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What is Domain Rating (DR): how does it help digital marketers?

There are quite a lot of factors to consider (as a digital marketer) before going on to pay for backlink(s) from a particular website. Over the years, Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) have been the core metrics used to identify high-authority sites. However, in recent times, algorithms and metrics such as Trust Flow (TF) and Citation Flow (CF) joined the league, and now it’s Domain Rating (DR). One may ask, what is Domain Rating, and how is it calculated. Well, the algorithm used by Ahrefs to calculate DR isn’t so different from Majestic’s algorithms for TF and CF. It’s all about backlinks and quality.

What is Domain Rating (DR)

Domain Rating (DR) is a handy ranking metric from Ahrefs. It is used to obtain the strength of a website’s backlink profile based on a logarithmic scale ranging from 0 to 100. DR is sometimes referred to as “Website Authority Score.” When a site scores higher on the DR scale, it means the website has a solid backlinks profile. Unlike Citation Flow by Majestic SEO, DR isn’t interested if a site has millions of backlinks; instead, it focuses on the number of unique domains pointing to a website. However, while Ahrefs considers the number of unique domains pointing to a link/site to calculate DR, it doesn’t mainly consider NoFollow links.

If you haven’t checked your website’s DR – follow this link to do that – Also, you can check a site’s Domain Authority for free using Moz’s free DA tool.

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How Ahrefs’ calculates Domain Rating (DR) Score

  • The number of unique domains linking to the target website
  • The “authority” of those backlinks per domain
  • Also considers the number of unique domains pointing to those sites that are pointing to your target link
  • Ahrefs’ coding magic is used to calculate the “raw” DR scores
  • You’ll see the target site’s score on a 100-point scale
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Important Note:

Ahref doesn’t look into the following metrics while calculating a site’s Domain Rating score: Spam Score, Site Traffic, Domain Age, Domain Authority, etc.

Understanding Domain Rating Score

A post from Ahrefs explains the number of “unique” domains that would make your website score higher on the DR 100-point scale.

Domain Rating Score


Number of Unique Domains

(dofollow links)

Current No. of Sites On The

Point Scale

0 – 5 1 dofollow referring domain 146,455,043
6 – 10 30 dofollow referring domains 10,322,431
11 – 15 44 dofollow referring domains 5,171,577
16 – 20 57 dofollow referring domains 3,085,066
21 – 25 85 dofollow referring domains 2,499,437
26 – 30 137 dofollow referring domains 2,493,952
31 – 35 147 dofollow referring domains 1,377,630
36 – 40 214 dofollow referring domains 861,493
41 – 45 263 dofollow referring domains 494,599
46 – 50 352 dofollow referring domains 313,324
51 – 55 444 dofollow referring domains 268,988
56 – 60 708 dofollow referring domains 152,985
61 – 65 956 dofollow referring domains 93,021
66 – 70 1,374 dofollow referring domains 64,898
71 – 75 2,789 dofollow referring domains 64,713
76 – 80 6,761 dofollow referring domains 21,209
81 – 85 16,425 dofollow referring domains 7,368
86 – 90 36,811 dofollow referring domains 3,175
91 – 95 637,650 dofollow referring domains 967
96 – 100 8,891,919 dofollow referring domains 22

So, how does DR score help marketers?

Do you care to know? It’s simple, as a digital marketer, knowing the DR score of a particular website, and combining it with other metric results will help you in bargaining for a link from that site. Also, it helps to show you how important/good a link from a site that scores high on the DR scale will do to your one website. Passing link juice from a DR50 website to a DR10 website will do a lot of good. So, now you know?

In simple terms, Domain Rating score helps a digital marketer to decide on the sites he/she should get backlinks from, in-view to rank his own link/site on SERPS.

How do I find my domain rating?

It’s quite simple – all you need do is to visit Ahrefs’ DR website and enter your URL/domain in the address bar. You’ll have to pass a ReCaptcha check, and then your Website Authority Score will show on the screen. Here’s an example of how it looks:

Domain Rating Score

Google has a DR score of 98, and from the analysis, you could see that it has over 21 billion backlinks, and over 22m site linking in.

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Below is another site with poor DR score, or rather, Website Authority Score. The site has 4k backlinks from 112 unique domains.

Website Authority Score (DR Score)

How do I increase my domain rating?

These simple tips would help:

  1. Search for “authority” sites in your niche and jot down their URLs
  2. Paste them simultaneously on Ahrefs Website Authority checker (DR checker)
  3. Check the site’s DR, if it is above DR40, that’s a good and authoritative site – single it out.
  4. Continue this way for all the sites on your list.
  5. Select the sites with DR Score 40 and above – these are sites that will help to improve yours. However, if your website is already above DR40, then you should look up to DR60 sites or above.
  6. Contact the relevant persons that manage those sites you’ve handpicked and request for “DoFollow” backlinks.
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If you’re able to get backlinks from the site, wait for a month or more and watch how your site’s DR will increase.

This time, it’s not about getting multiple links from one particular site – it’s all about getting one unique “dofollow” link from multiple websites.

What More?

I guess I have covered all you should know about Ahrefs’ Domain Rating (DR) metric. It is the newest and seemingly most import SEO metrics to use in 2020.

DR or Domain Rating is the same as Website “Authority” Score. Did you find this article to be helpful and interesting? Kindly share with others, and I wish you a blissful day ahead.

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Originally posted on June 4, 2020 @ 10:23 pm

Samuel Odamah

We wake up to new tech innovations. All I'm doing is trying to get acquainted with cutting-edge innovations, write about them, as well as deploy them in solving my everyday problems. Follow me on Twitter @fwesh_finnest for my daily updates on Tech, Bitcoin, marketing, etc.

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  1. Thanks for the post. Many thanks again.

    However, Domain Authority (Moz) is a parameter to check the ranking in Google.

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