SEO Metrics Explained: Understanding Domain and Page Authority

The word SEO with wood blocks.

So you want to understand what’s going on with your website and get some SEO metrics explained? We don’t blame you. The metrics in the world of SEO can be confusing, especially when the majority of the time they’re referred to exclusively by their acronyms. Awash in a world of DA, PA, TF, DR, etc? We’re here to help!

Domain Authority Vs. Page Authority

When diving into SEO metrics two of the first that you’ll come across will be Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). It’s important, at this early stage, to clarify exactly what the difference is between the two:

DA helps you track your site versus others and gives you a metric showing how likely your site is to rank. PA focuses on a particular page, giving you a clear indication, across your site, which pages are performing well and which need improvement.

DA is calculated by Moz’s algorithm and looks at linking domains plus the number of backlinks to your site. PA is calculated using another algorithm but also includes further factors (up to 40 different ones).

DA takes into account your whole website, everything that sits on a domain. PA is focused on just that individual page.

If you choose to work with a professional agency such as Fat Joe, you’ll get used to seeing these metrics within your reports.

Domain Metrics

Domain Authority: Created by one of the leading SEO authorities in the world, Moz, Domain Authority (DA) is a number on a scale from 1 to 100 that indicates the likelihood that a website will rank well in search engines. The higher the number, the more likely.

Most well-established and recognized websites will have high authority, whereas new websites will have a low one. Certain domains come with an element of authority built in, even if new. For example, a .gov website will hold higher authority than a simple .com.

Moz creates a DA score by looking at the number of different domains linking to the site and the total number of links to the site from external sources.

Let’s be clear, DA is often seen as the be-all and end-all within the backlink building world but Google doesn’t actually take it into account as a figure (after all Moz made it up). Instead, it can be used as a good indicator of ranking chances.

Domain Rating: A metric from another SEO giant, ahRefs, Domain Rating is a measurement on a scale from 0 to 100 that displays how strong a website’s backlink profile is. It’s a complicated logarithmic calculation taking into account things like unique domains, dilution, and more.

It’s worth tracking because it’s an indicator of how good your backlinks actually are. Higher quality links push the score up more than lower quality links.

Trust Flow: Trust Flow is Majestic’s own metric that focuses on how likely a website can be trusted. Scored from 0 to 100, the higher the score the more likely it can be trusted. Well-known websites, such as Twitter or CNN have an incredibly high trust flow score.

Relevance of links is important here, the more relevant links to your site, the better your score will be. So TF is a good measure of the quality of links to your site.

Page Metrics

Page Authority: A metric created by Moz, Page Authority (PA) is the little brother of the above-mentioned Domain Authority. Each individual page on a website is ranked on a scale from 0 to 100, although brand new pages still score 1. In a similar way to DA, PA is measured by looking at how many external links it receives as well as how it sits within your site.

This means that on your site there will be numerous different PA scores. Your homepage is likely to rank highest, although if you have a hero product that could have a higher PA score if it receives a tonne of links. Beyond that, you might find that unloved blog posts or quieter pages on your website won’t rank as highly.

URL Rating: Coming from ahRefs, URL Rating (UR) is based on the specific URLs link profile. In this case, the URL rating calculates how much of that delicious dofollow juice is flowing from authoritative websites down to a specific URL.

Citation Flow: Now we turn to Majestic for another measurement, Citation Flow. This is Majestic’s way of measuring how many links are pointed to a particular URL. This is a fairly basic metric as, even though Majestic says link authority counts, generally speaking, the more links you have the higher the score.

Topical Trust Flow: Another Majestic score, Topical Trust Flow looks to judge the topic or niche of a  website by judging its backlink profile. The higher the score within a particular niche the more likely it will rank within that niche. We’re unclear how Majestic calculates this, but it’s usually accurate.

Key Takeaways

When tracking your website keeping an eye on these key metrics will go a long way to explaining the bigger picture, plus some like PA will give you a more granular approach. Metrics are one thing, but actual quality content is another. Thankfully great content and giving value to the user tend to lead to great metrics.

  • DA is for the whole site. PA is for individual pages.
  • Metrics work best when considered alongside each other to give a bigger picture.
  • Focus on delivering value for the users of your website before metrics.
About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.