Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Numerous companies and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a big offer.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority actually 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 element.

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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.

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 explains how essential 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 score, which defines the metric as “… an online search engine ranking score developed by Moz that anticipates how most likely a website is to rank in online search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated utilizing lots of elements, consisting of the number of linking root domains and the overall number of links. The score 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 measuring website 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 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 measures the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that measure the number of links a site has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Numerous posts going over Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking rating and recommend it is an excellent 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 aspect for search engines like Google.

There is even a fascinating Buy Twitter Verified thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal documents from Google, suggesting 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 impact on the SERPs.”

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

“We don’t have “authority”, however signals must 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 understand of anything in ranking that would translate to “domain authority”, so can’t address”

A few weeks later on, throughout a conversation about linking to image files or webpages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will find many verifications from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google does not utilize it.

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

“Google doesn’t utilize ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response acknowledged that:

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

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

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

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

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

Later on that year, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if a drop in search engine traffic was due to a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller replied:

“We don’t utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d suggest starting a thread in the assistance online 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 websites matter in site rankings. His action:

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

A few months later, Mueller was asked how important 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 concerns Browse crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is pretty clear on their site.

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

Up till that point, Google agents 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 answer hints at 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 website level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and a few of those site-wide level metrics may type of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller responded to another question 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 doesn’t use it * at all *. If you wish to level your website up in search, you ‘d need to concentrate on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is mostly why DA as a metric is frowned upon by numerous SEOs. For context, I do not think I have actually ever looked up the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He used extra advice on how one might improve a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competitors and developing “… a reasonable collection of fantastic content” about that subject.

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

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Fact 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 Rating, and Flow Metric Scores by Majestic. They are all authority metrics computed by third-party tools that have no real impact on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller as soon as recommended that Google has metrics that map into similar things as Domain Authority, he has actually repeatedly denied the use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

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

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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