It’s true: Google doesn’t consider every website on the web equal.
The search engine has some favouritism.
However, this favour is granted by chance — it’s got everything to do with a website’s overall authority.
So, with all the other factors held constant, Google will rank a high-authority website higher than one with lower authority.
That explains why it’s easy for some sites to rank for highly competitive keywords while others struggle to get out of the dust.
It also explains why so many SEO obsess over domain authority, despite it not being an official Google metric.
But it’s not just about having high domain authority — it’s also about checking how your website has grown over time and evaluating which keywords to target.
Enters historical domain authority (HDA)
Domain authority is a metric created by SEO software company Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). It ranges from one to 100, with a higher score indicating better ranking potential.
In other words, it shows the SEO potential of a website.
Historical domain authority (HDA) is a metric that measures the changes in a website’s domain authority over time.
In other words, it tells us how well a website’s domain authority has grown (or decreased) over a certain period.
Why Does it Matter?
First, it helps to understand that two sites might have the same DA but different values.
If two websites have the same DA, but one has been consistently growing over time while the other has stayed stagnant, the one that has grown will have more authority in Google’s eyes.
Also, while your current DA tells you the potential of your website, historical domain authority paints a complete picture of your SEO progress.
For example, if your current DA score is 55, but your HDA shows that you’ve gone from a 10 to a 55 over the past year, this means that you have made some serious SEO progress.
On the flip side, if your HDA shows that your DA has been dropping over the past year, then that might mean you should take serious action to get back to Google’s good graces.
Not only that, but knowing your domain authority can also help you plan better. You can compare your domain history with your closest competitors and understand what works for them and what doesn’t.
That should give you a better idea of which keywords to target, how much effort to put into your campaigns, and how long it will take to outrank them.
There are two ways to track your Historical-Domain Authority:
The first way is to compare your DA yesterday, a week ago, a month ago, and a year ago with your DA today.
The second way is comparative, where you compare your DA with your strongest competitor’s. That should give you an idea of your standing today and how much effort you need to put in to reach the same level.
It also helps to understand that DA isn’t fixed. It’s always changing and improving. For example, whenever a website owner decides to remove, disavow or add backlinks, their DA will change.
That’s an indication that your DA may vary. So, learn to monitor it.
You may even experience your DA dropping when you haven’t changed anything. You haven’t lost any value, changed a link, or done anything in particular to hurt your site. But it’s still dropped.
That’s because DA is relative. It’s always in comparison to your competitors, so if they do something that impacts their DA, it will also affect yours.
Google doesn’t view all websites the same, and it can be hard to get a complete picture of how well your website is doing.
Some sites attract thousands of visits with little or no SEO effort, while others struggle to get a trickle despite putting in loads of effort.
Google believes in two main factors: authority and quality.
If your website has a reputation for delivering quality content, Google will rank it higher.
While Google doesn’t directly measure your website’s authority, it looks at a few things directly connected to how DA is calculated.
One of these things is the number of backlinks to your website, the relevancy of those backlinks, and the link’s age.
So, how do you check your website’s domain authority history?
First, you’ll need a domain authority checker. There are many of these available, both free and paid.
Choose one that provides a report or lists the data over time.
Once you’ve identified a tool, run your website through it and download the report. It will give you a better understanding of your website’s performance.
You can also view a graph of your website’s DA over time to understand how it’s changed over the past month, year, and more.
You can also do it manually by having someone on your team check your DA daily, weekly, or monthly and create a document or spreadsheet to track improvements or regressions.
They can do this for the top 10, 20, or 50 best-ranking websites in your niche and compare your DA with them.
After a few checks, you should have a good DA repository to refer to when checking your website progress.
We’ve come to find the manual method to be more accurate, as it’s easier to spot sudden changes or advancements in your DA over time.
Note: HDA is just a metric and should not be used as an absolute measure of your website’s strength. It should be used as a tool to track progress and make better decisions.
There are a few tools that you can use to determine your historical domain authority.
Some of these include Moz, SEMRush, and Ahrefs.
Moz single-handedly invented the domain authority metric, so it’s a no-brainer they’ll have a tool specifically designed to track it.
You just need to enter your website URL and wait for the results.
However, to check your DA history, you must go for one of their paid plans.
You can find this data in your dashboard’s “Link Research” tab for those with a paid subscription or free trial.
You want to review the monthly fluctuations of your DA for the past year using the “Metrics over Time” graph provided.
You can also use a free tool like Website SEO Checker to check your DA history.
This tool provides an in-depth analysis of your website’s DA over the past 30 months.
Scrolling through the graph lets you quickly spot any sudden changes or trends in your website’s DA over time.
Also, if you have a SEMrush subscription, you can use the program to get even more information about your domain history over time.
How to Check Your DA History in Bulk?
You may sometimes want to check the DA of multiple websites at once, like your competitors or sites related to your industry.
One benefit of this is you can quickly compare and contrast the trends in domain authority across various websites.
A bulk domain authority checker is the best way to do this.
One tool you can use is SEO Review Tools.
This tool allows you to enter up to 10 URLs at once and review their domain authority, page authority, and the number of backlinks the websites have.
It also shows the average score in each category of the domains you review.
All this information will be provided on a single page, which you can use to determine the overall standing of your website compared to your competitors.
While this bulk DA checker only checks the current DA of each website, you can record the results or export them to a spreadsheet for comparison over time.
It will give you a better understanding of how each website’s domain authorities have changed over time and help you determine the overall progress of your website in comparison to that of your rivals.
It depends on the tool you use to check your DA.
Some of these tools allow you to see your DA all the way back to when it was first calculated. Others like Moz cap it at a one-year range.
But the manual method is probably the best bet to track your DA further back.
You can save this data in a spreadsheet on a weekly or monthly basis and then slowly create a timeline of your website’s DA history.
Some tools like Website SEO checker provide a more in-depth DA history, 30 months in this case.
But it all depends on how old your domain is and when was the first time the site’s DA was calculated.
When Should You Check Your DA History?
You can check your DA anytime. But there are instances when it makes more sense to do it.
Checking your DA at such a time could help you avoid costly SEO mistakes or take advantage of the available opportunities.
For example, it’s practically sensible to check your DA after making a major change to your website, like a redesign or when launching new services.
That said, here are a few instances when it makes more sense to check your DA:
Before You Purchase a New Domain
With every new domain your purchase, it’s practically a good idea to check its DA. Do this if you’re starting a new business or looking to expand your business to another domain.
The internet has been around for a while. So, chances are good that while the domain name is still available, someone may have used it in the past.
The domain name might be new to you, but it’s not without some past baggage.
You can check a domain name’s past DA to understand its search engine credibility better.
It’s like buying a new car. You wouldn’t buy a car without checking the past owner’s driving record. It’s no different with domains.
The review will allow you to see if there are any penalties, hidden links, or any other signs of misuse associated with the domain name.
If the domain has too many issues, it’s best to abandon the purchase and look for another option.
Before and After a New Campaign
Checking your DA before and after a new campaign is also a good idea.
Checking the DA before will give a baseline to track progress, and checking after will provide insight into the campaign’s effectiveness.
If your DA goes up after the campaign, you know you’re on the right track and can continue with the same strategy.
On the other hand, if you find that your DA has remained constant or dropped, then it’s time to rethink your strategy and make necessary adjustments.
Running a DA history after conducting a marketing campaign can give you more clarity on its performance.
You can also save this information to refer to in your subsequent campaigns. That will help compare and contrast your metric to see if your latest efforts help or hurt your rankings.
Domain Authority History Goes Beyond Domain Authority
The history of any domain isn’t just about the numbers; it’s also about the story behind them.
Knowing the why and how of a domain’s DA history has much to tell us.
For instance, a website that has seen a steady growth of DA over time is often associated with better SEO practices and a solid strategy.
On the other hand, a domain with constantly fluctuating DA could point towards some underlying SEO issues you should address.
It’s got less to do with metrics or numbers that search engines track and everything to do with your audience, the people who signal to search engines that your website is top-quality and informative.
These people might have had a negative experience with the domain, resulting in a dip in its ranking.
So, checking the DA history can help you identify those potential issues and address them accordingly.
Let’s use the same analogy of a car. Say you bought a car that was once involved in a hit-and-run. You didn’t know about this when you bought the car, and now the authorities are onto you.
Getting to the bottom of this mystery requires looking at the car’s past records and understanding its history. The same goes for a domain.
The domain might have been penalized, associated with spammy practices, or even linked to malicious websites in the past.
The only way to know for sure is to check its history and see if it’s worth fixing or if it can even be fixed.
You have two options here. The first one is to prove that you’re a completely different entity or brand the domain was associated with in the past.
The second one is to pick a different domain name.
So, how do you dig into a domain’s history to uncover its past?
The most basic way to check a domain’s history is to use Google.
Simply typing the domain name in quotes will help you pull up any associated search results.
You want to read reviews, blogs, internet forums, and other sources to see if it has been mentioned.
That will give you an overview of what people have been saying about the domain.
The trick here is to pay attention to reviews and comments about the domain from at least a year ago.
The Wayback Machine archives old versions of websites, so you can go back in time to check how the website used to look like.
It’s a great resource for checking a domain’s history, as it can provide you with valuable insight into the website’s past.
The tool has archived more than 775 billion web pages since 1996.
Simply type in the domain name to get access to its archived version.
Another excellent tool for checking a domain’s history is the Whois Lookup.
This tool provides information about a domain, like its registration date, expiration date, who registered it, and contact details.
SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Majestic, and Moz offer more detailed insights into a domain’s historical values.
These tools provide a detailed report on the domain, including its backlink profile, anchor text, and other metrics.
How to Use Your DA History to Plan a Winning Content Strategy
Your DA history can be used to create an effective content strategy.
If you notice a dip in your DA, it could indicate some underlying issues that need to be addressed.
Some of the things you can do to get back on track are:
- Check your content quality
- Improve your website’s internal link structure
- Monitor your backlink profile
- Keep an eye on the competition
- Analyze your keyword strategy
- Update your content regularly
- Use social media to generate more traffic
- Start promoting your content
Your DA is how you tell if you’re improving or not.
It’s how you predict whether you will rank better in search engines.
The difference between PA and DA is that PA measures the strength of a single page, while DA measures the strength of an entire domain.
So, for every article you write, you want to make sure that it will add value to your domain and help boost its DA.
Write with other writers in mind. Give them something they want to link to benefit their readers.
That’s how you improve the article’s PA and the domain’s DA.
So, how do you improve your website’s DA score?
Start by understanding your domain’s history and current state.
Check for any mistakes you may have made in the past, like using too many irrelevant keywords, and start fixing them.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money hiring someone. Here are a few steps you can follow to improve your DA:
- Audit Your Link Profile: Audit your current link profile before building links. Check whether the site is performing well or if any toxic links should be removed.
- Fix Technical Issues: Fix any technical issues like broken links, redirects, site speed, etc. You can do this using tools like Google Search Console or Screaming Frog.
- List Your Competitors and their Respective DAs: See who your top 10 competitors are and their respective DA scores. How often do they post? How do they promote their content? What sites link to them?
- Build Good Quality Links: Focus on building relevant links from authority sites. Don’t take shortcuts by using automated link-building tools or buying links. You can guest-blog and use directories and forums to build good links.
- Promote Your Content: Use social media, email marketing, SEO campaigns, etc.
- Monitor Your Progress: Use tools like Ahrefs to track your progress. Monitor your DA and backlink profile regularly to ensure you’re on the right track.
- Start Recording Your DA: Once you have taken the steps necessary to improve it, start recording it regularly. We suggest you do it monthly. Do it alongside 10 of your closest competitors and analyze their progress.
The Content King
Content is king. You can have all the links in the world, but if your content isn’t good, no one is going to stay and read it. Make sure that you are creating content that people will enjoy reading, watching or listening to.
Your content should be informative, entertaining, and relevant. Try to cover topics people haven’t seen before or ask questions that haven’t been answered.
Once you have all that in place, start looking for ways to promote your content and get more people to click on your links.
Some Final Words
Historical domain authority isn’t a ranking metric but a way to measure and evaluate your online progress. It’s how you tell if your efforts are paying off or not.
It can also be viewed as a metric for comparing competing sites. It’s important to understand how your domain has performed in the past and see how it compares to other sites.
However, you do not want to overthink its importance.
First, it’s got nothing to do with how Google ranks websites, and second, it’s just one factor in a much bigger picture.
It won’t directly impact your ranking in Google, nor will your ranking directly impact your DA score.
Focus on creating quality content and building good-quality links, and the rest should fall into place in time.