What factors contribute to high on-page SEO results (but low domain authority)?

Today’s Ask An SEO question comes from Sommer asking:

What factors could contribute to high on-page SEO results but low domain authority?

Today we’re going to tackle a topic that many website owners find puzzling: the relationship between on-page SEO scores and domain authority.

As you know, on-page SEO is about enhancing individual webpages with the aim of achieving higher rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) and attracting a larger flow of relevant traffic.

On the other hand, domain authority is a term commonly used to measure a website’s overall authority based on its backlinks.

What is domain authority?

Domain authority should only be used when referring to Moz’s tools.

What I call link authority measures a website’s overall trustworthiness and authority in the eyes of search engines based on various factors such as the quality and quantity of inbound links, age of the website and online presence.

In addition to Moz, there are other tools — including Ahrefs, Majestic, SEMrush, and others — that can help measure your link authority.

High on-page SEO score with low link authority

What if a website has a high on-page SEO score but low Link Authority?

When a website is new, it can take time to build link authority, which can negatively impact its overall rating.

Likewise, if a website has limited backlinks or poor quality backlinks, it can be difficult to achieve a high Link Authority score, even if the on-page SEO is strong.

Those operating in niche industries can struggle to build link authority without a consistent link building strategy.

Some industries have fewer websites and less competition, making it easier to achieve a high on-page SEO score.

However, this does not necessarily result in a high Link Authority Score.

As there are fewer sites in a given niche, there may be fewer opportunities for backlinks, which can hurt the site’s link authority.

Content strategy and link authority

Additionally, a website’s content strategy is critical to building link authority.

A comprehensive content strategy that includes regular blog posts, in-depth content, and other valuable resources can help build authority and attract inbound links.

A site with limited content may struggle to build link authority even if on-page SEO is strong.

Social media and links authority

Social media can also contribute to a website’s link authority.

A strong social media presence can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to the website, and generate backlinks from other websites.

Conversely, building link authority can be difficult if a website has little or no social media presence.

The conclusion

So what is the bottom line?

Although on-page SEO and link authority are closely related, they are distinct.

A website can have a high On-Page SEO Score but low Link Authority due to various factors such as: E.g. limited backlinks, poor quality backlinks, belonging to a niche industry, limited content and lack of social media presence.

To achieve high on-page SEO and link authority, a website needs a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes both on-page and off-page optimization, as well as a strong content strategy and social media presence.

By focusing on these factors, website owners can improve their online visibility and search engine rankings.

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