You know you need backlinks to build SEO. And you know they must be high quality. But how do you know what makes a backlink high quality and what makes it low quality?

We have some handy tools that can help us.

Domain Authority

Go to and download the Moz toolbar. You can get it here. Install it on your computer.

Moz domain authority 2


Then it will appear in your browser like this:

Moz toolbar


You can see that this site, USA Today, has a domain score of 93, which is very good. Any links on this site would be very valuable and would boost your SEO. You should use this tool to check the domain authority of any sites you are looking to get links from.

What Is A Good Domain Authority Score?

Well, that’s like asking how long is a piece of string. It all depends, but if you want to increase your domain authority (which helps you get ranked in Google) you need to get links from a site with higher domain authority than yours.

So if your site is new, you’ll have a score of 0. So any site with any score above 0 will help. But what you should look for is sites with DA of 20 plus because a whole load of cheap links with DA’s of 5 or 10 isn’t going to get you very far. When we get to 20 plus, we really start to help our site, and when we get links on sites with DA of 40 plus, we’re really rocking because they aren’t too many sites out there with DA’s of 40.

Obviously when we get our backlinks on sites like USA Today, Washington Post, BBC News etc., who all have DA’s in the 90s, we are getting a big lead over our competitors and all else being equal, you’ll outrank them.

Why? Because if BBC news is talking about you, Google thinks you are worth showing to their users.

Of course that comes with a cost. Agencies or link brokers will charge thousands for these kinds of links. DA’s of 15-30 are an affordable place to start if you’re going down the route of paid links.

That’s all folks, I’ll leave you with Moz’s definition of Domain Authority:

Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.

One final thing: Moz Domain Authority isn’t what Google uses to rank their pages. It is just a metric designed to replicate how Google’s metrics work. It seems to be pretty accurate now after their much needed update, and given we will never know how Google really works, people use this as their yardstick.

Domain Authority Isn’t the Only Metric… Majestic Trust Flow & Citation Flow Are Important too.