Difference Between Domain Rating vs Domain Authority

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority - Digital Marites

In the constantly evolving field of SEO, understanding the metrics that impact a website’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs) is crucial. SEO professionals often grapple with two essential metrics: Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA).

These metrics provide insights into a website’s backlink profile, domain age, and overall strength in search engines. This blog post will delve deep into Domain Rating vs Domain Authority, elucidating their differences, similarities, and importance in SEO.


What Is Domain Rating?

Domain Rating (DR) is a metric expanded by Ahrefs to evaluate the strength of a website’s backlink profile. A high DR score indicates that a website has a robust number of high-quality inbound and outbound links.

This score scope from 0 to 100, with higher scores signifying a stronger backlink profile and, consequently, a higher chance of ranking on search engines.

Why is Domain Rating Important for SEO?

Domain Rating is vital in SEO, providing a comprehensive view of a website’s link-building efforts. A high domain rating score indicates a website with quality links pointing to it, which search engines consider when ranking web pages.

Let’s consider two companies in the organic skincare industry, Company A and Company B. Company A has a robust backlink profile with links from high DR websites, earning it a DR score of 75.

In contrast, Company B has fewer quality backlinks, reflected in its lower DR score of 30. The higher DR score of Company A indicates trustworthiness and authority in the skincare niche, which search engines reward with higher rankings on SERPs.

This leads to increased organic traffic, brand visibility, and customer trust. Conversely, with its lower DR score, Company B needs help to gain visibility and attract organic traffic, limiting its brand exposure and growth opportunities.

This scenario highlights the crucial role of Domain Rating in SEO, emphasizing the need for quality link-building strategies to enhance online presence and outperform competitors in search engine rankings.

How is Domain Rating Calculated?

Domain Rating is calculated based on the quantity and quality of linking root domains pointing to a website. The calculation also considers the DR scores of the linking domains, ensuring that links from high DR websites contribute more to the score.

Moreover, both inbound and outbound links are considered in the DR calculation.

What is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric expanded by Moz to foretell how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. Like DR, the domain authority score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher domain authority scores indicating a more extraordinary ability to rank.

DA considers multiple factors, including linking root domains, the number of total links, and the MozRank and MozTrust.

Why is Domain Authority Important for SEO?

A high DA score signifies a website’s credibility and the likelihood of ranking higher on SERPs. It provides insights into the overall strength of a website in search engines, enabling SEO professionals to gauge the competitiveness of a site in its niche.

Moreover, understanding a website’s Domain Authority can guide link-building strategies and SEO optimizations. Consider two online fitness blogs, Blog X and Blog Y. Blog X, with quality content and backlinks from reputable sites, boasts a DA score of 80.

In contrast, despite good content, Blog Y has a lower engagement in SEO strategies and a DA score of 40. Blog X’s high DA score signals its authority and credibility, making it likely to rank higher on SERPs, attract more organic traffic, and increase engagement and revenue.

With its lower DA, Blog Y needs more visibility, limiting its reach and growth potential. This scenario succinctly illustrates the importance of Domain Authority in SEO, emphasizing its impact on a website’s visibility, traffic, and growth.

How is Domain Authority Calculated?

Moz calculates domain authority by evaluating multiple factors, as well as the number of linking root domains, the quality and relevance of inbound links, and the website’s overall link profile. Domain age and the number of web pages can also impact the DA score. Moz’s Domain Authority is constantly updated to reflect these factors accurately.

What’s The Difference Between Domain Rating and Domain Authority?

While both Domain Rating and Domain Authority assess a website’s likelihood of ranking on search engines by examining linking domains, there are notable differences. DR focuses primarily on the website’s backlink profile, whereas DA considers additional factors such as MozRank, MozTrust, domain age, and the overall link profile.

Consider two online bookstores, Bookstore Alpha, focusing on improving Domain Rating (DR), and Bookstore Beta, working on boosting Domain Authority (DA). Bookstore Alpha enhances its backlink profile by securing links from high DR websites, increasing its DR score but still noticing variations in rankings due to DR’s focus solely on backlinks.

Meanwhile, Bookstore Beta adopts a comprehensive approach, optimizing site structure, user experience, content relevance, and acquiring quality backlinks. This multifaceted strategy results in a higher DA score and more stable rankings on search engine result pages.

This example briefly highlights the key difference: while DR concentrates on the strength of the backlink profile, DA provides a broader perspective, accounting for multiple factors influencing search engine rankings.

Similarities Between Domain Rating and Domain Authority

Similarities Between Domain Rating and Domain Authority - Digital Marites

Despite their differences, DR and DA share similarities. Both metrics use a scale from 0 (or 1 for DA) to 100 to represent the website’s ability to rank on search engines.

To calculate the respective scores, they assess the quality and quantity of linking root domains and the strength of a website’s backlink profile. Imagine two travel bloggers, Blogger Green and Blogger Blue, both aiming to increase their online presence.

They focus on creating quality content and earning high-quality backlinks from authoritative travel sites. As a result, both bloggers observe a simultaneous rise in their Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) scores, leading to improved visibility and higher rankings on search engine result pages (SERPs).

This example succinctly illustrates the main similarity between DR and DA: both are fundamentally influenced by the quality and quantity of a website’s backlink profile. Improving these aspects impacts overall SEO performance and online presence.


Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: Which One Is More Important?

Both DR and DA are significant in SEO, but their importance depends on the specific goals of the SEO strategy. If the focus is purely on building a strong backlink profile, DR might be more relevant.

However, DA is the go-to metric for a holistic view of a website’s strength and competitiveness on search engines.


How to Check Domain Rating and Domain Authority 

Navigating the digital landscape requires understanding your site’s standing, and checking Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) is pivotal. Below are three methods, with examples, to check these scores:

Ahrefs Tool (for Domain Rating)

Ahrefs offers a comprehensive tool to check a website’s Domain Rating. Input the website URL to get the DR score and an overview of the backlink profile.


  • Step 1: Navigate to the Ahrefs website.
  • Step 2: Enter the URL of your website in the Site Explorer search bar.
  • Step 3: The tool will generate a report where you can view your DR score alongside other SEO metrics.

Moz’s Link Explorer (for Domain Authority)

MozBar is a browser extension provided by Moz, enabling users to check any website’s Domain Authority quickly and efficiently.


  • Step 1: Visit Moz’s Link Explorer.
  • Step 2: Input your website URL into the search bar.
  • Step 3: After running the search, you will find your DA score displayed along with other link metrics.

SEMrush (for Both DR and DA)

A comprehensive digital marketing suite, SEMrush offers tools ranging from keyword research to site audits. A potent backlink checker is among its arsenal, which offers profound insights into any site’s link profile.


  • Step 1: Head to the SEMrush dashboard.
  • Step 2: Enter your website’s URL in the domain overview search bar.
  • Step 3: The resulting report will show your Domain Rating and Domain Authority scores and additional details on your website’s SEO standing.

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority: How To Increase

Domain Rating vs Domain Authority - Digital Marites

Increasing both DR and DA involves:

  • Enhancing the website’s backlink profile.
  • Creating high-quality content.
  • Obtaining links from high DR/DA websites.

Consistency in link-building efforts and focusing on the relevance and quality of links are crucial for improvement.

How To Increase Domain Rating

Increasing your Domain Rating (DR) is crucial for enhancing your website’s visibility on search engine result pages (SERPs) and attracting more organic traffic. Here are several strategies to boost your DR:

  • Build High-Quality Backlinks: Focus on obtaining backlinks from high DR websites, as these significantly impact your DR score.
  • Content Marketing: Create and promote high-quality, relevant content to attract natural backlinks.
  • Remove Bad Links: Regularly audit your link profile and remove or disavow low-quality or spammy links.
  • Social Media Sharing: Actively share and promote your content on social media platforms. It increases visibility, which can lead to more natural backlinks.
  • Competitor Analysis: Analyze the backlink profiles of your competitors. Identify where they are getting their backlinks from and target those sources.

How To Increase Domain Authority

Boosting your Domain Authority (DA) is integral for elevating your website’s performance on search engine result pages (SERPs) and gaining more organic traffic. Here are several effective strategies to enhance your DA:

  • Optimize On-Page Content: Ensure the content is relevant, high-quality, and optimized for SEO.
  • Build a Strong Internal Link Structure: Interlink web pages adequately to distribute link equity throughout the site.
  • Remove Toxic Backlinks: Regularly audit and remove harmful links pointing to your website.
  • Enhance User Experience: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as Google uses mobile-first indexing. Optimize your site’s load speed by compressing images, using efficient coding, and leveraging browser caching.
  • Social Media Presence: Preserve an active presence on appropriate social media platforms and engage with your audience by sharing content and participating in discussions. Create content encouraging sharing on social media platforms, increasing your website’s visibility and potential for quality backlinks.
  • Earn High-Quality Backlinks: Reach out to reputable sites in your niche for guest posting and collaboration opportunities. Create and share engaging infographics and visual content that others would want to link to.
  • Promote User Engagement: Encourage user comments and discussions on your web pages and blog posts. Actively respond to user queries and comments to foster a sense of community and improve user engagement.
  • Strengthen Technical SEO: Ensure your website is secure by using SSL certificates, as security is a ranking factor for Google. Keep your XML sitemap clean and structured, submitting it to search engine webmaster tools for better indexing.

Final Thoughts

Understanding and optimizing Domain Rating and Domain Authority are pivotal for improving a website’s visibility on search engines. While both metrics provide valuable insights into a website’s ability to rank, they serve different purposes and are calculated differently.

Balancing the focus on both DR and DA can yield comprehensive SEO results. Consider partnering with Digital Marites, your trusted SEO experts, to enhance your domain ranking.

Our team specializes in boosting both Domain Rating and Domain Authority through strategic link building and SEO optimization, ensuring your website stands out on search engine result pages.



Can I increase Domain Rating and Domain Authority simultaneously?

Yes, by focusing on building a robust backlink profile and optimizing your website, you can improve both DR and DA.

How often are DR and DA updated?

DR and DA are regularly updated, with Moz updating Domain Authority approximately every month and Ahrefs’ DR being updated more frequently.

Is a higher DR/DA score always better?

While a higher score is generally beneficial, focusing on the relevance and quality of the backlinks and the overall SEO strategy is essential.

Do search engines use DR and DA for ranking websites?

While search engines don’t directly use DR or DA for ranking, these metrics provide insights into factors influencing ranking, such as the quality and quantity of backlinks.

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