Overview

Domain authority is a metric that’s widely accepted as the SEO strength of a website. There might not be any direct correlation between the domain authority and the organic performances of the website always. 

In my experience as an SEO I have seen domain authority drop for various reasons 

  • Reduction in the number of ranking keywords
  • Lack of freshness in the pages : drops the authority of the older pages which collectively adds up to the entire domain strength! 
  • Loss of older backlinks ( poor quality backlinks) 
  • Internal Google indexing issues which technically isn’t any of our fault
  • Better performances of our competitor websites which affects our domain authority
  • Drop in core web vitals and page speed and page experience metrics
  • An google algorithm Update
  • Security issues 

Related Blog : WordPress Security Plugins | Keep Hackers and Intruders away! (2022 Guide)

Insights Section:

  • Did you know? : Did you know that Google updates its algorithm at least 500-600 times a year.
  • It is said that a domain authority of 40-50 is pretty good and anything over 60 is considered excellent!

Here’s the important thing to remember when it comes to domain authority:

  • It is a third party metric which is created by Moz and it is an relative metric

Insights about Domain Authority : What do I mean by relative metric? 

Relative metric as in it takes all the websites in your niche into consideration. If a bunch of your competitors do worse than you, then our authority would increase even if we didn’t exactly do anything to deserve the rise. 

Similarly even if we didn’t do anything wrong, our authority might drop if our competitor websites suddenly start performing better! 

Now you get the hang of it? 

So if our website’s authority has dropped, it DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN WE DID SOMETHING WRONG. 

Anyways, now that we have a better understanding of what domain authority is and how it works, let’s jump into what we should do if there’s a drop in domain authority:

THINGS TO DO IF OUR DOMAIN AUTHORITY DROPS:

Drop-in-DA-checklist
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Check for the recent Google algorithm Updates :

Google algorithm updates happen quite often but there’ll be core algorithm updates that roll out twice or thrice every year. 

Keep an eye out for these since there’ll be drastic changes in website performances and domain authority around these updates and changes. 

As an SEO we need to stay updated with the recent news about SEO always but I understand if we do fail to stay updated from time to time. 

Anyways here’s some good websites to keep track of all the SEO news :

  • Search engine journal
  • Search engine land
  • Twitter Lists and feeds

Checking for manual errors :

This has never happened to me personally since I make sure that my website does not follow any harmful practices that would end up in us getting some harsh Google Penalties. 

But sometimes someone from our team might end up doing something which would cause some errors to pop up in the search console. So do check your search console often to make sure there are no serious errors which could cause some major problems in our website’s SEO growth. 

Website audit:

Performing website audits every month is a good practice. Even if we have a small website with under 100 pages, many things could go wrong! 

  • There might be low quality pages that we are unaware of. 
  • There could be 404 errors
  • Someone might have published a new page without our knowledge and that page could have some minor ON SITE SEO errors or could use some potential improvements
  • There could be some backlink spam from our competitors which could end up hurting us quite badly! 
  • There could be some broken links 

This is especially important if we have lost some domain authority. Just to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

There are many online website audit tools and backlink audit tools available out there that could make this task easier! 

Related Blog : SEO Audit Checklist | Fix your Websites SEO today! (2022)

Check performance metrics:

Like I mentioned before, drops in certain metrics can affect our domain authority since it’s all interconnected.  So once you notice a drop in your DA, check your metrics. 

First it’s very important to monitor and track all our performance metrics every single week to quickly analyze this and understand what went wrong. 

Heres some important SEO metrics to monitor:

  • Organic rankings
  • Ranking keywords
  • Number of reffering domains
  • Number of backlinks

If possible monitor these metrics for our blogs as well :

  • Page authority
  • Referring domains
  • Backlinks
  • Ranking keywords
  • SERP stats for target keyword

These would paint the best picture of the SEO strength of our website. 

Competitor analysis: 

Drop in Domain Authority : Competitor analysis checklist
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After doing all these, if we still can’t figure out what actually went wrong, then the last method to understand the drop in authority is this :this Analyzing competitors

What metrics should we actually measure? 

  1. Referring domains and backlinks
  2. What kind of backlinks did they acquire ( Using Moz tool) 
  3. The new pages that they published ( Ahrefs top pages + Recent filter) 
  4. Their ranking keywords 
  5. Their social media presence and other related platforms they have to reach our audience
  6. Kind of content and resources they have so we can try and understand why their pages have better authority

This needs to be done specifically for all the competitors who increased their authority when our authority had dropped. 

Summary :

One needs to understand that domain authority is a relative metric and isn’t a direct correlation of the organic performance of a website. Anyways one needs to analyze the website for errors with proper SEO audits, checking manual errors, performance metrics and google updates and finally analyzing our competitors websites to understand why the drop happened!

FAQ section:

  • How important is Domain Authority

Domain Authority is generally considered to be the SEO strength of the website but it doesn’t have too much significance since it’s not a direct indication of how well the website performs organically. It is just a relative metric.

  • What is a good Domain Authority?

People often say that a domain authority of over 50 is really good but I have seen websites with over a DA 50 with barely any organic traffic. So a good organic traffic and ranking keywords is a better measure of website performance!

  • How can I find my Domain Authority ?

Visit the Website MOZ and check the Domain Analysis tool nd plug in your domain URL there!

  • What is the highest Domain Authority?

A domain Authority ranges from 1-100 and hence the highest domain Authority is 100

Hope this article helped! 

Author Section:

Written By Sai Subramaniam

Sai has over four years experience in SEO and digital marketing building and running successful SEO campaigns for over 10 companies. He share’s the strategies and insights from his experience in this blog to help other SEO’s and content writer’s from around the world!

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