Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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

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

But does a greater Domain Authority really lead to 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, initially, we need to understand what Domain Authority is.

Initially, there is domain authority– the principle– 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 describes how essential the website is for a particular targeted discipline [and] importance with regard to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is computed using lots of elements, including the variety of linking root domains and the total variety 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 developed a metric for measuring site authority. You will also find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. 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 web page.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Scores that determine the number of links a site has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of short articles 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 perform in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

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 Verified 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.

However continue reading– the proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Element: The Evidence

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 result on the SERPs.”

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

“We don’t have “authority”, but signals must pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes answered a question about whether including or removing pages from a site impacted 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 on, throughout a conversation about connecting to image files or webpages for an effect on domain authority, Illyes responded:

“We don’t actually have ‘total domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is much better though”

From there, you will find numerous verifications from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t 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 reaction 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– again– Mueller responded:

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

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We normally try to have our metrics as granular as possible, in some cases that’s not so simple, in which case we take a look at things a bit broader (eg, we’ve 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 online search engine traffic was due to a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller responded:

“We don’t use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d suggest beginning a thread in the assistance online forum with the details, consisting of the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

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

“We don’t use domain authority at all in our algorithms.”

A couple of months later on, Mueller was asked how crucial Domain Authority was to crawling web pages quicker on Buy Twitter Verified.

“Just to be clear, Google does not 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 talk about it.”

Up till that point, Google agents seem 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 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 some of those site-wide level metrics may type of map into comparable things.”

In 2022, Mueller responded to 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 Search. Google doesn’t use it * at all *. If you want to level your site up in search, you ‘d need to focus on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is mostly why DA as a metric is discredited by lots of SEOs. For context, I do not believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a website in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered additional suggestions on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competition and producing “… a reasonable collection of great content” about that subject.

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

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Reality or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz resembles Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Score, and Flow 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 once recommended that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has consistently denied making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

He likewise kept in mind that they don’t 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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