Pagerank vs Domain Authority? Do They Really Matter?

Webmasters have always been infatuated with Google PageRank and Domain Authority. It has been a long debated topic when buying or selling a website, looking for guest posting services, and many other such aspects which influence SEO and keyword rankings. So how closely are these two things related to a legitimate domain? Is it true that a good domain must have high PR and DA? Some websites have huge traffic and income, but their PageRank is zero. Why is this? Who can be trusted more–DA or PA?

These are some of the questions we will discuss today to get a complete view of how the whole system works and what the related aspects are.

Pagerank is the Google Pagerank indicator.

PageRank, or Google PageRank, is a mathematical algorithm used by the Google search engine to assign a numerical value (from 0 to 10) to all web pages it indexes on the Internet. It is a simple logarithmic calculation which is derived from the number of incoming links and outgoing links from a particular website or web page.

Everyone knows that Pagerank is the factor that is governed by Google Inc. Google assigns a certain page value to each web page on the world-wide web, which defines the popularity of that specific web page. The pagerank assigned has a value of between 0 and 10 (and N/A for those whose pagerank is yet to be calculated).

Pagerank vs Domain Authority

How to check PR?

You can check your PageRank with our free Page Rank Checking Tool.

So how is the value assigned?

There are various papers published related to the PageRank formula, but the basic principle remains the same: incoming links from high-authority sites will yield better PR, and outgoing links from low-quality sites will add less influence to the referred website.

Blank Sites with High PageRank

You must have seen many blank sites with high PR value and you are left wondering how that is possible? It is possible because Google tags the PR once in many moons or the website has been an expired domain which has been reactivated. It is simply referring to the old PR of that site. Many black-hat SEO professionals also fake PR to get high selling prices out of such blogs or sites. Never be tempted to buy a site with high PR without legitimate content. You will most likely lose the PR in the next Google PR update under such situations.

Moreover, PR can also be faked with some black-hat techniques. You have to check the authenticity of a PR using a fake PR checker tool.

How do you get a high PageRank that is genuine?

The best thing to do would be to publish quality content on your website, which, if referred to by high-authority sites, can yield better PR eventually. Another fruitful method would be to start writing guest posts on sites with high PR and then leave your website reference in the end. You should only do this if you are writing guest topics in the same niche as your website. If you abuse it, chances are Google will catch it and devalue all incoming links to your site.

Play it honestly and play it fair. This is the only way you can get better PageRank for your website on your own.

Will high PR give me a better ranking in Google SERPs?

This is a complete myth. PR and SERP rankings are two different things which definitely influence each other a bit, but are completely capable of independent existence. If your website has genuine PageRank and quality content, the chances are always higher for the topics you write to rank better in SERPs, but if your website has no quality content and is simply driving PageRank from illegitimate sources, no matter how high your PR value is, it won’t have any impact on your keyword rankings in the end.

Domain Authority:

Domain authority is the way of finding how a website will perform in various search engines. The metric is controlled by and it is calculated on the basis of the number of total links, linking root domains, MozRank and MozTrust etc. The range starts from 0 and ends up at 100.

How to check DA?

You can check DA of a website with our free Domain Authority Checking Tool.

Factors related to Domain Authority

It is not a single point valuation system; it takes into consideration many factors such as MozRank, MozTrust, Linking Root Domains, Incoming DA links and many more. This is hence more reliable as it also considers content valuation and how frequently a website is updated. There are many other factors as well, but these were some of the core aspects of assigning a DA value to a website.

How frequently is it updated?

It is updated almost every now and then. This is the reason we do not easily find sites with no content but high DA. Even if you manage to grab a site with a high DA, it is almost certain that you will lose the DA valuation within a month if you do not post regular updates on your site or the incoming links to your site cease to exist.

Will high DA give me better rankings?

Yes, this is almost a mutual relationship. Your website will only have a higher DA if you post regular quality content on your site and your site is also referred to by high-authority websites. It is only possible if your content is good and your website is a trusted name in the SERPs.

Hence, if you write good quality content on a high-DA site, the chances of the content being ranked in the search engines are higher.

What is the difference between Google PageRank and Domain Authority?

The first and very easy differentiation between these two elements is that both these metrics are handled by two different entities. Although nobody is sure about whether Google or any other search engines considers DA for ranking or not, my observation is that there should be something such as domain authority for each of them. It is crystal clear that Google won’t rely on metrics that are controlled by third parties. So, Google should definitely have some metric to calculate these factors.

Since they are managed by two different entities, they are less likely to have an impact on each other. So, in the context of search engines (Google, bing, Yahoo etc), domain authority would most probably be replaced by some other metric which could possibly be controlled by themselves.

Apart from this, Google pagerank is calculated on the basis of the number of nofollow and dofollow back-links, whereas domain authority is calculated on the basis of linking root domains, MozRank, MozTrust etc.

How to improve Page-rank

There are quite a number of resources available on the internet on how you should increase your Google Pagerank. I’m providing a slight overview of the factors that help in improving Google pagerank.

The Google page-rank is calculated mainly on the basis of dofollow and nofollow back-links. So, it is an inevitable truth that you’re supposed to increase the number of dofollow and nofollow (especially dofollow) backlinks.

There are quite a few techniques available to increase these numbers.

  • Guest posting is one of the oldest and most effective ways to increase dofollow backlinks. It’s a win-win situation because you get to place dofollow backlinks (s) whereas the blogger gets the content.
  • Blog directories are here to help you out with getting good backlinks. There are blog directories with excellent pagerank that provide back-links to your blog without any cost.
  • Commenting is one of the easiest forms of getting backlinks. While most of the blogs have their comments sections nofollowed, there are a handful of blogs which allow dofollow links in the comments. If you’re going ahead with commenting to earn dofollow back-links, then you should probably stop right there. The reason why I’m saying this is that the blogs that allow such back-links and have good pagerank are already flooded with comments. Most of the comments on such blogs are spam and will definitely harm your site if you try to build backlinks through them.

How to Improve Domain Authority

It is difficult to improve the domain authority of a website because it is dependent on various factors such as MozRank, MozTrust, linking root domains and so on and so forth. Each of these factors plays a critical role in defining the domain authority. According to SeoMoz, the best way to improve domain authority is by implementing the right SEO techniques. Aside from the traditional methods we discussed for increasing page rank, you should also focus on increasing your MozRank, number of linking root domains, and MozTrust.

MozRank can be improved by getting back-links from reputed websites, whereas MozTrust can be improved by earning backlinks from trusted sites such as governments and universities.

Is there any impact on SERPs? 

Yes. Search engine result pages, i.e., SERPs, are directly affected by pagerank. Although the weightage of the page-rank could be slightly less than other factors, the important thing is it does affect your ranking.

Google releases pagerank updates every 3-4 months, and it is not possible to assign pagerank in between those durations. So, while Google may not consider your PR for ranking at this time, it will definitely look at the type of links pointing to your site.

Regarding domain authority, I’m not very sure whether it has any direct impact on SERPs, but what I do know is that if there isn’t anything directly dependent on domain authority, there should be some other ranking system doing the same job for Google and other search giants.

So what should you consider to evaluate a website?

This quarter, Google skipped the PR update.PageRank is important, but Google seems to be losing interest in it for a long time. So it is of no use looking at a website PR for its valuation anymore. Domain Authority is the correct metric for evaluating a website. The higher the Domain Authority, the better the website’s quality and rankings.

So the next time you look for a Guest post or discuss the same with SEO professionals or rookies, tell them it’s time to move on from the PR infatuation to practical Domain Authority values. Sites with good DA are bound to have good PR in the next update. It’s just that sometimes DA takes more time to climb up for a website. But once it does, the website speaks for itself. Good luck.

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My name is Nohman Habib and I am a web developer with over 10 years of experience, programming in Joomla, Wordpress, WHMCS, vTiger and Hybrid Apps. My plan to start is to share my experience and expertise with others. Here my basic area of focus is to post tutorials primarily on Joomla development, HTML5, CSS3 and PHP.

Nohman Habib


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