Everything You Need to Know About Page Authority and its Optimization
We all know the importance of backlinks in SEO. Furthermore, we also know that Google doesn’t often talk about its page ranking algorithms. These statements raise two questions. How do we measure how good our backlink profile is? And what metrics do we use to know how good our webpage can possibly do in the Google Search Ranking?
Page Authority: Introduction
Page Authority is a metric, which helps us predict the ranking capabilities of our webpage. Developed by a popular Saas company, Moz, it gives a rough idea of how our page would do compared to other pages in Google Search Ranking.
Many marketers use the Page Authority as a major metric for understanding the quality of their webpage and links. The metric, even if it isn’t officially from Google, has become a very important unit of ‘measurement’ in the SEO world because of its effectiveness and accuracy.
Is Page Authority from Google?
Page Authority isn’t from Google. It is from a Saas company, Moz, and Google has nothing to do with the metric.
Despite not being from Google, we still use Page Authority because it tries to render Google algorithms. In other words, it is a sort of ‘emulation’ of the Google search engine. The belief and experience are that if a web page has a good page authority, it generally has a good Google Rank.
How Does Page Authority Work?
Webpages are given an authority score which can range from one to hundred. One is the lowest, and the hundred is the highest. Pages with a higher authority score have more probability of ranking higher than the ones with lower scores.
Page Authority is a logarithmic scale, and according to Moz, it is dependent on ‘dozens’ of factors. However, the most important one is the links- both internal and external. We talk more about the factors in the later stages of this article.
Why Do We Need a Page Authority Score?
If you have been doing SEO for a long time, you probably remember Google’s PageRank score that would pop on for every website. Google eventually removed it because most SEO campaigns were focused on increasing the PageRank score, rather than on improving the quality of the websites.
As we can see, Google’s main priority is to show websites with great quality and the most relevant content for any search query. Due to this, the search engine has always urged SEO experts to improve the quality of their sites rather than to focus on the search algorithms. Subsequently, the new algorithms of Google have been focusing on how useful the websites are to the people.
To avoid website owners from only optimizing for SEO rather than providing value to the people, Google is very secretive about its search algorithms. Some of the commonly known web ranking factors are page speed, dwell time, bounce rate, backlinks, etc., but the consensus is that there are more than 200 search ranking factors.
With Google being very good at keeping secrets, it created the demand for a metric- or a measurement. Website owners and marketers needed at least some type of indication of how well they were campaigning.
The demand led to various Saas companies releasing their versions of authority scores. These metrics would try their best to mimic Google’s search algorithms to give a numeric score to the websites.
Among the many metrics, Moz’s Domain Authority and Page Authority became more popular. This is thanks to the accuracy of the score in predicting ranking and the people’s own preference.
How Should We Use Page Authority?
As page authority isn’t from Google, we should use it as an estimate rather than an absolute score. Having a good page authority doesn’t guarantee that your website will rank very high in Google search. At the same time, web pages with lower authority scores may also rank high.
Moz itself has said that Page Authority is a ‘comparative’ tool, which helps us to compare a website’s probability to rank. Thus, we should use page authority as a reference to see how we can improve our website, rather than spending more efforts on improving the page authority score. However, improving page authority can still be helpful as it means we are improving the site as a whole.
How Can We Increase Page Authority?
Improving page authority doesn’t happen overnight, and increasing authority isn’t straightforward. Furthermore, as it is a logistic metric, increasing page authority for lower scores is easier than for higher; say, taking page authority from 3 to 4 is way easy than taking the authority from 7 to 8.
However, if you take some steps, increasing page authority over a longer period of time is possible. Here are some things that will yield results for PA:
Having plenty of backlinks on good websites is essential not only for your PA but also your SEO
score as well. If you didn’t know, the Google PageRank algorithm, which ranks a website based on the links pointing to it and going out of it, is still as important, even if it isn’t as often discussed the olden days.
For a good PA score, you need to have backlinks on sites that already have a good PA. Furthermore, taking off links from spam websites is equally important, and links in other websites to broken pages in your site isn’t good.
Remember that you need to focus on the quality of backlinks that on the number of backlinks. For instance, a backlink on a very high DA website is more valuable than even up to hundreds of backlinks on sites with average DA.
Like backlinks, pointing out to high-quality pages can help with your PA. It may not affect the score as much as the backlinks. Still, when you have directly linked your users to high-quality sites, the search engine crawlers will think that you have taken good references, so your content will be more trustable.
Before linking to other sites, first, consider what kind of sites they are. If they are spam, then you will be better off letting them be, as it isn’t going to put your website in the good eyes of the search engine. Furthermore, using external links, again and again, to even good websites isn’t really going to work in your favour if those links somehow make the content all about links and not the content itself.
When you are at it, delete links from your page to dead websites. Remove the links that are not relevant and stay away from over-optimizing.
Many people don’t know, but having a good internal link behaviour is essential as well. Internal Link juice from pages with higher PA to pages with lower ones is going to work wonders for increasing Page Authority of Internal Sites.
When it comes to internal links, you should have plenty of links, however, make sure that they don’t annoy the user. If that’s the case, you may have an increased PA, but lower site performance, as users will want to exit your site. By the way, the time spent on your web pages is an important Google search ranking factor.
One of the most frequently asked questions is that if a link from a page with a low PA page to a high PA page affects the PA of the higher site. The answer is no- as long as the link is relevant. Furthermore, internal links also pave the way for Google search crawlers to crawl your site. Having a ‘dead-end’- or a page that points to no other webpage isn’t a good practice.
Good page content is the base for any SEO marketing practise, and that is no different for PA. We know that links from relevant websites are the best way to improve page authority. However, when you don’t have useful content, no website is going to consider linking to your page.
Again, remember that good content should be consistent and not only be present in a single page. Many site owners or content creators only focus on one page to get more PA rather than their entire website. This isn’t going to work, as your DA (Domain Authority) score also affects your Page Authority. So, if your DA is low and if one of your pages has been optimized for high PA, it may not get all the PA.
For good content, first, ensure that it is interesting. You need to have a substance, in other words, value. Stacking keywords in bad content no longer works. Make sure that your content has relevant subtopics, answering almost every query that a reader may have. Furthermore, don’t forget using LSI keywords.
Updating content regularly is also important. Staying up-to-date ensures that your content is useful to the people so it increases the chances of websites linking to your page. Finally, remember that good content is not about the vocabulary but simplicity; so you have to make sure that your sentences are easy to read. In other words, don’t make users read what you have written twice.
Good User Experience
If we see the kind of message that Moz gives, links are the most important factors for PA. However, as we said, Moz’s metrics try to emulate Google’s Page Ranking algorithms, so it is fair to say that it also considers the User Experience of the website apart from the content.
For a good user experience, the first thing to do is increase your page loading speed. There are many factors that influence your page speed, such as compression of images, web content, browser caching, etc., and you have to optimize for all of them.
After the page speed, make sure that your website is easy to navigate. Place links on the right places where the users can find them. Adding buttons can also be a great idea if most of your users use mobile phones. Talking about portable devices, make sure that your website loads fast and can be viewed well on phones and tablets. For this, you can use smaller fonts.
What is the Difference Between DA and PA?
Domain Authority and Page Authority are both scores from Moz. However, Page Authority measures the probability of a single web page to rank, which Domain Authority considers the whole website.
Domain Authority and Page Authority both have similar algorithms, just like Moz said. Furthermore, they are interconnected, i.e., you will need some high PAs to achieve a good DA. However, you can study the Domain Authority and Page Authority collectively for finding SEO opportunities.
Using Domain Authority and Page Authority Together for SEO Opportunities
We again would like to repeat that neither Domain Authority nor Page Authority are official indicators of Google. They are to be used for comparison of websites rather than a definite conclusion.
However, DA and PA are available for every website. In other words, you can analyse the DA and PA of your competitors to find how well they are executing their SEO campaigns. However, as again, DA and PA aren’t Google’s algorithms, sites with lower of these scores can rank higher than higher scores.
In this part, we are going to talk about how to read the different DA and PA combinations for your and your competitor’s website and how to use it for your advantage:
High DA/ High PA
If a website, either yours or a competitor has a very high PA and DA, that means the website has already established itself as a big horse. If you are just starting SEO, going after these websites isn’t practical. On the other hand, generally, only the best articles from very big websites like Forbes, Wikipedia, Amazon etc. can have high DA and PA.
If you really want to compete against these websites for PA and DA, you will have to create many links, on sites that have similar PA and DA scores as them. So, from a budgetary standpoint and the effort you have to give, it is very difficult or not practical for you to compete against these. Look for other options instead.
Low PA/ High DA
When low PA pages from high DA websites rank on Google, it basically means that there isn’t enough content. In other words, say there is a search term. Google’s search crawlers go through the web, but don’t find content that is convincing enough to show to the user. So, the search engine just goes to the higher authority websites- which is mostly websites that it is very familiar with (for example, Amazon), and shows the results from there. Thus, if you find low PA pages ranking from high DA sites, you can look to exploit that by creating killer content in that regard.
However, in some cases, only creating content isn’t going to work. For example, when people look for ‘buy watch’, they generally are looking to buy watches, and not looking for a blog on buying a watch. You have to find what is relevant.
Low DA/ High PA
Some of your’s or your competitor’s website may have low DA but higher PA for specific articles. In such cases, you will get the opportunity to see which pages your competitors are using as their main ‘landing’ pages. It will also give you an idea of whether you should be going head-on with your competitors, or try to use LSI keywords to decrease the competition a little bit and create your own wave of followers.
If your website, on the other hand, has low DA but high PA, then you should take the opportunity to create some links on your high PA page. You can let the authority flow to your other pages, which in turn, can help you improve your DA as well.
Which is More Important – DA or PA?
As we can see from the above analysis, it isn’t really about knowing the difference between DA and PA. Rather, you should focus on how to use DA and PA together to analyse yours, and your competitors SEO efforts to know what is working and what is not.
Still, in Layman’s terms, you should lay more focus on the DA in the long-term. As it is the categorization of the entire website and not only a single page, doing more work on DA is necessary. However, since you need a high PA for some pages to eventually contribute to a good DA, you should treat both of them as essential aspects of SEO.
Why is My Page Authority Dropping?
Finally, if you already are using Page Authority (and Domain Authority) as an important metrics, then you may have been facing this issue. On the other hand, even if you put a lot of work on your page, your page authority may actually be dropping rather than increasing, which can be ringing troubles.
Now, even if you can’t be exactly sure what is causing your Page Authority to go low, you still can do some things to bring it back up. Here is how:
Update Your Page Content
If your content isn’t as relevant, then other websites are going to stop linking to you. This also applies to content that was relevant in the past, but no more- for example, a ‘how to do SEO’ article written in 2010 isn’t as accurate as an article that talks about SEO techniques in 2020. Hence, the first step to regaining your Page Authority score is seeing the current best content on your topic and improving your own content accordingly.
Find and Remove Bad Links
When you link to other websites, you have to first make sure that the sites are genuine. Additionally, you should verify that the sites will continue being genuine. If some of the websites that have backlinks on your site start spamming people, that is going to affect your Authority score. Remove their link as soon as you can.
The niche of the websites where you place backlinks matter a lot when it comes to Page Authority. For example, having backlinks in a fashion website isn’t going to be of great help for an IT blog. If the number of such backlinks is increasing on your site, it will soon backfire with lower PA and even Google search ranking.
Make Sure Your Web Page isn’t Down
If your website or a webpage is down for a lot of time, it is going to affect your PA. For example, if another website points to your website and the search engine crawlers visit the link to find nothing in there, they will think your web page is irrelevant. At the same time, if the links in your website point to ‘nowhere’, then it is time that you remove them.
However, Fluctuations Aren’t Bad
Moz is constantly changing its algorithms. So is Google. SEO is a long-term plan. So, when your Page Authority or your search ranking fluctuates, it may just be a signal that the algorithms have changed. However, the basics are still going to be the same. For good ranking, your website should be fast and have relevant content, and at the same time, people should love using your site. References and links to authoritative sites are important as well. If you can guarantee the above, your SEO will always be successful.
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