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Domain Authority in Relation to PageRank

After discussing Google’s PageRank algorithm in class, I wanted to learn more about other ranking algorithms that are used on the web. As a recap, the PageRank algorithm was developed by Larry Page and, as quoted from the article linked below, “is a simple measurement of links and link equity.” In other words, Google scans a certain site and measures the number of links pointing to that site, and in addition, measures the authority of that site based on the number of credible links pointing to it. In the end, a site with a higher number of quality links pointing to it, will have a better PageRank. While this algorithm seems like a useful tool to process search requests, as noted in the article, “PageRank has decreased in value over the last several years”, and this decline in popularity has lead to the increased use of other ranking algorithms such as Domain Authority.

Domain Authority is a metric created by, and is a more accurate indication of the value of a given site. Domain Authority is calculated using a wider range of metrics including:

  • Number of quality incoming links
  • Number of quality outgoing links
  • Domain Age – older domains have more time to establish trust
  • Link diversity – Better to have smaller number of links from a wider array of credible sites
  • PageRank itself – Moz uses PageRank in the Domain Authority calculation.
  • And many more metrics…

In terms of the key differences between the algorithms, Domain Authority is more actively used since PageRank seems to have fallen in utility over the past few years. It is also clear from the above bullet points that Domain Authority gives a more complete ranking of a page, while the PageRank algorithm is limited to measuring the influence of links to a page. In addition, DA is measured on a scale of 0 – 100, while PageRank is on a scale of 0 – 10, meaning that DA is more accurate for measuring similar sites. In conclusion, the Domain Authority algorithm is a more active, up to date metric that ranks websites in a more holistic manner. In the future it is entirely possible that the PageRank algorithm is completely removed from Google’s interface, allowing newer and better measurements such as Domain Authority to take its place.



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October 2015