change all the time, there are new sites being made constantly and the ebb and flow of these will influence everybody’s DA as well as backlinks changing etc etc etc. As I mentioned earlier, I switched over from Blogger to WordPress in January and this caused my DA to drop so don’t get too disheartened if you get a drop after an update because it will more than likely pick itself back up again!
Anyway, I hope this helped you navigate this minefield!