Page Authority (PA) is a score developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). PA scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. It is a comparative tool, so while one can’t say definitively what a “good” or a “bad” score is, generally, a page with a higher PA is more likely to rank than a page with a lower PA, all else being equal.

Understanding Page Authority and Its Importance in SEO

Page authority is a concept coined by the SEO industry to help understand and quantify the strength of an individual webpage in terms of its search engine performance. While Page Authority is not a metric used by search engines like Google to rank websites, it serves as an insightful indicator for SEO professionals to gauge page potential and compare the competitive landscape.

How Is Page Authority Calculated?

Page Authority is based on data from Moz’s web index and takes into account dozens of factors. Moz uses a machine learning model to identifiably correlate its scores with rankings across thousands of SERPs, and it is recalculated frequently to ensure that it stays relevant. The algorithm uses more than 40 factors, such as MozRank, MozTrust, link counts, and others to determine the PA score. However, the exact specifics of the calculation are not public.

Why Should You Care About Page Authority?

From a strategic SEO point of view, understanding Page Authority helps in prioritizing efforts. SEO is often about prioritization and resource allocation, and PA can provide clues about where to concentrate efforts for the most significant benefits. It’s not uncommon to use PA to predict the future performance of a page or to compare it against competitors’ pages during a link-building campaign or content creation efforts.

Distinguishing Between Page Authority and Domain Authority

Page Authority should not be confused with Domain Authority (DA), which measures the ranking strength of entire domains or subdomains. While PA refers to the ranking potential of a single page, DA refers to the collective strength of multiple pages under a single domain or subdomain. This is an essential distinction because a website with high DA might not have all pages with high PA scores.

Improving Your Page Authority

Here are actionable strategies to consider:

  • Link Building: Obtain high-quality links from websites with high Domain Authority.
  • Content Quality: Develop comprehensive, unique, and engaging content that stands out and is shared widely.
  • On-page SEO: Ensure that your on-page elements such as title tags, headings, images, and structure are meticulously optimized.
  • Social Signals: Achieve social validation through shares, likes, and visibility across social media platforms.
  • Remove Bad Links: Regularly use tools to check for and disavow low-quality or spammy backlinks that might hurt your PA.

Factors That Influence Page Authority

While the precise calculation of PA is proprietary, the following are widely considered to be among the influential factors:

Link Profile

A page’s link profile, including how many links are pointing to it and the quality of those links, is among the most significant factors. High-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative domains will positively affect PA.

Content Relevance and Quality

A page rich in quality content that provides value to users can acquire organic shares and naturally attract backlinks, which is beneficial for PA.

Search Engine Friendly Optimization

How well a page is optimized for SEO, with proper use of keywords, alt attributes, and an overall user-friendly experience, can influence its PA.

User Engagement

Pages with higher user engagement, such as time-on-page, low bounce rates, and high click-through rates, may be viewed as offering higher value, potentially contributing to higher PA.

Using Page Authority as Part of Your SEO Strategy

Remember, PA is particularly useful when used in comparison to other pages, rather than as an absolute score. It can be an integral part of competitive analysis and site audits. Optimizing for higher PA means you’re likely aligning with SEO best practices that contribute to overall site performance.

Tools to Measure Page Authority

Moz’s Link Explorer is the go-to tool to check Page Authority. Other tools may offer similar metrics, although they may not be based on the same algorithm or data and therefore could yield different scores.

Limitations of Page Authority

Page Authority isn’t a metric used by Google and doesn’t directly influence rankings. Additionally, because PA is relative, a high PA doesn’t guarantee a page will rank well if the competition is stronger.

Page Authority for Mobile vs. Desktop Pages

With the shift towards mobile-first indexing, it is increasingly important to consider how PA varies between desktop and mobile versions of a page. Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor, and thus, the PA of mobile pages also needs to be on par with, if not better than, their desktop counterparts.

Finishing Thoughts

Page Authority offers considerable insights into the potential ranking capabilities of individual pages. It’s a data-driven way to approach off-page SEO and can help in strategizing content and link-acquisition efforts. Although it’s just one piece of the SEO puzzle, by using PA as a comparative metric, SEO professionals can make informed decisions to improve their page’s visibility in search results. It is important to use PA as a general guide rather than a definitive indicator of performance and to combine it with other metrics and SEO best practices for a well-rounded strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Page Authority?

Page Authority (PA) is a metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engine result pages (SERP). Page Authority scores range from 1 to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. It is based on data from the Mozscape web index and includes link counts, MozRank, MozTrust, and dozens of other factors.

How is Page Authority Calculated?

Page Authority is calculated using a machine learning model that correlates Moz’s link data with rankings across thousands of SERPs. It takes into account multiple factors such as the number of links, the quality of links, site structure, and more to come up with the PA score. Since Google does not use Page Authority in its algorithm, the score is solely for predicting a page’s potential ranking ability.

Why is Page Authority important in SEO?

Page Authority is important in SEO because it gives webmasters, SEO professionals, and digital marketers an idea of the potential ranking power of a single page. It helps in prioritizing pages for optimization and link building efforts, comparing the strength of your pages to competitors, and understanding link equity.

Is Page Authority the same as Domain Authority?

No, Page Authority is different from Domain Authority (DA). While Page Authority measures the predictive ranking strength of a single page, Domain Authority predicts the ranking potential of entire domains or subdomains. Both metrics use a similar methodology but are applied at different scales.

How can I improve my Page Authority?

To improve your Page Authority, you should focus on building high-quality inbound links to the page from authoritative websites. Other strategies include ensuring that the page content is highly relevant and useful to your target audience, optimizing on-page elements like title tags and meta descriptions for search engines, and building a user-friendly site structure to improve crawlability.

Does Google use Page Authority in its ranking algorithm?

No, Google does not use Page Authority in its ranking algorithm. Page Authority is a proprietary metric created by Moz and is not part of Google’s ranking factors. However, many of the elements that go into calculating Page Authority, such as link quality and relevance, are factors that Google considers important for rankings.

Can Page Authority decrease over time?

Yes, Page Authority can decrease over time, especially if a page loses backlinks or if the quality of those backlinks diminishes. Similarly, as other pages receive more high-quality links, the comparative value of a page’s links could decrease, thus lowering its PA. Periodic updates to Moz’s algorithm might also affect Page Authority scores.

Is Page Authority more important than actual content for SEO?

While Page Authority is an important metric for understanding a page’s potential to rank, it is not more important than the actual content on the page. High-quality, relevant, and valuable content is fundamental to good SEO practices. Without strong content, even a page with high PA might not perform well in actual search rankings.

How often is Page Authority updated?

Moz updates Page Authority on a regular basis. The frequency of updates may vary, but Moz generally aims to update the metric monthly. Due to these updates, it’s possible to see fluctuations in your PA as new data is incorporated into the scoring model.

Where can I check the Page Authority of a page?

You can check the Page Authority of a page using Moz’s Link Explorer, the MozBar browser extension, or by using various third-party SEO tools that incorporate Moz’s APIs for their metrics. Checking your PA regularly can help track progress and guide your SEO strategy.

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Joe Fares

Founder of UltraSEOSolutions and a Digital Marketing Consultant, a great advocate of educating beginners on the competency of SEO, and helping small businesses dominate their niche. Joe is known for public speaking on SEO and online entrepreneurship, and has been awarded by Payoneer in 2017/2018, for being the most successful entrepreneur in the MENA region.