Off-Page SEO

Domain Rating & URL Rating

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Apr 4, 2023

Domain Rating & URL Rating

What is Domain Rating and URL Rating?

Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) are metrics developed by Ahrefs to see the ranking strength of a domain or a particular URL by examining its backlink profile.

DR and UR measure the quality and quantity of backlinks of a domain or a specific URL, respectively. It then assigns a value ranging from 1-100 on a logarithmic scale.

That means the difference between 90-91 will be much more significant than 20-21. Put simply, the closer you are to higher DR, the tougher and more challenging it will be to get higher scores. 

Keep in mind DR and UR may be helpful, but a higher score does not necessarily mean a website or a URL will get more traffic.

This is so because other factors besides backlinks also affect a website's ranking.

FYI: DR and UR by Ahrefs are similar to the Domain Authority and Page Authority of Moz. DR is often used synonymously with DA Score, DR score, Domain Authority Score, Domain Rating Score, Authority Score, Domain Score, etc.

To keep it simple, DR calculates the authority on a domain level, while UR calculates the authority at the page level by looking at their backlink profile. 

How is Domain Rating calculated?

Ahrefs calculates the DR by using the following metrics:

  • Total number of unique domains pointing to your website

  • Total number of domains that have at least one dofollow backlink to your domain

  • The authority of these linking domains 

  • The number of unique domains these websites are linking to other than yours

  • These DR scores are then calculated by applying some math and coding and then put on a 100-point scale to calculate the score

Key facts about DR 

Ahrefs considers the following things while calculating DR:

  • A high DR website will have more power to transfer more link juice to linking websites

  • The source domain from where you get a backlink will split its authority among all the linking domains. So getting a backlink from a domain with a DR score of 20 – linking to 3 other websites – is better than a domain with a DR score of 80 – linking to thousands of other domains. That means your DR will not only depend on the DR score of the linked website but also on how many websites this source website is linking to. 

  • If a website’s DR increases, it will also increase your DR by transferring more link juice.

  • If a website links to your website with a nofollow link, it will not increase your authority.

  • Only the first link from a unique and authoritative domain will improve the DR. All other links from the same linking domain will be ignored while calculating DR. 

  • DR only accounts for backlink profiles; it does not consider other factors like domain age, history, link spam etc. 

How is URL Rating calculated?

Ahrefs calculates the UR by using the following metrics:

  • To calculate the UR of a page, both internal and external links of that page are considered.

  • The algorithm identifies the linking loops - which involve two websites repeatedly swapping the rating scores- and breaks them up for a precise score.

  • The same weightage is given to both the HTTP and HTTPS versions of a page

  • Links intended to increase the score artificially are also removed from the system. 

Key facts about UR 

  • UR is a page-level metric that works the same way as DR. It is also calculated on a logarithmic scale and then assigned a score from 0-100 – where 0 represents the least number while 100 is the highest score.

  • Ahrefs claims to use almost the same method to calculate the UR as Google’s PageRank

  • According to Ahrefs, improving a page link profile works best to improve page ranking in SERPs.

  • Although DR also strongly correlates with higher Google rankings, Ahrefs' UR performs far better than DR. According to Ahrefs; Google ranks pages rather than websites. Therefore, you must focus on raising your UR to increase your search engine visibility.

What is a good DR and UR?

Both DR and UR are relative calculations that compare your website backlink profile with your competitors - So a score of 20 is good if your competitors have a lower score than yours. 

On the other hand, even if you have a high DR UR score of 70-80, but your competitors have 90, you still need to improve your score to outrank them.

How to improve DR and UR?

The only way to improve your website DR or authority of individual pages (UR) is to earn quality backlinks from reputable websites in your niche. Instead of just focusing on quantity, you must also consider the quality of the links.

Also, make sure to get quality backlinks for the web pages you want to rank in SERPs – as you know, there is a direct connection between the number of referring domains to a website and search engine rankings.

How does the DR UR score help in SEO?

Google does not use DR and UR to rank websites. Instead, these scores are just to give you an idea about the ranking capability of your website or specific pages by analysing your backlink profile.

  • You can use this score to improve your website performance in SERPs by comparing its performance with your competitors.

  • You can see the DR UR score of other websites, which will help you target only high-authority websites to get a backlink.

  • You can keep an eye on your pages to know how well they are performing.

  • After strengthening their backlink profile, keep in mind backlinks are not the only ranking factor. A website with a DR20 may perform better than the other with DR35. It is because other factors - competition, niche, content, user experience etc. - also play a role in website ranking. 

Domain Rating vs URL Rating vs Ahrefs Rank

Ahrefs develop these three metrics with a slight variation.

  • Domain Rating shows how strong a backlink profile of a domain is.

  • URL Rating shows how strong a backlink profile of a particular URL or a page is.

  • Ahrefs Rank evaluates and ranks all the websites by determining their DR and orders them based on this score. Simply put, all websites with a strong backlink profile will be nearer to Ahrefs Rank 1. Ahrefs Rank works more or less the same as Alexa Rank – a site used to see the ranking of all the websites in the world with respect to others in terms of traffic. Both Ahrefs and Alexa Rank show the ranking of all the websites, but the former in terms of backlink profile and the latter in terms of traffic.


Domain Rating (DR) and URL Rating (UR) are metrics developed by Ahrefs to measure the ranking strength of a domain or a particular URL by examining its backlink profile. 

DR calculates the authority on a domain level, while UR calculates the authority at the page level by looking at their backlink profile.

These scores help to improve website performance in SERPs by comparing it with competitors and keeping an eye on page performance.

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