What Are the Different SEO Authority Scores? DA, DR, TF & CF Explained!

Lana Rafaela
Updated on

Getting your page up a notch on Google can leave you baffled if you’re not familiar with SEO. But even if you are, you may not be looking further from the Domain Authority score.

In reality, there are four critical SEO authority scores. And today, I’ll show you how each affects your rankings. 

Let’s take a look!

How Do Different Authority Scores Affect Websites?

A rock-solid SEO plan that helps your page rank higher on SERPs is the ideal way to get in front of more people. One of the critical elements of this plan is the authority scores. 

The higher your authority, the more traffic your website receives.

But, since Google won’t share its secret formulas with us, different companies came up with proxies to Google algorithms to show you where you stand.

What Is Domain Authority?

Domain Authority is a metric created by Moz. It evaluates how likely your website is to rank in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

To predict this, DA factors in the total number of links to your website, AKA your backlink profile. When considering your Domain Authority, Moz also looks at the authority of the linking domains.

For example, if you get backlinks from publications like The New York Times, Moz will increase your Domain Authority score. 

Essentially, Moz predicts how likely it is for Google to show Domain A vs. Domain B in its search results. 

Based on that, it adjusts your score.

Does Domain Authority Affect Your Ranking?

The metric doesn’t affect your ranking. But the backlinks do. 

Google uses links to understand content, and each backlink is a vote of confidence in your website. The goal is to get “votes” from established websites. 

The DA of your website is directly proportional to the relevance and trust factor. The higher the number of backlinks (and their DA) to your website, the higher your DA score. 

This metric is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, with the latter considered the best.

What Is Domain Rating?

Similar to Moz’s Domain Authority, Ahrefs has a Domain Rating score. It uses backlinks to establish your reputation, especially in terms of your backlink size and quality. 

Then, it compares your number of backlinks with other websites’ backlinks to determine your Domain Rating.

What Is the Difference Between Domain Authority and Domain Rating?

Domain Rating only looks at the strength of your backlink profile. 

Domain Authority, on the other hand, predicts how well you’ll rank on the SERPs.

Both DA and DR use backlinks as the main signal of trust (since links are what Google uses). 

What Is Page Authority?

Like your domain gets a score with quality backlinks and their DA score, every page on your website also gets a score in Page Authority. 

PA is another metric created by Moz that comes in handy when streamlining your SEO strategies. Unlike DA, Page Authority doesn’t look at your entire website’s trustworthiness. Instead, it evaluates every single page’s ability to rank. 

A good page with relevant and trustworthy backlinks and quality content that has been there for ages ranks well on page authority. 

In turn, this signals that you’re building trust with searchers. 

Does Page Authority Affect Your Ranking?

Moz’s metric doesn’t affect you, but the backlinks do. 

Link building is one of the staples of SEO. The more links your page gets from relevant referring domains, the higher it will rank. 

How Important Are Majestic’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow?

While DA and PA help analyze and increase your website’s ranking on SERPs, it’s Trust Flow and Citation Flow that determine the quality of your links.

What Is Trust Flow?

Trust Flow (TF) measures your page’s trustworthiness. It looks at the quality of your links and the quality of websites linking to yours. 

As Majestic themselves say:

“Trustworthy sites tend to link to trustworthy neighbors.”

What Is Citation Flow? 

Citation Flow (CF) evaluates the volume of your links (or the ‘link juice’) and how it impacts your website’s score and relevance.

Majestic SEO created these two metrics, and while they may not define your rankings, they show you how your links are performing. This eventually allows you to increase rankings and your topical authority. 

Other Majestic Authority Metrics

In addition to Trust and Citation Flow, known for their link-first approach, Majestic also offers other metrics:

  • Topical Trust Flow
  • Visibility Flow
  • Search Flow

Topical trust, in particular, looks at highly-specialized websites. 

Once Majestic’s algorithm defines a pool of websites as the central authorities on a topic, it’ll give more weight to other websites in the niche that receive backlinks from them.

Do Authority Scores Affect Your Actual Authority?

Google doesn’t recognize DA, PA, TF, and CF as official metrics. 

It won’t use them specifically to rank your website. 

However, these metrics are an excellent proxy to Google’s actual algorithms. Think of them as roadmaps to improving your SEO. 

They provide a window into how Google sees your site so you can proactively build a strategy instead of acting on a random idea and hoping for the best.

How to Increase Your Domain Authority (and Other Authority Scores)

Fortunately, the four scores aren’t so wildly different that you have to spread yourself thin to cover all bases. 

Most of them focus on links and on-page experience.

Improve Your Website Responsiveness

Before we get into backlinks, let’s talk about prerequisite optimization. Your website has to be instantly responsive. Your pages need to adapt to different devices without glitches even to be considered for the ranking.

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Reduce Your Page Load Time

Your page needs to load in 0.5-2 seconds. Otherwise, searchers won’t wait for it to load. This will increase your bounce rate, which is not suitable for your SEO. 

Make sure you optimize your site regularly to ensure it’s responsive and fast.

Build Your Backlink Profile

Regularly work on getting more organic (white-hat) backlinks from high-authority pages. 

Most SEOs do this through outreach and by creating relevant content. 

Some of the best content types that get links from other sites include:

  • Compilations of statistics
  • Advice from experts
  • In-depth resources

Connect with other people in your niche to get relevant guest-posting opportunities on websites with DA higher than yours. 

Don’t participate in link-building schemes. Google could penalize your site for it. 

Keep an Eye on Your Competition’s DA

Don’t try to compete with big sites when you first start improving your SEO. 

Instead, begin by competing with those with similar Domain Authority (up to 30).

Analyze their backlink profiles and see where they’re getting links.

Adjust Your Keyword Strategy

If your Domain Authority is 9, you can’t rank fast for a keyword with competitors whose DA scores are 70 and up.

Instead, focus on keywords where low-DA websites rank in prominent positions

This is a good sign that the SERP doesn’t have enough tailored content. If you can create better content than your big competitors, you can rank in these SERPs.  

Analyze your seed keywords with LowFruits. You’ll instantly see the weak spots and SERPs that you can leverage to grow your topical authority.

Authority Scores – Your SEO Roadmap

Google doesn’t use Domain Authority or Citation Flow. But since we’re not privy to its algorithms, Authority Scores are a good proxy that shows us what to improve. 

At the end of the day, only two things matter: good content that meets the searcher’s intent and votes of confidence from other authoritative sites.

Start building, and, soon enough, you’ll make your way to the top. 

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