Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Numerous business and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

There are guides everywhere about how you can improve your website’s Domain Authority for much better rankings in search results.

However does a higher Domain Authority really result in better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the proof as to whether it is a Google ranking factor.

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What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we should understand what Domain Authority is.

Initially, there is domain authority– the idea– and Domain Authority (DA), the metric by Moz.

As VentureSkies explains it, the basic meaning of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a website describes how important the site is for a particular targeted subject area [and] significance with respect to … search words.”

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA score, which defines the metric as “… a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that anticipates how likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated utilizing dozens of elements, including the variety of linking root domains and the total number of links. The score itself is shown on a 100-point scale.

It deserves keeping in mind that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has actually established a metric for determining website authority. You will likewise discover that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. AR ranks websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Ranking reveals the strength of a website’s backlink profile compared to others in the Ahrefs database on a 100-point scale.
  • Semrush has an Authority Score that determines the total quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that measure the number of links a website has and the quality of the site’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Numerous short articles discussing Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking score and suggest it is a great predictor of how well a site will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

This can lead some to think that Domain Authority is a ranking element for search engines like Google.

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verified thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal documents from Google, recommending Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

But continue reading– the evidence becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Element: The Proof

Moz’s website states its Domain Authority rating does not effect Google search engine result.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and has no impact on the SERPs.”

In 2015, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Happiness at Google, was inquired about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His reaction:

“We don’t have “authority”, however signals ought to hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes responded to a question about whether including or removing pages from a site affected its domain authority.

“so, my problem is that I don’t understand of anything in ranking that would equate to “domain authority”, so can’t answer”

A few weeks later, during a discussion about linking to image files or webpages for an influence on domain authority, Illyes responded:

“We do not truly have ‘general domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is better though”

From there, you will discover lots of confirmations from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google does not use it.

In December 2016, Mueller responded to a remark about a desktop domain having higher authority.

“Google doesn’t utilize ‘domain authority'”

In 2018, somebody asked if Domain Authority existed on a Reddit AMA with Mueller.

Mueller’s action acknowledged that:

“Naturally it exists, it’s a tool by Moz.”

Later that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verified if Domain Authority existed– again– Mueller reacted:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine do not use it.”

In 2019, when asked about a site-wide metric comparable to Domain Authority on Buy Twitter Verified, Mueller responded to:

“We don’t use domain authority. We typically try to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so easy, in which case we take a look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we have actually spoken about this in concerns to a few of the older quality updates).”

Later that year, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if a drop in online search engine traffic was because of a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller replied:

“We don’t utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d recommend starting a thread in the aid online forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & questions you’re seeing modifications in.”

In 2020, Mueller received another concern about domain authority. This time, somebody asked if backlinks from high domain authority sites matter in site rankings. His reaction:

“We do not use domain authority at all in our algorithms.”

A few months later on, Mueller was asked how important Domain Authority was to crawling webpages faster on Buy Twitter Verified.

“Just to be clear, Google doesn’t utilize Domain Authority * at all * when it pertains to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is pretty clear on their website.

We do, however, index tweets that speak about it.”

Up till that point, Google agents seem clear that there is no use of Domain Authority. Nevertheless, in a late 2020 interview with SearchLove, Mueller was quizzed on whether Google had a domain authority-like metric.

Unlike the ones prior to, this answer mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I do not understand if I ‘d call it authority like that, but we do have some metrics that are more on a site level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and a few of those site-wide level metrics may kind of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller answered another concern about Domain Authority on Reddit. The concern was how to increase a site with a Domain Authority of 31. Mueller addressed:

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not need DA for Google Search. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you wish to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to focus on something else, or at least use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is frowned upon by lots of SEOs. For context, I don’t think I have actually ever searched for the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He provided extra recommendations on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a sensible collection of great material” about that topic.

He stressed that user signals, not any kind of authority score, would be what moves the needle.

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Fact or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz resembles Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Rating, and Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics computed by third-party tools that have no actual effect on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller once recommended that Google has metrics that map into similar things as Domain Authority, he has actually consistently rejected the use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

He also noted that they do not call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

Therefore, we can conclude that Domain Authority is certainly not a ranking element.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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