What Are Domain Authority and Spam Score and How to Check Them

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Yes, we used domain authority and spam score in a single sentence!

While they might sound like a couple of heavy-duty, niche words, if you are trying to run an online business, it is quite important to get a fair grip on what they stand for. Don’t panic, take a deep breath. It is not that big of a deal, so you might as well just give them a go.

If we were to sum it up in the painless way possible, these two represent grades in a somewhat extreme competition: getting to be the first one on Google’s Search Result Page!

Basically, they are grading your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) attempts.

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We know that SEO is daunting at times, it feels like something you will never get it right, which is why these grades can be helpful.

Unfortunately, the truth is, you can get awesome grades, but still not make it to the first page. Because Google is a fickle mistress, and it takes much more than these two to impress it.

Still, getting to know these can be immensely helpful. Once you know your score on a test, you will know if and where there is room for improvement.

Do you even know if that article with a bunch of keywords is performing well, or is it a shot in the dark? How well are your competitors performing? Are you soon to be banned by Google for being spammy?

When it comes to SEO, you need all the data you can get, to plan your future actions accordingly. So, to help you not bring a knife to a gunfight, let’s see how getting a grip on this heavy-duty stuff can help you improve your ranking with Google.

What are Domain Authority and Spam Score, anyways?

Person looking at Google Analytics

Both of these terms were coined by Moz, and represent your chances of hitting the first spot on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), or your chances of getting penalized, even banned on Google, respectively.

So without further ado, let’s get into more details on this interesting matter.

Domain Authority

When it comes to ranking on Google, a big portion of it comes from the “word of mouth”, or recommendations.

If your online business is a new kid on the fancy block, nobody cares. No one knows you. But, if you get the coolest kid to be your friend and spread the word that you are cool too, you might get some more friends.

Ultimately, if everyone says you’re cool, you get to be the coolest kid.

The same works with Google. Domain Authority is actually “your level of coolness”. It represents your chances of ranking higher with Google.

You can improve your Domain Authority by getting backlinks from the websites in your niche that already have high authority. These links pass some of the authority to you, increasing yours.

Normally, you start from scratch. When you just start a website, your Domain Authority is zero. With every link, you level up. Of course, it is much more difficult to go from 0 to 5, than to go from 49 to 50.

The endgame? Get to 100, of course.

Meaning of backlinks

How do you get those links, anyways? You can’t just knock and ask?

You could, but this is mostly done through Guest Blogging, where you submit your article to be published by another site, with a link to your website in it. So, what you want is a lot of quality links from websites that already have authority in the field.

So, getting to know your Domain Authority, and other websites’ is a pretty useful thing. It helps you focus your efforts on the high-reward endeavors that could help you become the coolest kid on the block and wow Google.

Spam Score

On another note, when it comes to spam score, you want to keep it as low as possible, unsurprisingly.

Having a high spam score doesn’t mean that your site is spammy, though. It just means that it has similarities with other sites that were banned by Google for being spammy.

There are, for now, 27 points that constitute a high spam score. For example, Google Tag Manager is found on almost none of the spam sites, so not having it could indicate that your site is “spammy”.

Specific top-level domain extensions are also incriminating, as is having an unproportionate number of outbound links when compared to the inbound links.

Another thing that is common with spammy sites is the fact that they usually have no addresses, contact information, or connections to any pages on social media, such as LinkedIn.

Infographic showing spam warnings

When it comes to these spam scores, unlike Domain Authority, it goes in percentages. A spam score between 1% and 30% is considered low, 31% to 60% is considered medium, and 60% and above are highly likely to be spammy sites.

So, what do you do if your site is spammy? Not much.

These 27 factors aren’t condemning – Google is not going to penalize you for them, because they are just indicators of a potential “threat”.

If your site is below the 60% range, there is no room for panic. So instead of panicking what you could do is give a good look at the sites linking to you, and see if there are any links from spammy sites that you could live without. And if you forgot to add the addresses, now is the time.

How do I calculate these metrics?

The good news for you is that you don’t have to brush up your math skills and no calculators are needed.

There is a plethora of online Domain Authority and Spam Score checkers that will do the job for you. Some of them are free, some of them are paid, but they all do their job so that you can do yours: improve these scores!

Let’s check some of them out!

Moz

Moz.com landing page

The first one up is, of course, the team behind these metrics in the first place: Moz.

Moz is famous for helping everyone with their SEO tools, tricks, and tips, and this is not far from the truth. From high-quality content that can help you learn all that is there to learn about SEO, to a variety of incredibly useful tools, Moz is the place to visit if you are looking to bump up your website’s rank on Google.

Apart from incredibly useful content, there you will find quite a number of free tools. From the Keyword Research tool to My Online Presence, each of these is uniquely important in cracking the SEO.

One of them, of course, is the free domain analysis tool, where you can paste your website’s link, and get from it the needed Domain Authority, Spam Score, and other information and metrics.

Website SEO Checker

Website SEO Checker dashboard

WebsiteSEOChecker is another tool that you could use to help you figure out where you stand with your Domain & Page Authority, Spam Score, Number of Quality Backlinks and much more, including, for example, from where the majority of your audience is coming from (time to translate to another language, maybe?).

It is quick and effective, and just like with Moz’s one, all you should do is copy and paste a site’s URL into it.

A benefit to using this checker is the fact that it allows you to add more than one link. As a matter of fact, you can add as many as you would like, separated by a comma.

This way, it will be easier to, for example, compare performances of your and competitor’s sites, two different articles on the same domain, and much more, as it will have the results listed neatly one under another.

SmallSEOtools

SmallSEOtools DA checker

If you just need a quick check of your Domain Authority, SmallSEOTools is probably not the best place to drop by. However, if you need help with your site’s SEO overall, then it is one of the best places you could be at.

It can help you out with Domain Authority, but also, with so much more!

With SmallSEOTools, every aspect of your site is covered. You can use it to check for plagiarism on your site, edit your images, and create some useful code.

Also, SmallSEOTools hosts plenty of tools to help you manage your website, monitor it, and overall, keep track of its performance.

So, if you know your site needs work, and you would like it to rank better, drop by. You will find something that will help!

LinkGraph

LinkGraph dashboard

LinkGraph is the place to go to if you want/need to check out results in bulk.

For example, do you want to know how your site is comparing to those of the competition? Head on over to LinkGraph and add all of the URLs.

The good news is that you can use this tool to look at up to 50 URLs at the time. Wonderfully simple, just add the URLs you want to check, figure out the Captcha, and you will be able to see those performing better as well as those working hard to get you off the throne.

Ahrefs

Afrefs dashboard

Another place that you could trust to help you with your SEO efforts is Ahref’s.

Ahref’s have been on the market for a while now, and they know what they are talking about when it comes to SEO. Just check out their blog – you are bound to learn something useful just by opening the first blog post.

They have also coined theCocktail Technique, which is, in itself, quite a contribution to the SEO world.

When it comes to what Ahref’s can provide in terms of tools, you won’t be disappointed. From keywords, content, and site explorers, to some astonishing free tools that you can use.

In a nutshell, it contains lots of tools and features you could benefit from. One of those free tools being the Website authority checker, which will not leave you needing any other tool.

Overall

As we all know, pleasing Google is never easy.

Just doing something for the sake of doing it, is also not enough. You need metrics, to see whether something is working or not, to find spots that you can improve. Remember that building authority and your organic visibility online shouldn’t be undertaken without proper supervision from a consultant. There’s plenty of great SEO freelancers in London, UK, where SEO is definitely one of the most advanced practices in the world. An SEO consultant will help you navigate through the meanders of SEO issues and avoid any spam problems. As long as you pick one with a proven track record.

This is where those two terms (DA and Spam Score) and the tools used to check them, come into play. Not to mention the competition, which plays a huge role in where you will end up on Google’s SERP page. So, getting to know these metrics is an important step in your SEO game.

Need backlinks?

Make sure you are asking the right blogs to publish your guest post so that you get some quality backlinks out of it.

Spam score high? Uh-oh. Well, at least you are aware, and now you can do something about it before it is too late.

Lastly, an important thing to mention here is that both of these metrics can, but not necessarily, indicate your success with Google.

So use them more like guidelines, and always keep in mind – providing your visitors with quality content trumps any and every SEO trick you might have up your sleeve!

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