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Indeed, increasing your domain authority is the solution to your higher rank on Google and gaining more organic traffic. However, you shouldn’t be focusing on increasing the number itself. Instead, your top priority should be to focus on what causes that number to increase: high-quality backlinks from high-authority websites. But how many backlinks to increase domain authority? What kind of links to build and how? Find all the answers here!
Backlinks are one of the most important factors in SEO Off Page today, so it is imperative that you know which and how many backlinks you need to rank on your website to boost its authority.
Although it is one of the most weighted SEO positioning strategies, it is essential to develop it correctly to succeed.
Below is an analysis of the importance of domain authority and backlinks, how they work and how many quality backlinks you need to gain higher domain authority.
Let’s start our discussion by defining backlinks and domain authority!
What is Domain Authority?
Domain authority is one of the most important metrics in SEO. It is a digital marketing metric developed by the company MOZ, which manages to simulate the positioning of a site in search engines based on factors related to domain authority and relevance.
It is also represented as DA and presents a measurement system based on a measurement scale that goes from 0 to 100. The closer your site is to 100, the more authority it will have and, therefore, the more organic traffic it will attract. On the other hand, the closer it is to 0, the poorer its ranking will be and the fewer visits it will receive.
Domain authority is an indicator that tells you if your SEO strategy is working, allowing you to make adjustments and spot opportunities to get better performance from your site.
How to Check the Domain Authority?
To calculate domain authority, Moz developed a method that looks at some aspects of your SEO strategy.
These factors consider the age of the site, its reputation –analyzes the number of accesses, for example–, links that lead to the site called backlinks, internal links, and their variety, in addition to making a distributive analysis of the content, that is, of how it is distributed on the web.
Some tools manage to make these measurements. Moz itself developed an extension for Google Chrome, MozBar, which analyzes the pages visited with reports indicating the main SEO metrics.
Another tool is Link Explorer, which has already received the nickname “Open Site Explorer” and indicates the contents of the page with the best performance and a complete report on anchor texts and backlinks.
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What are Backlinks?
High-quality backlinks are king when it comes to domain authority.
These are the links generated on external domains to improve the SEO positioning of a website on search engines, and the set of techniques used to achieve this is what we call link building.
Backlinks are the ones that indicate to search engines that the linked content is of value, thus increasing the authority of the linked domain.
Of course, not just any backlink is worth it. In fact, some can even harm the SEO of a website if not done optimally.
The purpose of link building is to communicate to Google that the website is a trustworthy source of information and thus ensure that its web pages rank properly in the search results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords.
Importance of Link Building
Surely it is not the first time you have heard that backlinks are good for SEO positioning and that it is one of the classification factors that Google uses when evaluating both the authority and the credibility of different web pages. This works the same way worldwide, so no matter where your business is located, the rules will be the same and the information shared here will be useful for you.
Its purpose is simple: if you get your website to be linked by authorized websites, you will be telling Google that your page shows valuable information and that your website is trustworthy.
The more high-quality links pointing to your website, the better it will rank on Google. And the better your website is positioned, the more organic traffic you will generate for it.
That said, Google focuses primarily on link quality. For this reason, it is better to have a few backlinks that are all high quality than many with low quality.
If we are looking for a good ranking in the SERPs, we have no choice but to create high-quality links capable of adding credibility and reliability to our website.
By now, you are probably wondering about the characteristics of a high-quality link and how many of them you need to add to increase your domain authority.
Let’s see it in the next point!
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How to Create Quality Backlinks and What Defines Them
The first thing you must know is the type of links you should create for your website. There are lots of tools to you help you do this, but below you will see the factors making up a high-quality link:
Not surprisingly, links from high-quality websites have a significant impact on search rankings. The more the number of high-quality backlinks, the more authority your website has. But at the same time, it is better to have fewer backlinks of high quality than many low-quality ones.
Therefore, if your website is linked to a high-authority website, it will give you more authority and help you improve your PageRank, optimizing your results in search engines.
To verify your domain authority, you will only need to enter its URL in the corresponding search fields of tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush.
It is important to note that the overall domain authority of the referring source also affects the quality of the link.
For example, creating a backlink in a digital medium such as Forbes will always generate more value than creating one in forums or a blog with no name.
Again, both Ahrefs and Semrush can help us query both the Domain Authority (DA) and Domain Rating (DR) of a website.
Relevance is another determining factor to consider in the quality of a potential link.
This means that the backlinks must not only come from a high-authority website but must also be relevant to your website’s theme.
For example, you won’t achieve a link to a digital marketing website for your clothing store. The key here is to create valuable links that are relevant to your niche. To help you along, we have compiled an extensive list of the best websites to submit your guest posts (and get a backlink) here.
Location of the Links
Link placement is another important factor that defines the quality of a link. Where do you place your backlink, within the web page’s main body, in the footer, sidebar, or author bio?
Contextual links that are placed within the body of the page’s content are more valuable than the ones located in footers or sidebars. Therefore, your priority should be to acquire contextual links that are within the context of your web page’s main body. A website that has more contextual links gains higher search engine ranking and therefore higher organic traffic.
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As you probably already know, the anchor text is the word or phrase that the link has been placed on.
Google makes use of this anchor text to understand what the linked page is about, so the anchor text must always be related to the content of the web you are linking it.
Alert: Using exact match anchor text or keyword-rich anchor text is considered spam by search engines.
So the best way is to make the words and phrases around your link equally relevant to the theme of your page, to avoid being classified as Spam.
Enlaces Dofollow vs Nofollow
Websites often has a “nofollow” attribute added to their external links, which tells Google not to take any of that links into account. It’s like telling Google not to associate the two websites when defining their rankings.
Dofollow links have the greatest value since they transfer authority and reliability to your website.
In addition, other link attributes that can influence link quality are:
- Rel=“Sponsored”: Indicates to search engines that the link is paid and should not transfer PageRank.
- Rel=“UGC”: Indicates that the link comes from user-generated content (UGC) such as comments and forum posts, so it could have been manipulated by the destination website.
Now that you know the factors that define the quality of a backlink, let’s discuss how many backlinks are required to increase domain authority.
Related reading: Weighing the pros and cons of solo ads
How Many Backlinks to Increase Domain Authority
By now, we have understood that link building is one of the most important strategies to be successful with SEO. Two of the 170+ ranking factors used by Google with the biggest impact are content quality and the number of backlinks received.
Generally, the Domain Authority is determined by the number of links or domains that link externally to your website. The more external links direct to your website, the higher your DA will be and the better positioning you will have. It’s that simple.
The number of backlinks received brings you several benefits:
- improves your page ranking;
- boosts your domain authority;
- gains more organic traffic and visibility.
Generally, the higher the number, the stronger the effect (the link juice) you will see from that link. Aim whenever possible for links that come from sources with a higher domain authority than your website’s current domain authority.
But in general, from an SEO perspective, it is not recommended to have 3 links from the same domain name. The better is to have a single link from 3 different domain names. This increases the domain diversity that plays an important role in the total number of links to improve your SEO.
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But overall, calculating the exact “number” of links to increase your domain authority is nearly impossible, because Google does not only take into account the number of backlinks but goes to great lengths to expand its way of assessing the user experience on sites.
In 2020, Google announced on its blog the progressive expansion of the incorporation of factors with which they will assess the user experience. The search engine is taking into account other factors in addition to the links (both SEO Off Page and On Page), which make a website better positioned.
In SEO Off Page the number of incoming links is not decisive for the positioning of a website because if we pick the top domains that occupy the first page of Google, we will see that:
- The URLs that receive links from more domains are not always the best positioned.
- The URLs with the highest Authority Score are not always the best positioned.
The website with the best authority score is surely the one with the highest number of keywords positioned and that captures the most organics, but it may not be the one linked by a greater number of domains.
A helpful guide
We actually did a little research using Ahrefs to see the average backlinks and referring domains of different urls by their domain reputation. Granted, domain reputation is different than domain authority, but this should give you at least a ballpark baseline. The table below is based upon 219 websites (chosen at random).
|Domain Reputation||Avg. Backlinks||Avg. Referring Domains|
|0 – 10||664||82|
|11 – 20||2,904||195|
|21 – 30||6,894||485|
|31 – 40||7,336||590|
|41 – 50||40,392||1,256|
|51 – 60||23,112||2,060|
|61 – 70||114,888||2,515|
|71 – 80||437,250||10,598|
|81 – 90||2,141,771||46,789|
|91 – 100||60,378,886||400,271|
Pretty daunting, right? If you have a new website and want to compete with websites with a domain reputation of 41-50, you will need to have a serious backlinking strategy. SEO and backlinking is definitely a marathon.
To Sum Up!
With all this, we can see a certain correlation between the number of backlinks, positioning, and traffic capture, but not a direct causality. Instead, your results will depend on the quality, diversity, and targets of your links, which require a certain amount of effort to put into your SEO. It also depends on the amount of time you invest to allow your domain authority to develop naturally.
If you’re looking for trusted link-building service, contact Content Development Pros, a link-building agency that knows the importance of having a good strategy to improve search engine positioning. The Content Development team creates a personalized link-building plan for each client that suits their business.