Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Numerous business and online marketers believe 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 engine result.

However does a greater Domain Authority actually lead to much better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the proof regarding 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 need to 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 basic definition 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] importance with regard to … search words.”

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA rating, which defines the metric as “… a search engine ranking rating 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 calculated utilizing dozens of aspects, including the number of linking root domains and the total number of links. The score itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

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

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Score. AR ranks websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Rating 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 Score that measures the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Ratings that measure the variety of links a website has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Numerous posts going over Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking score and suggest it is a good predictor of how well a site will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

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

There is even a fascinating Buy Twitter Verified thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, showing 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 Aspect: The Proof

Moz’s website states its Domain Authority score does not impact Google search results page.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking element and has no impact 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 do not have “authority”, however signals must pass on, yes.”

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

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

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

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

From there, you will find numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t utilize 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 response 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– once again– Mueller reacted:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Search engines 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 utilize domain authority. We generally attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes that’s not so simple, in which case we look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we’ve talked about this in regards to some 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 use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d advise beginning a thread in the assistance 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 couple of months later, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling webpages quicker on Buy Twitter Verified.

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

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

Up till that point, Google agents seem clear that there is no usage of Domain Authority. However, 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 understand if I ‘d call it authority like that, however 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 might type of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller responded to another concern about Domain Authority on Reddit. The concern was how to increase a website 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 doesn’t utilize it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d need to concentrate on something else, or at least use other metrics for it. This is mostly why DA as a metric is discredited by numerous SEOs. For context, I do not believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a website in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He offered extra advice on how one could improve a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competition and producing “… an affordable collection of wonderful content” about that subject.

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

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

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

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 calculated by third-party tools that have no actual effect on search engine rankings.

While Mueller when recommended that Google has metrics that map into similar things as Domain Authority, he has actually consistently rejected using Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified 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 definitely not a ranking aspect.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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