A microscope on the “www” representing domain ratings

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: The Differences That Lie Between

Diana Aghumyan

Table of Contents

In today’s business world, what comes first is reputation. A good name and reputation for a business mean more people want to do business with them. Reputation and authority draw in or withdraw current and potential customers. Reputation has a direct effect on business profitability. It is the asset that differentiates your business from its competitors. Thus, making it a top-priority issue to invest in an identity that will speak value itself is important. 

Each industrial sphere that a business deals with has its metrics and methods of measuring the business reputation. We will touch upon online reputation in this article, particularly concerning SEO. First, let’s sum up the following benefits of an incredible corporate reputation:

  • Nurtures brand trust and dependability
  • Engages new customers 
  • Boosts revenue and incomes
  • Retains valuable and talented employees

Returning to our muttons, we shall discuss how reputation is built and measured in the online sphere, particularly from the perspective of SEO. If in financial terms, reputation is measured by purchasing and investing matters, in SEO practices, Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) determine a business reputation. There is usually the battle of Domain Rating vs Domain Authority. However, understanding each will easily differentiate and measure your business website’s reputation. Accounting that Google owns 86.86% of the search engine market at present, it is a lost chance not to learn how to get on Google’s SERP.

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: What do DR and DA mean for a website?

Domain Rating, developed by Ahrefs, is the criteria that measures the authoritativeness of a website on a scale from zero to a hundred. Logically, the higher the score, the higher the website authority.

Not exactly DR, but Google uses a similar metric to rank a website. Thus, making Domain Rating a decisive factor in drafting an SEO strategy. Factually, DR is relative; you cannot take it out since some other side factors join in with DR to make a site rank. There is no one score to be considered good, in some cases, 40 might be good, and in others, you will need 80 to rank a website. Competition determines the matter.

Domain Authority, which makes up around 12.4% of the most important SEO factors is the next website reputation metric. Developed by MOZ, it is responsible for calculating a domain’s optimization power. The range of scores is again from zero to a hundred. DA score represents how well Google ranks a separate domain. There is also the concept of page authority, which measures the power of a specific page.

Let’s look at some key concepts of each, and features of both:

  • Both for DR and DA, the lower the number, the easier it is to grow. E.g., If your score is 30, it is far more feasible to make it 31 than if you want to reach 81 from 80. It reflects the “logarithmic scale” logic of the tools.
  • For accuracy, it is impossible, rather challenging to have 100 DR, even for top websites.
  • The calculation is based on the ‘DR juice’ that passes from domain to domain. Roughly speaking, the more do-follow backlinks a website has, the more ‘DR juice’ will be passed through and increase the rating. 
  • DA score is also calculated based on a domain’s number of authoritative backlinks.
  • A considerable number of low-quality, but NOT spam, links can increase your DR score.
  • Google ranks individual pages, not domains, which is why your focus should be on high-quality page content and backlines, which will boost search traffic and DR.  
  • Both metrics can be influenced by improving the overall optimization health of a domain, particularly a domain link profile from an authoritative website, content posting, and up-to-date internal links.  
  • Both are used as pre-campaign metrics to craft the SEO ranking strategy for a domain.
  • Neither MOZ nor Ahrefs let you check the authority of multiple domains simultaneously.

Does Google consider DR and DA authoritative?

All the profile improvement efforts are made to appeal to Google. However, the question is not only domain rating vs domain authority but if any is considered authoritative for Google. A similar calculation, PageRank, has been long used by Google to measure a page’s potential strength on a scale from zero to ten. Even though some rumors are spreading that the metric is dead, analysts at Google confirm that PageRank is a part of the search ranking algorithm. The logic of DR and DA score calculation is similar to that of PageRank. The score is extracted from the quantity and quality of links (both inbound and outbound) and the PageRank of individual linking pages. 

DR and DA base their metrics on the theory that Google’s algorithms rank a website page by the domain’s number of links. Even though Google does not use the DR and DA as guidelines, its ranking factors follow the same rules. The story’s moral is that Google explicitly does not care about DR score and DA score, but they are designed to appeal to the engine by relevance. 

An SEO pro analyzing Google metrics

How to check and improve the website DR? 

Since Ahrefs developed the metric, it has been the only accurate built-in tool to check your domain rating. To improve the score and bypass your competitors, you need to:

  • Grow the number of do-follow links to your domain.
  • Link to a website with a high DR score(Remember about DR juice? Nurture it).
  • Increase the number of domains linking to yours.
  • Increase the number of pages from one domain directing the link to yours.

How to check and improve the website DA?

MOZ has adopted the same logic and has a built-in tool for checking the DA score. It is a free tool that lets you check the DA of 20 domains one after the other. Improving a website’s DA score takes the following steps:

  • First, remember that its age conditions the DA of a website. The older the domain, the higher its Domain Authority score.
  • Acquire unique backlinks from single domains. This implies having one backlink from a domain with a high DA score will benefit more than having several backlinks from the same domain.
  • Have a mobile-friendly website for Google to index better.
  • Increase the number of social shares of your website.
  • Add a quantity of quality content to your website.
  • Improve the technical, on-page, and off-page SEO factors of your website.

The role of DR and DA in SEO link building

Regarding link building, Domain Rating vs Domain Authority translates into either one or the other according to the SEO specialist’s preferences.  Before starting a campaign, it is critical to check one of the scores to craft a more strategic link-building journey. It applies in the “battle” of on-page vs off-page SEO alike. It is also necessary to stick to one metric and follow the score of one since they will differ relatively and might cause confusion.

Marketers planning strategies based on analysis

One of the fundamentals an SEO agency aims at is building a backlink profile for a website to become visible. Links are known as boosters of a site on the SERP. A link-building specialist can only work by being aware and using the score. In SEO monitoring, DR or DA plays a critical and decisive role in planning and understanding where to direct efforts, time, and resources.

Tracking and measuring DR socre or DA score also helps to understand the domain’s potential for ranking and popularity. Since the aim is to grow the link base for the sake of ranking. The ranking formula is “the number of links your website has” + “the number of high-quality websites linking to you” = better metric=better ranking.

Insights and Takeaways from Domain Rating vs Domain Authority

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority is not a battle in SEO but rather a preference. Choosing between depends on individual wants. The main difference is that DR helps understand the strength of a domain’s backlink profile, and DA score gives a sense of which site will rank well. But let’s remember that one affects the other. However, at least being aware and having a grasp of each will assist an SEO specialist in building better campaigns and delivering results in no time. It is worth emphasizing that both metrics have a significant place in SEO.

The optimization strategy is nothing without understanding the competition. Even though Google has not claimed to base to rank a website on the metrics, both roles are proven effective for raising the page’s ranking. The logic works the same as the Google PageRank, thus making Ahrefs and MOZ trustworthy for the provided calculations. 


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