Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Numerous business and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a huge offer.

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

But does a higher Domain Authority in fact result in better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the evidence as to 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, initially, we need to comprehend what Domain Authority is.

First, there is domain authority– the concept– 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 important the website is for a particular targeted subject area [and] significance with regard to … search words.”

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

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

It deserves keeping in mind that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has established a metric for determining site authority. You will likewise find 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 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 general quality and SEO performance of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Scores that measure the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of posts discussing Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a great predictor of how well a site will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

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

There is even an interesting Twitter 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 Element: The Proof

Moz’s website says its Domain Authority score does not effect 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 Sunlight and Joy at Google, was inquired about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His response:

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

In 2016, Illyes addressed a question about whether adding or removing pages from a site impacted its domain authority.

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

A couple of weeks later on, throughout a discussion about connecting to image files or web pages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will discover lots of confirmations from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t utilize it.

In December 2016, Mueller reacted to a comment about a desktop domain having greater authority.

“Google doesn’t use ‘domain authority'”

In 2018, somebody 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 Twitter if Domain Authority existed– again– Mueller reacted:

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

In 2019, when asked about a site-wide metric similar to Domain Authority on Twitter, Mueller answered:

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

Later on that year, a Twitter user asked if a drop in online 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 starting a thread in the help forum with the details, including the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

A few months later on, Mueller was asked how crucial Domain Authority was to crawling webpages quicker on Twitter.

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

We do, however, index tweets that discuss it.”

Up up until that point, Google representatives appear clear that there is no usage 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 answer hints at 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 some of those site-wide level metrics might 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 doesn’t use it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d need to concentrate on something else, or a minimum of utilize other metrics for it. This is mostly why DA as a metric is frowned upon by lots of SEOs. For context, I do not think I’ve ever searched for the DA for a website in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He provided additional advice on how one might improve a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a sensible collection of wonderful material” about that topic.

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

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

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 online search engine rankings.

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

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

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel