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What is Domain Rating (DR)?
What is Domain Rating (DR)?

Find out what Ahrefs Domain Rating (DR) is and how it is calculated.

Rebekah avatar
Written by Rebekah
Updated over a week ago

Domain Rating (DR) shows the strength of a website's backlink profile compared to the others in our database on a 100-point scale. It's essentially a less granular version of Ahrefs Rank (AR).

To calculate DR, we consider: 

  1. When a domain's DR is higher, more "link juice" is transferred to linked domains.

  2. The source domain splits its rating equally amongst the domains it links to. So: a DR-10 domain which links to three other domains can influence your DR more than a DR-80 domain which links to a million other domains.

After repeating these calculations, we get a rating for each domain. The final DR value is then obtained by scaling a computed, absolute value into the 0-100 range.

Tip: Think of DR as a relative term in the sense that it's dependent on not only the total number of high-DR sites that link to you, but also on how many other websites these high-DR sites link to.

  • Note that while DR correlates with Google rankings pretty well, it doesn't do this as well as our URL Rating (UR).

  • Instead, consider DR as a great metric for selecting websites to build links from. As a general rule, you should aim to get backlinks from high-DR websites because they carry more “weight.” 


What is a good DR score?

Generally speaking, the higher the "authority" of your domain, the better.

But it’s important not to judge Domain Rating in absolute terms. That’s because Domain Rating is a relative metric by definition. It’s not possible to say that a Domain Rating of 30 is good, or 50, or 60, or 70. It’s all relative.

A general rule of thumb is that your Domain Rating (authority) is good if it’s higher than or comparable to similar sites.

If a website has a high DR, does it mean it's a good website to get links from?

You should never judge the quality of a website on site-wide "authority" alone. You should also consider the following:

  • Do they have high-quality backlinks?

  • Do they have lots of pages? (fewer is usually better)

  • Do they link out to a lot of websites? (again, fewer tends to be better)

  • Are they publishing high-quality content?

  • Is this website likely to still be around in six months? A year? Five years?

  • Does it get any organic traffic? Is this website topically-relevant to yours?

Why is my DR much higher or lower than my UR?

While both ratings are based on backlinks, DR is calculated at the domain level. This means that it looks at the quantity and quality of domains linking to your entire website, whereas URL Rating (UR) looks at the the same factors for individual pages.

I didn’t lose any backlinks. Why did my DR drop?

Most likely, other websites gained a lot of backlinks. Think of it this way: when a DR100 website gets more backlinks, we can’t make it DR101. Instead, other websites are pushed down the scale. That’s a very raw explanation of why you might see a drop in your DR when no backlinks were lost.

How come my DR is lower than that of my competitor even if I have more backlinks?

DR considers both the quantity and quality of backlinks. We also look at how many other unique sites each linking domain links to. For example, if you have a link from a DR26 domain which links to five other domains, it will have more impact on your DR than a link from a DR73 domain which links to 5000 other domains.”

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