How to Increase the DR of a Website?

Learn how to increase the DR score and why you should not focus on doing that.

Domain Rating is a metric introduced by Ahrefs that measures the overall quality and strength of a website’s backlink profile. It is widely used by SEO professionals to assess the website’s “power” in terms of links, whether it’s for link building, website acquisition, or competitive analysis.

What is DR?

Domain Rating (DR) is a proprietary SEO metric developed by Ahrefs that measures the overall strength, quality, and authority of a website based on its backlink profile.

Ahrefs’ Domain Rating metric operates on a logarithmic scale from 0 to 100, with the latter indicating the strongest backlink profile.

In simple terms, the more high-quality websites that link to your website, the higher its DR will be.

While Domain Rating can help predict a website’s chances of ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it’s important to note that it doesn’t necessarily reflect Google’s view of the website’s quality and strength.

You can check your website’s Domain Rating here.

What influences the DR

Given that the Domain Rating metric evaluates the strength of a website’s backlink profile, the quality and quantity of external links are pivotal in determining its DR.

Generally, more links from high-quality domains will positively influence the website’s DR score.

Although Ahrefs has not fully disclosed the algorithm behind Domain Rating, it’s evident that the website’s DR score is influenced by the following specific factors:

1. The number of referring domains

This is the primary factor influencing a website’s Domain Rating. A higher count of unique websites linking to the site results in a higher DR.

Only one link from the domain is counted towards this metric, meaning additional backlinks from the same domain do not further influence the DR.

Links from websites tagged with “nofollow,” “UGC” (User Generated Content), and “sponsored” attributes are not included in the calculation. So only “dofollow” links count.

2. The DR of referring domains

Websites with higher DR can pass more DR to other sites. This is the reason why SEOs seek to get a backlink from high-DR wensites.

Importantly, a website’s Domain Rating cannot be negatively impacted by the DR of its referring domains – even if it receives backlinks from domains with lower DR. The only way to decrease your DR is to lose links.

3.The number of websites the referring domains links to

Finally, Ahrefs’ Domain Rating also takes into account the quantity of sites that a referring domain links to. The DR that the domain is passing is equally distributed among the linked websites. The more websites a domain links to, the less DR each of them gets.

Generally, Ahrefs’ DR is pretty simple. I doesn’t take the domain age, search traffic, or spam factors into account.

How to Increase the DR Score

Backlinks are an important ranking factor for Google and other search engines—thus, it’s crucial to strengthen your website’s backlink profile. The Domain Rating can be a good indicator of your efforts.

Understanding what influences the DR makes it clearer on the actions you need to undertake to boost this metric for your website.

1. Get links from more websites

While you shouldn’t be focusing solely on quantity, one of the simplest ways to improve your website’s DR is by earning backlinks from a greater number of unique referring domains. Getting more backlinks from the same website won’t increase the DR score.

2. Aim for the websites with high DR

Earning high-quality inbound links from websites with a higher DR will impact your website positively. These websites transfer more “link juice” to your site, contributing to your Domain Rating.

But, of course, securing links from high-DR websites is typically much harder.

3. Prioritize websites that don’t link to too many other websites

Since the amount of “DR juice” a website passes is distributed among all websites it links to, it’s beneficial to target high-DR sites that link to a smaller number of websites.

You can see the link prospect’s “Linked Domains” count in various reports in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

dofollow linked domains

Higher Domain Rating is generally better, but it’s important to note that there isn’t a universally “good” DR score; the objective is to maintain a Domain Rating that’s comparable to that of other websites in your industry.

Why chasing the DR (Domain Rating) increase ss a bad SEO strategy

While Domain Rating can help predict the likelihood of your website ranking in SERPs, it’s important to remember that it shouldn’t be viewed as a guarantee of strong organic search traffic.

Here’s the thing:

Many marketing teams and SEO professionals believe that Domain Rating is crucial for securing better rankings in SERPs—and, by extension, for driving more traffic. However, Google’s algorithm consider much more factors.

You can see websites with low DR getting significant traffic from search:

Most importantly, avoid attempts to manipulate your website’s Domain Rating through practices such as buying links or using Private Blog Networks (PBNs) to artificially enhance your site’s ranking in SERPs.

Improving your site’s DR should be be a by-product of your link-building, not the aim of it.

The optimal strategy is to adopt a long-term perspective and prioritize high-quality link-building.

In the end, as an SEO professional, your goal should be to attract real organic search traffic, not to chase estimation metrics like the DR.

Nick is a product marketer and a seasoned SEO specialist at Ahrefs. He is also a regular contributor to the Ahrefs Blog, dedicating his remaining time to enhancing the Ahrefs SEO Toolbar.