What Is Page Authority?

Page Authority (PA) is a metric used to estimate how your page could be ranking relative to other pages on the same topic. It was created by the SEO software company Moz, and is not a part of PageRank or Google’s ranking factors.

What Is Page Authority?

If you’re looking to improve your business’s rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs), there are a variety of tools and metrics to help you along the way. One helpful metric is Page Authority (PA). 

Developed by Moz, PA estimates the overall value of the backlink profile of an individual page. It does not represent a ranking factor, but rather a comparative analysis between your pages and competitors, focused primarily on their respective link profiles. PA is relative, and what’s good for your site may not be good for someone else’s. Achieving an ideal PA for your goals is generally possible through strategic link building and content creation, among other SEO services. Nonetheless, it is important to note that PA is one metric — not a comprehensive measure of a page’s overall quality or SEO value.

Continue reading below to further understand what a “good” PA is for you.

Page Authority vs. Domain Authority 

Being at the top of a SERP involves more than just a “good” PA. You’ll also want to consider Domain Authority (DA), a closely related metric also provided by Moz. The two terms are fairly similar and use the same methodology to gauge rankings, though at a different scale. While PA measures the strength of a single page’s backlink profile, DA measures the strength of backlinks across your entire website. DA and PA have a mutually beneficial relationship, as each influences the other. 

Whichever metric you are looking at, remember that they are both to be used as comparison tools to estimate and evaluate certain ranking factors — they are not part of Google’s search algorithm.

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How Is Page Authority Scored?

PA is scored using a 100-point logarithmic scale. Higher scores represent a greater probability of that page ranking well for a relevant search. PA takes into consideration the number of unique domains linking to a page, followed links, no-follow links, 301s, 302s, new vs. old links, and even domain name, among a variety of other factors. 

These factors are based on data from the Mozscape web index, the records of a bot that crawls and indexes SERPs. The Mozscape web index is Moz’s attempt to replicate the behavior of the Googlebot, and capture a similar map of all web content that appears in search results.

All of these factors are then weighted, compiled, and placed in a machine learning model, alongside training data harvested from Google’s SERPs. Learning against these actual SERPs allows Moz’s PA tool to make ranking predictions. So while Moz isn’t a perfect reflection of Google’s algorithm, it is meant to reflect one company’s best guess as to whether a page will perform well in search.

What Is a “Good” Page Authority?

There is not necessarily a “good” or “bad” PA. In general, higher is better, but not every page can realistically earn a PA in the 90s. A “good” PA depends on your goals. If your goal is to rank on the first SERP for a given query, then a “good” PA is relative to that SERP, and the link profiles of the domains returned.

Page Authority in SEO Campaigns

The important thing to remember is that Google’s rankings take into account far more than just backlinks, the way PA does — website owners should pursue a strong, comprehensive SEO campaign. This means including other ranking factors, such as page speed, web design, and mobile friendliness — to name a few. Each factor needs to be considered if you wish to improve your overall rankings. 

A second thing to remember when gauging or influencing your PA is who your competitors are. If you’re a small e-commerce site, your competitors are other small e-commerce sites. And a “good” PA for your site’s pages is dependent on your competitor’s pages. No small e-commerce site could compete against Amazon’s pages, nor do they need to. 

Where Can You Check Page Authority?

Moz allows you to check your PA through Link Explorer, a live link index. 

How Do I Influence Page Authority? 

There is no one solution for influencing PA. As an aggregate of link data, PA is best understood as a vehicle — where all pieces must be in place and running in order to see it move. 

When trying to influence PA, however, your link profile is a good starting point. 

Consider the following tactics:

  • Prioritizing Pages — Go through your content and decide which pages should be crawled first. In other words, determine which pages present the most SEO value. 
  • Using a Sitemap — After prioritizing pages, create a sitemap. Sitemaps inform Google bots of the hierarchy of pages on your site, allowing them to gauge which pages they should crawl first. Building a sitemap can be done manually or through one of many third-party tools. 
  • Building Links To Important Pages — Run back through the pages you prioritized and build links to them first. Building links from supplementary content to conversion pages, for instance, passes link equity to where it’s needed most: your money-making pages. 
  • Obtaining Backlinks From Other High-Authority Pages — Obtaining backlinks, also known as inbound links, from high-authority pages passes along link equity to your own pages. Otherwise known as the currency of the Internet, backlinks act as a sort of review service for Google. Much like how Yelp is used to review stores and restaurants, backlinks are used to review the importance and trustworthiness of a page or site.  

Why Did My Page Authority Change?

Determining why your PA changed can be a difficult feat. Since there are many factors that influence PA, any one of them could be the potential cause. 

If your PA has gone up or down, it could be because:

  • Moz’s web index has yet to account for changes to your link profile;
  • High-authority sites have achieved even more growth, skewing the overall scale;
  • Some of your links are not accounted for by Moz’s PA rankings;
  • Your DA is lower than competitors.

The reason for a change in PA could be due to a variety of factors — consider them individually and collectively.   

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