Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Many business and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a big deal.

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

However does a greater Domain Authority really lead to better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

To comprehend whether Domain Authority belongs of the Google algorithm, first, we must understand what Domain Authority is.

Initially, 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 specific targeted subject area [and] significance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is determined using lots of factors, including the variety of linking root domains and the overall number of links. Ball game itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

It deserves noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has established a metric for measuring website authority. You will likewise find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Rating. AR ranks sites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Ranking reveals the strength of a site’s backlink profile compared to others in the Ahrefs database on a 100-point scale.
  • Semrush has an Authority Rating that measures the general quality and SEO performance of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that determine the number of links a site has and the quality of the site’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of posts talking about Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking score and recommend it is a good predictor of how well a website will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

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

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verification 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 ends up being clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor: The Proof

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

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

In 2015, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunshine and Happiness at Google, was asked about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His response:

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

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether including or eliminating pages from a site impacted its domain authority.

“so, my issue is that I do not understand of anything in ranking that would translate to “domain authority”, so can’t address”

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

“We don’t really have ‘total domain authority’. A text relate to anchor text is better though”

From there, you will find many verifications from John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t 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 Verification if Domain Authority existed– once again– Mueller responded:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is an online search engine ranking score developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Search engines do not use it.”

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

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

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

“We do not utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d recommend starting a thread in the help online forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & queries you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

A few months later on, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling web pages quicker on Buy Twitter Verification.

“Just to be clear, Google does not use Domain Authority * at all * when it comes to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is quite clear on their site.

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

Up until 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 before, this response mean 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 site level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and some of those site-wide level metrics might type of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller addressed another concern about Domain Authority on Reddit. The question 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 need DA for Google Browse. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you wish to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or at least utilize other metrics for it. This is mainly why DA as a metric is frowned upon by many SEOs. For context, I do not think I’ve ever searched for the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered extra suggestions on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a topic with low competition and developing “… a sensible collection of wonderful content” about that subject.

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

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Reality or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Score, and Circulation Metric Scores by Majestic. They are all authority metrics determined by third-party tools that have no real result on search engine rankings.

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

He likewise kept in mind that they don’t call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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