Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Lots of business and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

There are guides all over about how you can enhance your site’s Domain Authority for better rankings in search results.

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

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority belongs of the Google algorithm, initially, we need to understand what Domain Authority is.

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

As VentureSkies describes it, the general definition of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a website describes how crucial the site is for a particular targeted discipline [and] relevance with regard to … search words.”

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA rating, which defines the metric as “… an online search engine ranking score established by Moz that predicts how most likely a site is to rank in online search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is determined utilizing dozens of elements, consisting of the number of linking root domains and the overall number of links. Ball game itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

It’s worth noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has established a metric for determining site authority. You will likewise discover that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. AR ranks sites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Score shows 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 general quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Lots of short articles talking about Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a good predictor of how well a site will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

This can lead some to think that Domain Authority is a ranking factor for online search engine like Google.

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

However continue reading– the evidence ends up being clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Element: The Proof

Moz’s site says its Domain Authority score does not impact Google search results page.

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

In 2015, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Joy at Google, was inquired about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His action:

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

In 2016, Illyes answered a question about whether adding or getting rid of pages from a site impacted its domain authority.

“so, my issue is that I don’t know of anything in ranking that would equate to “domain authority”, so can’t address”

A couple of weeks later on, during a conversation about connecting to image files or web pages for an influence on domain authority, Illyes replied:

“We don’t truly have ‘overall domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is much better though”

From there, you will discover numerous verifications from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t utilize it.

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

“Google doesn’t use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s action acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is an online search engine ranking score established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t utilize it.”

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

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

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

“We don’t use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d recommend starting a thread in the assistance online forum with the information, including the URLs & queries you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

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

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

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

Up until that point, Google representatives appear 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 before, this response hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

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

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

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not require DA for Google Browse. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or at least use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is discredited by many SEOs. For context, I do not think I’ve ever looked up the DA for a site in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He offered additional guidance on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competition and developing “… a sensible collection of fantastic content” about that subject.

He emphasized that user signals, not any type of authority rating, would be what moves the needle.

[Advised Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Truth or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

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

While Mueller as soon as suggested that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has repeatedly rejected making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

He also noted that they don’t call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

Therefore, we can conclude that Domain Authority is absolutely not a ranking aspect.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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