SEO Academy

AUTHORITY

How important are you on the web? The stronger your websites authority the better it will perform in search engines

What is SEO AUTHORITY?

Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote a university paper called The Pagerank Citation Ranking: Bringing Order to the Web.

This is the origin of what we commonly call “authority”. Now let’s put this in a real life example. You are about to undertake surgery and you have two surgeons in front of you, the first has watched a few Tiktok videos and how-to  perform surgery videos on Youtube, the other was referred to you by your trusted doctor, worked their way through medical school, and written papers on the very same surgery they are about to perform on you.

Of the two, its pretty obvious who you would chose for your surgery!

Search engines have the same challenge, lets take travel as another example. There are thousands of travel sites out there, how does a search engine know which site to rank first, second, third etc?

In simple terms, Relevancy is one part, Authority is the other.

Search engines crawl and index websites and store the pages and the links between paged in their index (database).

From having a copy of the websites they crawl in their database, their able to analyse the links between websites and see who is linking to who.

A link pointing to your website from another website is seen as a “vote”. The more votes you have, the more likely you are to perform well in Search Engines.

However not all links are equal. If we were to get a link from a reputable site like the searchenginejournal.com that would carry more weight/value than a link from a random directory.

Back when we started practising SEO the term used was “Pagerank” this has now evolved and the industry uses “Authority”.

Authority is represented as a number, usually on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest.

Authority scores are exponential, so as you get higher, it increasingly becomes more and more difficult.

There are SEO tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SemRush and Majestic which all offer their own “flavour” of the authority metric.

Our favourite is Ahrefs, it’s expensive, but its our go-to tool and we use it everyday. You can use Ahrefs to check your websites authority (as measured by Ahrefs) by using their free Website Authority Checker.

Frequently asked about Authority

As one of the most important areas of SEO that can “move the needle” we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions about Domain Authority. 

Pagerank is an old hat SEO term used to measure a website’s importance online.

It was originally derived by Larry and Sergey the founders of Google as a means of ranking sites based on the number of links pointing to them.

It was measured on a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10, where 10 was essentially infinity, reserved for Google themselves.

Whilst Pagerank isn’t used anymore, this gave birth to other SEO tools which use their own proprietary methods to measure the strength of backlink profiles for sites across the internet. These SEO tools are used by agencies, freelancers and companies worldwide.

Also note, you cannot compare results across the different tools as they measure SEO metrics in different ways.

Ultimately the goal of all these tools is to try and mimic search engines like Google and understand how they score and rank each site based on a mixture of SEO elements.

As well as scoring a domain, each page is also scored and the terminology is slightly different based on what tool you use.

  • Semrush.com
    • Domain – Authority Score
    • Page – Authority Page Score
  • Ahrefs.com
    • Domain – Domain Rating (DR)
    • Page – URL Rating (UR)
  • Moz.com
    • Domain – Domain Authority (DA)
    • Page – Page Authority (PA)

Everytime someone performs a search in a search engine, it is a difficult task for search engines like Google to make sure they return the most relevant results possible.

Think of Authority like Popularity. If a search engine has to decide between two sites and which it should rank highest, authority can help. One site may have many links pointing to it from other sites, whilst the other may have little to no links. Search engines can make an educated choice that the first one is the best to place at the top of the organic search results because the popularity and mentions (links) it receives)


The internet is a big place and competition is ever growing so authority is vital to increase web visibility and appearing in as many organic search results as possible.
You can have the most amazing, well built website, but if no one links to you, search engines won’t pay you any interest either.

Think of link building as a type of PR. Building relationships with other site owners who like the content you are publishing and wish to share with their own visitors by including a website link from their site to yours.

Content marketing is a focused approach on creating relevant, valuable and consistent content. Producing dull and poorly written content will be disliked by users and search engines alike.

Good planning and understanding what is highly relevant right now is key as this will be much more attractive to users staying on the page longer and exploring the links within the article, search engines will also pick up on this.

A disavow file gives webmasters the ability to discount links. This is usually only used in extreme cases where links are seen to be toxic or highly irrelevant and you would wish not to be associated with them. This doesn’t prevent the link from existing, but does inform search engines to ignore them as part of your backlink profile.

Anchor text is the visible text on a hyperlink. This text will normally cause the mouse pointer change to a finger when hovered over indicating a link is present in the article.

This is the anchor text

The anchor text is also an important indication of what is expected to happen once a user clicks. Think of anchor text like a sign on a door which hints what you may find if you open that door.

Search engines also use this to help understand the relevance of the target page. If a page has many inbound links with similar anchors it will boost the relevance of the target page and help the page rank.

Attracting links by creating amazing content which others want to mention or content marketing is the best way to increase domain authority. There are many documented ways to boost domain authority but many are considered blackhat and not advised as they could lead to search engines placing a penalty on your site.

Bravr has worked hard over the years to craft building authority and gaining the best results.

This is relative to the niche and competitiveness of the sector you are in. Also individual page scores can and keyword difficulty are all factors. Authority scores are also logarithmic which means going from 0 to 30 will be relatively easy and will require a certain amount of links. Moving from an authority score of 30 to 50 is harder and will require 2 to 3 times more links. Lastly moving from 50 to 80 is very difficult and requires many times more links than the first two stages and links must be acquired from high authority level domains.

Many agency SEO tools do offer a free overview report. This usually gives a small insight to the strength of a site’s backlink profile and overall Authority Score.

Bravr has Agency level subscriptions to these tools which enables us to get deeper insights to sites overall authority and gap analysis.

Put simply, No. Domain authority should be thought of as a comparative metric not an absolute metric, and used as a handrail to understanding whether you are doing the right job in building your link profile.

Our five pillars of SEO

With over 200 different ranking signals which influence your visibility in search engines, to make it easier to manage we’ve divided it into five key pillars. 

Ensuring your website has a strong foundation, free from technical errors, enabling crawlability, mitigating loss in visibility.

External inbound links, ensuring links are from authorative relevant domains, with optimised anchor text, and a healthly follow/nofollow ratio.

Optimising your websites information architecture, increasing the weighting of key pages. Optimal anchor text and internal link equity distribution.

Ensuring all ranking signals such as page titles, meta data and content is relevant for the target search phrase. 

 

Understanding whats SEO strategies and effective. Visibility is the output of the other four pillars, providing valuable insights and learnings in search engine optimisation.

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