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Google keeps their ranking algorithm fairly hush-hush, but there are several things we do know about it.

Google’s ranking system involves over 200 signals. None of these signals today have the kind of “authority” factor they once did back in the days of Google PageRank. Instead, they all work together with each other, and this is what determines how authoritative your website is. One factor that most people don’t realize is that authority is not something that is calculated on a per-domain basis. Rather, it’s calculated on a per-page basis. The reason for this is simple and actually quite logical.

If it was calculated on a per-domain basis, that means that for an authoritative site, by default, any additional pages added to that domain would also be considered authoritative – whether they deserve it or not. So, to avoid this inaccuracy, authority is calculated on a per-page basis.

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It’s also noteworthy to mention that all links are not created equal.

PR mentions and links from high-authority websites will pass on that authority. The value of a link varies depending on the authority of the site that is providing the link back. Websites that have 2 high quality links from authoritative sites will acquire a higher authority than a website with 20 links from non-authoritative sites. Websites with high authority will have little to no instances of malware and are fairly fast at loading their pages. On the same note, slow loading web pages or sites that are constantly being hacked with malware will never become authority websites.

Social sharing and audience engagement are also huge factors when it comes to determining which sites are considered authority websites. Google gives a higher authority value to websites that show signs of regular social sharing. When a website has a large number of social followers it shows that the audience is highly engaged with that website and interested in the publication, and Google sees this as valuable, quality content.

Interested in finding out where your site stands in regards to being an authoritative website? MozBar is a browser toolbar offered by Chrome – similar to what the Google PageRank toolbar used to be. When visiting a website, the MozBar will display its domain authority score. It determines a website’s estimated popularity based on multiple factors, but it may not be 100 percent accurate, as it only provides estimates.

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