Domain Authority – What is it and Why Is It So Important?

2 comments, 03/12/2012, by , in SEO

Since the update of Google’s algorithms with the Penguin update some months ago, the concept  and understanding of domain authority has been revived as many believe its importance is more vital than ever. Some webmasters have expressed concern that backlinks that have been categorized as bad or negative may have something to do with the domain authority of the originating site. Before you make any rash decisions regarding the removal of backlinks on your site, it is a good idea to first learn about the concept of domain authority and why it is so important in the first place.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain authority is a generic yet complicated concept that attempts to determine the overall ranking of your site’s potential. Using metrics such as the number of backlinks, the total number of links on the site in question, root domains and other rankings established by sites such as SEOmoz, an assessment of the search engine optimization strength can be calculated and inferred as a site’s domain authority. More or less, your domain authority is determined by pinging backlinks and assessing the number of overall links on your site. Since search engines use these variables in large part to determine your site’s ranking, it is important to have an idea of where your site stands.

Are Backlinks Hurting Me?

Depending on the source, the backlinks on your site may be offering you more negative SEO effect than positive. Generally speaking, a backlink that is viewed as being manipulative is flagged and can cause harm to your domain authority. How does Google determine this? In part, the domain authority of the site that you are linking to or from is assessed to determine whether the link “belongs” on your site and whether or not the site in question is a legitimate site offering unique content or just another spam site attempting to game the system by pinging backlinks.

How Do Search Engines Determine Bad Backlinks?

Search engines typically use a variety of algorithms to determine whether or not a particular site is using negative SEO tactics to gain an advantage, but there are a few well-known habits that make bad backlinks stick out like sore thumbs. One of the biggest is the use of anchor text; using this format with keywords can actually harm a site’s credentials and make it appear like a less-than-quality portal for information, at least according to Google’s algorithms. Another major no-no is having backlinks coming from or going to sites that are not related to the content of your website.

Which Ones Should I Remove?

There are tons of criteria that must be considered when deciding which links to remove, but a few of them are easy to decipher. First, any and all links that have been paid for should most likely be removed; generally speaking, these are done in rapid and mass fashion and lack the proper dedication when it comes to doing them effectively. Any sites that no longer exist or have been blacklisted by search engines should also be removed. If a site has low-quality content or spun material, that is another flag that is indicative of needed removal.


  1. December 3rd, 2012 19:46

    This is why when I blog or sell products, I like to use the pages of authority domains which have trust in Googles eyes already. Its much easier to backlink pages with authority status already without having to worry about negative seo impact too much.


  2. February 17th, 2013 11:47

    Domain Authority is a measure of the power of a domain name and is one of many search engine ranking factors. Domain authority is based on three factors: Age, Popularity, and Size.The search engines want to provide website users with results that can be trusted. New websites are popping up every day and many don’t last for various reasons. Domain age is an indicator of trust because it proves to the search engines that the website has longevity. If the website owner has maintained registration of a website consistently and has generated an increase in traffic to that domain over time, the search engines conclude that it must serve a purpose and be a trusted source.


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