Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Many business and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a big offer.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority in fact result in much better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the evidence as to whether it is a Google ranking factor.

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What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we should comprehend what Domain Authority is.

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

As VentureSkies explains it, the general meaning of domain authority is as follows:

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

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA rating, which specifies the metric as “… an online search engine ranking rating developed 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 using dozens of factors, including the number of linking root domains and the overall variety of links. The score 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 established a metric for determining website authority. You will also 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 Rating 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 Rating that measures the general quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Scores that determine the variety of links a site has and the quality of the site’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Lots of short articles talking about Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking score and suggest it is a good predictor of how well a website 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 Verification thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal files from Google, suggesting Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

However continue reading– the evidence becomes clear.

[Discover:] More Google Ranking Element Insights

Domain Authority As A Ranking Element: The Proof

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

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking element and has no effect on the SERPs.”

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

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

In 2016, Illyes responded to a question about whether adding or getting rid of pages from a website impacted its domain authority.

“so, my problem is that I don’t understand of anything in ranking that would translate to “domain authority”, so can’t answer”

A few weeks later on, during a conversation about connecting to image files or websites for an effect on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will find numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google does not use it.

In December 2016, Mueller reacted 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 Verification 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 use it.”

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

“We don’t utilize domain authority. We typically attempt 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 wider (eg, we’ve talked about this in regards to some of the older quality updates).”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d suggest starting a thread in the assistance forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & queries 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 website rankings. His response:

“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 websites quicker on Buy Twitter Verification.

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

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

Up till 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 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 might kind of map into comparable 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 answered:

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not require DA for Google Search. Google doesn’t utilize it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to focus on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is frowned upon by lots of SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I have actually ever looked up the DA for a site in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He provided extra advice on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a sensible collection of fantastic content” about that subject.

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

[Advised Read:] Google Ranking Elements: 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 Score, and Circulation Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated 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 consistently denied making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

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

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

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