Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: Is There a Difference?

Domain rating (DR) and domain authority (DA) are two data metrics that help show a website’s popularity level. However, if you’re new to SEO or haven’t done that much research, it may be difficult to know the difference between the two data metrics. So, let’s get into more details.

What is Domain Rating?

Domain Rating (DR) is an imperative metric utilized in Ahrefs. It shows the relative strength of any site’s backlink profile. DR is measured using a logarithmic scale, ranging from 0 to 100, with “100” being the strongest.

Ahrefs DR Check

One of the top tools we use here at Nomadic Advertising to check a website’s DR is Ahrefs, although it’s not the only one. The website boasts an index of over 12 trillion links and nearly 200 million root domains. “Domain Rating (DR)” is a unique name Ahref uses for the general term “website authority.” On Ahrefs, DR frequently appears within their software interface.

Here’s an example:


To check your DR using Ahrefs, follow these steps:

  • Start by visiting Ahrefs’ Website Authority Checker page
  • Enter the domain name in the provided field and click “Check Authority.”
  • After taking those actions, you will see the website’s DR.

Other ways to check your DR outside Ahrefs include:

  • Small SEO Tools Domain Rating Checker – Another name for this tool is “Bulk Domain Rating Checker.” It identifies how good or bad a domain or website is by checking based on referring web pages.
  • SEO Review Tools (Browser Extension Available) – Similar to Small SEO Tools, this website allows individuals to paste their website domain and check its DR. The site also provides a Chrome Extension: “SEO Review Tools for Chrome”.
  • Search Engine Reports – This checker has the exact format of Small SEO Tools and SEO Review Tools. It’s a useful alternative.

What is a Good Domain Rating?

Generally, a good domain rating (DR) is any score of 35 or above. However, to really determine whether your Ahrefs domain rating is great, it may be best to compare it to your competitors. For instance, if you have a DR of 35 and most of your competitors have DRs of similar scores, then it’s alright. However, if your score is 35 but your competitors have much higher DRs, you need to improve yours.

What is Moz Domain Authority?

“Moz Domain Authority” is similar to “Ahrefs Domain Rating.” These two terms are used interchangeably by many to describe website authority.

Moz Domain authority is a score that predicts the possibility for a certain website to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). As with Domain Rating, Domain Authority (DA) scores range from 0 to 100, where higher scores signify an increased chance of Search Engine Rankings.

Check Your Moz DA

Moz is one of the major websites for checking a domain’s SEO authority. It’s also one of the best Google Chrome extensions for SEO.

Here’s how to use Moz’s Domain Authority as a Chrome extension to check your Domain Authority:

  1. Search “MozBar” extension on the Chrome web store
  2. Add the tool to chrome
  3. Activate the extension


After following those three steps, you may observe that MozBar highlights the Domain Authority of any site you visit.

With the MozBar extension, it’s also possible to see the DA scores on the search result pages (SERPs). This feature is great because it allows individuals or companies to see whether a specific site’s Domain Authority correlates with increased Search Engine Rankings for specific queries.

Other ways to check for your Domain Authority include:

  • Using the DA Checker from – This DA checker provides a field similar to Moz for users to paste their domain or URL. You may need to use the reCAPTCHA feature to verify you’re not a robot. After that, you can click the “Check Authority” button to check your DA.
  • Small SEO Tools Domain Authority Checker – You can check the DA score of any desired website on Small SEO Tools by pasting the desired URL into the site’s search box and clicking “Check Authority.”
  • Pre-Post SEO – Unlike most other checkers, Pre-Post SEO allows users to paste up to 10 web pages (when using the free version) or 500 pages (when using its Pro version).

What is a Good Domain Authority Score?

Generally, a domain score between 50 and 60 can be considered a good domain score. When the score falls above 60, it’s excellent. However, knowing what a good or bad score is can be difficult based on the number alone. The reason for that is that, in reality, there’s no perfect number since Domain Authority is a comparative metric.

Domain Rating vs. Domain Authority: What are the Key Differences?

Both DR and DA should fulfill the same purpose: determining website authority. However, both of these scores still have unique features. Here are some key differences to look out for:

Metric developers

Domain Rating (DR) is a metric developed by Ahrefs, while Domain Authority is a metric from MozBar. Both of these developers or providers are well-known SEO tools. However, they are separate companies with separate visions, missions, values, and goals. For instance:

  • Moz only provides keyword research data for Google, while Ahrefs does that for ten different search engines.
  • Ahrefs contextualizes SEO data more thoroughly compared to Moz.
  • Ahrefs is a better tool for identifying broken links (both inbound and outbound) than MozBar.

Data Provided

The data you get when running DR checks differs from that of DA checks. For DR, you may see metrics relating to the number of high-quality backlinks and the number of do-follow links from other websites. On the other hand, DA tracks a few more ranking factors.

These factors may include:

  • Domain authority score
  • Spam score
  • Top pages by links
  • Page authority scores
  • Keywords by estimated clicks
  • Branded keywords

One factor that may be responsible for the different numbers is the purpose of each metric. A DR score is to understand the strength of a backlink profile.

Method of Calculation

For Ahrefs, the method of calculation involves:

  1. Scanning for all domains that have a minimum of one do-follow link
  2. Reviewing and analyzing the number of other domains the linking domain connects to, asides from the main website
  3. Calculating “link juice” by dividing the DR score of the linking domain by the total number of unique domains it remains connected to

Domain Rating vs. Domain Authority: Is One More Important than the Other?


Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) are equally important metrics for SEO. However, many digital marketers believe Domain Rating (DR) is much more important. Before Domain Rating and Domain Authority, marketers only had PageRank to determine whether a website would rank high on Google. The better the high-quality backlinks, the higher it ranks on Google.

Even though the backlinks algorithm is no longer applicable to Google, it still plays a significant role in ranking. Unfortunately, the DA score doesn’t focus primarily on backlinks for a Search Engine Ranking Score. Instead, it focuses on scores like domain age, spam score, and traffic of the website.

SEO & Authority

Website authority in an SEO company is a concept that refers to the “strength” of a specific domain. A domain’s strength refers to its ability to rank high in the Search Engine Result Pages or pass its “link juice” to other websites.

Website authority metrics like DR significantly impact an SEO strategy for various reasons. For example, improving DR can directly improve page rankings through:

  • More “Link Juice”

Link juice refers to the value of a page that gets passed to other pages. With more link juice, the search engine gets more confidence in the authenticity and validity of the page.

Link Juice impacts SEO ranking. The more quality “link juice” one has, the higher the chances of better website ranking. You may get better link juice when you link to authoritative websites.

  • Better Rankings with Improved Backlinks

Backlinks are vital to show search engines that other sites can vouch for your content. It also proves that the website is trustworthy and, for this reason, should have a better ranking on SERPs.

  • Internal Linking

A website with high authority or DR doesn’t need to depend on external links or outbound links. The site can take advantage of its own “link juice” by pointing at its pages and utilizing internal links. Note that we advise you to always watch out for the quality of links pointing at your other web pages.

Is Domain Authority Important for SEO?

Since Domain Authority (DA) is another name that describes website authority, it’s undoubtedly important for SEO. Without a good DA, your website will not be properly optimized. For this reason, you should always try to improve your current DA. A good DA with make your SEO efforts that much more effective, making your website considerably more visible.


Some SEO strategies that directly relate to improving your DA include:

  • Optimizing website structure and user experience: One major factor in calculating domain authority is the website’s structure and how user-friendly it is. A proper structure allows search engines to index web pages in search results.
  • Choose keywords based on the DA: Use DA as the go-to metric for knowing whether a specific website can compete with pages already ranking well enough on page one. Look out for relevant keywords to implement.
  • Identify SEO’s priorities: Since DA is a significantly comparative metric, one of the major methods of utilizing the score is considering the competition. For instance, if the DA is higher than those of competitors, standard content will likely get the webpage to rank best. Perform good competitor analysis to optimize SEO efforts.
  • Follow Google’s Guidelines: Ensure you stick to Google’s guidelines. For instance, the blog’s author should be an expert in the topic or a significant authority. Linking to authoritative sites is also advisable.

SEO and Domain Rating

Many websites aim to get ranked in the first pages of Google or any other significant search engine. However, to achieve that, you’ll need to apply a good SEO strategy that tailors to the current DR or strives to improve it. Here are some of the SEO strategies that may help:

  • DR as a benchmark against direct competitors: In SEO, comparing your DR to other brands can give additional data that’s important to boost your SEO rating. Using Ahrefs DR as a benchmark against direct competitors can help individuals know which competitors perform better and provide insight into boosting rankings.
  • Link Prospecting: An SEO strategy that DR is useful for is link building. Ahrefs’ DR is a great metric that would help measure how useful a site is for your backlink strategy and how much value the individual may get from linking to the website. Link prospecting is important because it helps highlight authoritative websites or authoritative domains.

How to Increase Domain Authority 2023

If you want an increase in organic traffic on your site through better ranking on Google, it’s important to work on increasing Domain Authority. However, remember that Domain Authority does not entirely define SEO success. That’s why we advise you to check all other necessary boxes in the SEO industry.

Here are some of the most reliable ways we at Nomadic Advertising advise you to go about increasing your DA:

High Domain Authority Backlinks

Generally, backlinks play a role in calculating Domain Authority and are also one of the most important domain ranking factors in SEO. However, it’s important not to compromise on link quality by using bad links or spam links. According to a study by Ahrefs, up to 55.24% of websites don’t benefit from organic traffic since they don’t have backlinks. Hence, it’s always important to prioritize having a strong backlink profile.

Create High-Quality Content

One of the oldest tricks in the book for improving DA and organic traffic is getting better at content creation. Creating unique and trustworthy content is imperative so other sites can naturally discover your website and link to it. An advisable method to follow is writing a suitable keyword-targeted post that ranks. A blogger or business may discover that high-quality content and decide to link back to it.

Get Listed in Directories

If you run a small business, we advise you to try getting your domain listed across online directories, as it’s both a high-impact and cost-effective way of increasing your DA. Generally, getting listed in directories will help increase organic traffic since it improves social presence. It would also help in attracting new customers and improving a business’s reputation. Creating a new local citation creates a new backlink to your website.

Consider Utilizing Broken Link Building

Broken link building helps in finding link opportunities suitable for elevating DA scores. The process involves:

  1. Using a backlink analyzer tool to discover broken links or spam links on other websites
  2. Create content that can be suitable as a replacement for the missing resource
  3. Reach out to the website’s editor and offer your well-crafted content as a replacement for the spammy links.

How to Increase Domain Rating

The necessary steps for increasing Ahrefs DR are similar to that of DA. Start by building more followed links to your website, and the Ahrefs DR score will increase. Taking that step may also help in building organic traffic to the site. We advise that you take time to follow the necessary steps to increase Domain Authority as they are significantly similar to that of Domain Rating.

Improving your website’s organic traffic and boosting your SEO is always crucial as a business or an individual. For this reason, you should try to focus on building high-quality links for every webpage on your site. Naturally, your DR or DA should increase due to the process. Although the method to increase your ranking is necessary and you we highly encourage you to put in the time it requires, we understand the process can be complex. This is why we recommend you reach out to professionals like us, at Nomadic Advertising, to get the best results.

Our experts and Nomadic Advertising can help with all the technicalities around Search Engine Optimization so you no longer have to worry about the constant need to improve your DR or DA. Click here to contact us today and claim your FREE 30-minute strategy session. Let’s get your website in shape for a better rank on SERPs!


1. How often does domain authority update?

Most DA tools, including MozBar, update the Domain Authority in a month. In some cases, it takes less than a month – three weeks. While in some other cases the tool updates in a full month. A good rule of thumb is to wait 30 days after making changes on your webpage or website to see new scores.

2. How long does it take to increase domain authority?

The time it takes to increase Domain Authority could be anywhere from a few days to weeks. However, it’s imperative to note that the changes may not reflect until the full 30 days period is complete. In some cases, it only takes three weeks for a direct impact on the DA score.

3. Is domain age a ranking factor?

Google’s search engine algorithm does not use domain age as a primary ranking factor. However, older domains usually have more factors to their favor that help ranking. Examples include content quality and backlinks.

4. Are DA and DR the same in SEO?

No, DA and DR are not the same in SEO. Both DR and DA are metrics used in calculating website authority, but the calculation methods and providers of these metrics are different.


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