A Short Guide to Domain Rating (DR) from Ahrefs

Improving your website’s SEO is a long-term project, but if you’re new to the world of digital marketing it can seem like even more of a challenge. One term you may have come across before is domain rating, and if you use analytics tools, you may even know what your score is.

Domain rating can be a really useful metric to pay attention to when optimising your website, what does it actually mean? In this blog, you’ll find all the information you need to start leveraging your domain rating to achieve higher rankings.

What is Domain Rating?

Domain rating is a scoring system developed by Ahrefs that allows you to gauge how likely it is that your site will rank well on Google. There are lots of different factors that contribute to your domain rating, such as the length of time that your website has existed and the number of backlinks you have. However, domain rating isn’t an exact science and nobody knows exactly how the algorithm calculates your score.

Your Ahrefs domain rating will always be between 1 and 100, which is the scale that most other domain authority checkers use as well. Ahrefs is just one of the many tools you can use to get an idea of how strong your domain is and whether it has a good chance of ranking.

What is a Good Domain Rating?

In theory, the higher your domain rating is, the better your site will rank. However, every website is different and a small business with local customers won’t need the same domain rating as a multinational corporation.

The best way to determine what a good domain rating is for your website is by looking at how your competitors compare. It doesn’t matter that there are websites out there with much higher domain scores than you, as long as you’re within a sensible range for your industry you should have a good chance of ranking.

Calculating Your Domain Rating

Luckily, you don’t need to actively calculate your own domain rating – Ahrefs has already done it for you. To access your score, you can use their free website authority checker, which will give you your domain rating score, the number of backlinks you have and how many different websites link to yours. However, if you’re already using a tool like Moz or SEMrush, you’ll be able to use them to access a similar domain authority score.

Factors that Impact Your Domain Rating

There is a myriad of factors that impact your domain rating, but as most of them are tied to SEO practices, there’s a good chance you’re already aware of at least some of them. When trying to improve your domain rating, keep in mind the following:

·        Age of your website: All websites begin with a domain rating of 1 when they’re first created. As time passes, your website will gradually gain authority.

·        Number and quality of backlinks: Having a large number of links from domains with a high rating and strong industry presence will help you to increase your own domain rating. Low-quality backlinks could harm your progress, however, so it’s best to build high-quality links more slowly than lots of less valuable links as fast as you can.

·        Quality of content: Content that is well-optimised for your target keywords and provides real value to your audience will help you increase your domain rating. Not only this, but it should rank better and have a good chance of generating backlinks organically as well.

·        Page authority: It’s not just your domain as a whole that has an authority rating, but each individual page as well. The more pages you have with a higher authority, the more likely you are to increase your domain rating as well.

·        Internal linking: Logical internal linking structures make it easier for both users and search engines to understand your website. This means that pages are more likely to rank and your domain rating should start to increase.

Having a low domain rating doesn’t necessarily mean your site has no chance of ranking, but taking steps to increase your authority will only pay off in the long run. Keep track of how your domain rating develops as you put more SEO strategies in place, and if you see your score gradually climbing higher, you will know you’re on the right path.

Gareth Hoyle
Share this post