Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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

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

However does a higher Domain Authority in fact lead to much 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 comprehend whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we should understand what Domain Authority is.

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

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

“The domain authority of a website explains how important the site is for a particular targeted discipline [and] importance with respect to … search words.”

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

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

It’s worth keeping in mind that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has actually developed a metric for determining 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 website’s backlink profile compared to others in the Ahrefs database on a 100-point scale.
  • Semrush has an Authority Rating that determines the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Scores that determine the number of links a website has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of posts going over Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a good predictor of how well a website will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

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

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verification Badge thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal files from Google, recommending 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 Factor: The Evidence

Moz’s site states its Domain Authority rating does not impact Google search results page.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and has no result 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 should hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes answered a concern about whether including or removing pages from a site affected its domain authority.

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

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

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

From there, you will find numerous verifications from John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t use it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s reaction acknowledged that:

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

Later on that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verification Badge if Domain Authority existed– once again– Mueller responded:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Search engines do not utilize it.”

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

“We don’t utilize domain authority. We normally 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 more comprehensive (eg, we’ve talked about this in regards to a few of the older quality updates).”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d recommend beginning a thread in the aid forum with the details, including the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing modifications in.”

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

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

A couple of months later, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling websites quicker on Buy Twitter Verification Badge.

“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, nevertheless, index tweets that talk about it.”

Up 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 prior to, this response mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t 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 a few of those site-wide level metrics may sort 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 ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or a minimum of utilize other metrics for it. This is mainly why DA as a metric is discredited by numerous SEOs. For context, I don’t think I have actually ever looked up the DA for a website in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He used additional recommendations on how one could improve a domain’s authority by focusing on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a reasonable collection of great material” about that topic.

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

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority

Rating, and Circulation Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated by third-party tools that have no real effect on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller as soon as recommended that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has consistently denied using Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification Badge and Reddit.

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

For that reason, we can conclude that Domain Authority is certainly not a ranking factor.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel