Domain Rating vs Domain Authority - 2023 The Ultimate Comparison Guide You Need Now!

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Domain Rating vs Domain Authority - 2023 The Ultimate Comparison Guide You Need Now!

09/14/2023 1:10 PM by Admin in Seo tactics

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: How Do These Crucial SEO Metrics Compare?


domain rating vs domain authority

Domain rating(DR) and domain authority(DA) are two of the most widely used metrics for evaluating overall website ranking strength and SEO success. But what exactly is the difference between domain rating and domain authority? When assessing a site, which metric carries more weight?

This in-depth comparison guide examines domain rating and domain authority side-by-side. Read on to learn how DR and DA are calculated, which SEO factors influence them, and how these website authority ratings impact search engine optimization and SERP rankings.

An Introduction to Domain Rating and Domain Authority


domain rating vs domain authority


First, let's briefly introduce these two website ranking metrics:

Domain Rating

Domain rating is an SEO metric developed by Ahrefs. It measures the overall strength and authority of a domain based on backlink profile, citation flow metrics, and other signals. Domain rating ranges from 1-100.

Domain Authority

Domain authority is a metric created by Moz. It indicates the power of a website to rank well in search results. DA scores also range from 1-100.

So in simple terms, both domain rating and domain authority assess domain-level ranking power to predict SEO success and SERP rankings. But they go about calculating their scores differently, as we'll explore next.

How Are Domain Rating and Domain Authority Calculated?

The specific methodologies used to determine domain rating and domain authority include:

Domain Rating Calculation

Ahrefs calculates domain rating based on:

  • Size and authority of referring domains linking to the site
  • Quality and relevance of backlinks
  • Ahrefs crawler metrics like URL ratings

It also incorporates statistical predictive modeling to improve accuracy.

Domain Authority Calculation

Moz calculates domain authority based on:

  • Quantity/quality of linking root domains
  • Number of total links
  • MozRank - Moz's page authority metric
  • Link trust flow metrics like citation flow

So both tools analyze backlinks and trust metrics to assess overall domain-level authority. However, their calculations differ based on their unique data sources and ranking factors.

How Do DR and DA Scores Compare?

Although domain rating and domain authority work a bit differently under the hood, their scores correlate strongly. Here are some key similarities and differences:

  • Score range - Both metrics use a 1-100 scale. Higher scores indicate greater domain authority.
  • Correlation - DR and DA scores typically align closely for a given domain. But some divergence is normal.
  • Rank tracking - DA and DR both fluctuate over time and help track rankings progress.
  • Ranking prediction - DA has shown a slightly stronger correlation to predicting actual SERP rankings.

For most websites, checking both the DR and DA scores will paint a consistent picture of overall domain authority and SEO strength.

What Factors Influence Domain Rating and Domain Authority?


domain rating vs domain authority


Domain rating and domain authority are calculated from similar sets of ranking factors related to backlink profiles and overall domain strength:

Key Factors for Domain Rating

  • Number of backlinks from unique domains
  • Quality of linking domains (authority/trust)
  • Relevance and influence of backlinks
  • Proportion of follow vs. nofollow links
  • Diversity of link sources (referring domains)

Key Factors for Domain Authority

  • Total number of backlinks
  • Number of root domains linking
  • Authority of linking root domains
  • MozRank - Moz's page authority metric
  • MozTrust - Moz's site trust flow metric

So quality backlink profiles with diverse authoritative sources are key for boosting both DR and DA.

Why Domain Rating and Domain Authority Matter for SEO

Domain rating and domain authority offer valuable insights for SEO. Here are some of the key reasons they are important:

  • Measure overall domain-level authority for search rankings
  • Identify issues with poor or toxic backlinks
  • Track SEO ranking progress over time
  • Set targets for link-building campaigns
  • Prioritize high-value domains for outreach
  • Identify authority gaps compared to competitors
  • Correlate strongly with actual SERP rankings

Monitoring these metrics provides crucial guidance for executing link-building and overall SEO strategies effectively.

How to Check Domain Rating and Domain Authority

Wondering how you can look up the domain rating and domain authority for a website? Here are a few options:

Check in Ahrefs

Log into Ahrefs and enter the target website in the URL Explorer. The domain rating will be displayed at the top.

Check in MozBar

Install the MozBar browser extension. When visiting any webpage, MozBar will display the DA score.

Check in SEOToolsPark

Tools like SEOToolsPark DA Checker allow you to look up domain authority scores for free without needing paid tool subscriptions.

Monitoring both the DR and DA regularly provides a more complete picture of your overall domain authority for SEO.

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority - Which Is More Important?

So when evaluating the SEO strength of a website, which metric reigns supreme - domain rating or domain authority?
The truth is, that both DR and DA hold importance for SEO. A quality backlink profile and trust metrics will boost both scores in tandem.
However, some key considerations:

  • For very large sites, DA may be more stable than DR
  • DA has a longer track record of predicting rankings
  • DR incorporates additional backlink metrics like URL Rating
  • DR can identify issues with toxic links more rapidly

Aim to build links and trust to improve both scores, rather than focusing on just one metric alone. Monitor them both to assess website authority thoroughly.

Using Domain Rating and Domain Authority to Guide SEO Strategy

Analyzing domain ratings and domain authority scores provides invaluable direction for optimizing SEO strategies. Here are some tips for incorporating DR and DA into your SEO efforts:

Set Targets for Growth

Establish specific targets for improving your DR and DA scores over time. For example, aim to increase both metrics by 5-10 points every 6 months. This gives you quantifiable goals.

Identify Authority Gaps

Compare your DR/DA to competitors and industry averages using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. Look for authority gaps presenting opportunities to surpass rival websites.

Find Link Building Opportunities

Use DR/DA data to identify domains and pages to focus your outreach efforts on. Sort prospects by authority scores.

Diversify Backlink Sources

If your DR/DA scores plateau, lack of link source diversity may be an issue. Intentionally expand the variety of sites you earn links from.

Clean Up Toxic Links

If your domain authority drops sharply without explanation, toxic backlinks could be penalizing your rankings. Analyze your backlink profile for issues.

Prioritize Higher DR/DA Pages

When soliciting backlinks, having prospects link to your highest DR/DA pages gives a bigger boost versus lower authority pages.

Track Ranking Progress

Chart your DR and DA scores over months/years to visualize your domain strength gains through link-building efforts.

Actively monitoring and optimizing based on domain rating and domain authority is key for executing a results-driven SEO strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Which tool is better for checking DR or DA?

A) Moz and Ahrefs both offer accurate data for DA and DR respectively. SEMrush also provides options for checking domain authority.

Q) Can I use DR and DA data for competitor analysis?

A) Absolutely. Comparing your DA/DR scores to key competitors helps reveal SEO opportunities and areas for improvement.

Q) How often should I check domain rating and domain authority?

A) Aim to monitor your DR and DA at least once a month. More frequent checks let you spot trends and track rankings progress.

Q) Do DA and DR influence rankings for all search engines?

A) While focused on Google, DA and DR can also estimate authority for Bing and other search engines. But Google is most directly impacted.

Q) Can I download DR and DA data in bulk for analysis?

A) Yes, paid Ahrefs and Moz users can export domain authority data for bulk analysis and tracking in spreadsheets.

Q) Should small new sites worry about DA and DR?

A) Even newer sites should monitor DA and DR from launch onward. These metrics help track early authority gains and inform SEO efforts.

Understanding the relationship between domain rating and domain authority is key for leveraging these metrics to maximize your search visibility and SERP rankings. Use this comprehensive guide to compare DR and DA and make data-driven SEO decisions.



Although domain rating and domain authority use different calculations, they serve similar purposes in assessing domain-level SEO strength and potential search ranking performance. By monitoring both metrics, you gain a more complete picture of your website's domain authority.

Use this data to set goals, identify growth opportunities, fix issues, and ultimately execute link-building and SEO strategies more effectively. With a solid understanding of how DA and DR work, you can better optimize these key indicators of search engine success.





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