Domain Rating vs Domain Authority. What’s the difference? If you are just getting started with SEO, you may have heard the terms DR (domain rating) and DA (domain authority), but what are the differences between DR vs DA? They are both measurements of a website’s SEO score. Domain authority is a scoring system created by MOZ to determine a website’s SEO value, and Domain Ranking is a scoring system by Ahrefs.
What is domain authority?
Domain authority is a way to measure a website’s worth in backlinks. Google used to provide its own system, Google PageRank. SEO consultants and website owners could use Google’s Page Rank toolbar to determine how valuable it was to Google. However, this tool was quickly used by SEO companies to manipulate Google’s algorithm.
Webmasters started buying and selling backlinks to increase their PR. Google wants its search engine to provide the best, most organic search results. To cut down on the buying and selling of backlinks, Google realized they needed to remove their toolbar. It was providing webmasters with their “secret formula” for scoring websites and encouraging the buying and selling of links.
Without Google’s PR, webmasters had no easy way to tell what a website’s backlink profile looked like. Knowing how many backlinks a website has, and the quality of the backlinks a website has, is an important aspect of SEO. Search engine company, Moz, designed their own tool to help score websites’ SEO value.
Moz’s Domain Authority (DA) is one of the most popular metrics for measuring a website’s SEO value.
Like Google’s PR, Moz collects data to determine the number and quality of backlinks a website has pointing to it. It then gives the website (as well as each page of the website) a score. The score ranges from 0-100. The score is not just based on the number of total backlinks a site has, it also takes into account the quality of backlinks a website has. In other words, if a website has a backlink from a page that has a DR of 80, it has more value than a backlink from a page with a DR of 10.
Moz has its own Link Explorer. It is a web crawler that crawls through websites and indexes them in a similar manner as Google. Moz then uses the data it collects to give each website in its index a score. The score is based on a number of factors including a website’s backlink profile, spam score, and how much traffic the website gets.
What is Domain Rating?
Domain Rating is a tool created by Ahrefs. It is similar to Moz, but not as sophisticated. Ahrefs also measures a website’s backlink profile. They look at the number and quality of the backlinks that point to a website (and individual pages of a website). Ahrefs, like Moz, gives each website a score from 0-100. Ahrefs assigns SEO scores based on a website’s backlink profile only, and does not include other factors such as link spam, domain age, or how much traffic a website gets.
Is Moz Domain Authority (DA) better?
Moz’s DA uses different variables to score a website. They try to closely simulate Google’s ranking system. Your DA score tells you approximately how well your website will perform in SERPs. Mozhas its own proprietary ranking system. It evaluates websites based on their backlink profile, their spam score, and how much traffic the website receives. Although this is just an estimate of how a website will perform in Google, it is one of the best tools an SEO consultant can use to determine a website’s link value.
What makes Ahrefs Domain Rating valuable?
If you are working on SEO for your website, you should use both tools. Ahrefs DR provides good information on the link value of a website or page on a website. Ahrefs web crawler indexes more websites than Moz. Ahrefs has the second most active web crawler, second only to Google. Because of this, Ahrefs tends to update it’s domain rating (DR) more frequently than MOZ.
Key differences between DR vs DA
Ahref DR pros
Ahrefs crawls more websites, has a more up-to-date link profile, and is totally free to use. If you want to keep up with backlinks only for your website or your competitors, you can use Ahrefs backlink checker every day to stay informed.
Moz DA pros
Moz DA will give you a better picture of how a website will actually perform in SERPS. It will also provide you with a better estimate of the quality of a website you are interested in as a backlink prospect. However, Moz Domain Authority checker only provides you with three searches a day. If you want to check your DA or a competitor’s DA, you will need to pay for their premium tools.
A tip for website owners who don’t have the budget for a premium SEO tool. Ubersuggest offers similar tools as Moz for users who need a more affordable option. Ubersuggest also provides you with MOZ domain authority scores as well as other SEO tools. This is a good option for small businesses or users that only need to keep track of one website. You can check your DA for free up to three times a day on UberSuggest. If you use Ubersuggest’s DA tool, along with MOZ free tool, this will allow you to check your DA a total of 6 times a day.
Final thoughts on DR vs DA
When you are considering Domain Rating vs Domain Authority, you should understand they are both useful tools for SEO. However, neither Moz nor Ahrefs use Google’s proprietary algorithm or web crawler to determine their results. They are just estimates to help you with SEO. You should use good practices, and do your own research and experimentation to get the best results in SERPS. However, they are both useful tools for determining which websites to get backlinks from and to tell you how well your own website will perform in SERPs.
I am Patty Malowney, the creator of Badass Web Goddess. I am an Albuquerque SEO and digital marketing consultant. I started my first internet business in 2004 with a $40 garage sale computer and a whole lot of determination. I sold my first website, JustMommies.com to the dating company eHarmony.com in 2008. My website was acquired by another company where I worked as a consultant and editor until July, 2019.
After encouragement from friends and family, I decided to branch out on my own and start my own consulting business. I offer advice and services to local businesses on how they can rank better in Google.
In addition to running Badass Web Goddess, I am an avid blogger. I run several blogs including my internet marketing blog here at Badass Web Goddess. If you love my blog, Follow Me on Facebook or Twitter!