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What is Authority Score?

Backlink Analytics on Semrush uses Authority Score to measure the impact of a webpage or domain’s links. Authority Score is our compound domain score that grades the overall quality of a website or a webpage. The higher the score, the more assumed weight a domain’s or webpage’s backlinks could have.

The calculation can be described in two steps:

  1. Our initial machine learning algorithm uses organic search data, website traffic data, and backlink data to find the most popular and trustworthy domains on the Internet.
  2. A second algorithm (similar to Google’s PageRank) watches how a website gains links to increase or decrease its authority. The metrics in this calculation include: 
  • Referring domains (quantity and quality)
  • Follow vs. nofollow links pointing to the site (inbound links)
  • Follow vs. nofollow links leaving the site (outbound links)
  • The number of outbound links from each referring domain
  • Total backlinks
  • Referring IPs 
  • Referring subnets

All authority scores calculated are relative to the scores of the domains within the same range of authority score. Simply put, this means any improvements by close competitors can lower your score even if nothing on your site changes.

We update Authority Scores for all domains once a month (at the beginning of each month). You can find more explanation on how to use Authority Score for SEO and increase your Authority Score on our blog.

You can also find Authority Score in the Bulk Backlinks Analysis when you expand the Authority Score drop-down. The dropdown will show you the Authority Score data and the number of backlinks, referring domains, monthly visits, and keywords.

Authority Score drop-down

You can use this domain score to understand how beneficial a backlink from a referring domain is to your website’s SEO, or how beneficial a new backlink would be from a domain that you are hoping to build a link from.

When looking in your Backlink Analytics report, you will see that your backlinks are prioritized by their Page Authority Score (Page AS).

Backlink Analytics page authority score order

Authority Score is the most well-rounded score to use when evaluating domains on Semrush. It indicates not only the amount or quality of backlinks but the strength and popularity of the domain.

How do you know if a score is good or not?

Generally speaking, the higher the Authority Score of a domain, the more trusted it is. It is based on a scale of 1 to 100 so the closer the Authority Score is to 100 the better.

As the score increases, the impact of a link will increase. However, the impact of a link also strongly depends on your website’s niche. Authority Score is used more for domain comparison, and not for determining good/bad on an absolute scale.

For example, use these scores in the Backlinks Report or Bulk Backlink Analysis to compare the trust levels of multiple websites. By comparing these scores you can evaluate which domain’s link profile is strongest and will send the most link weight when linking to other sites.

FAQ

For further guidance, check out our Blog and find answers to the following questions:

  • Why did my score go down?
  • Is a low score indicative of a spammy domain?
  • Can Google Penalties affect the score?
  • Should I report my client’s increase in Authority Score to them in a regular report?
  • Do more backlinks from the same referring domain boost Authority Score?
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