Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Lots of companies and marketers think that Domain Authority is a big offer.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority really result in better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the proof regarding whether it is a Google ranking aspect.

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What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, initially, we must 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 definition of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a site describes how important the site is for a particular targeted discipline [and] relevance 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 established by Moz that forecasts how most likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is computed using lots of factors, consisting of the variety of linking root domains and the overall 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 determining website authority. You will also discover that:

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

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Many short articles going over Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking rating and suggest it is an excellent 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 an interesting 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 Aspect: The Proof

Moz’s website states its Domain Authority rating does not impact Google search engine result.

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

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

“We don’t have “authority”, however signals should pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a question about whether including or getting rid of pages from a site affected 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 couple of weeks later on, during a discussion about linking to image files or webpages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes responded:

“We do not actually have ‘general domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is much better though”

From there, you will discover numerous verifications from John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t use it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s reaction acknowledged that:

“Obviously 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 rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t use it.”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We generally 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 have actually discussed 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 responded:

“We do not use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d advise starting a thread in the assistance forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & questions you’re seeing modifications 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 reaction:

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

A couple of months later, Mueller was asked how important Domain Authority was to crawling web pages faster 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 website.

We do, however, index tweets that speak 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 prior to, this answer mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t 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 a few of those site-wide level metrics might kind of map into comparable things.”

In 2022, Mueller addressed another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The question was how to increase a website with a Domain Authority of 31. Mueller addressed:

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not require DA for Google Browse. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your website up in search, you ‘d require to focus on something else, or a minimum of utilize 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’ve ever searched for the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered additional guidance on how one could improve a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competitors and producing “… an affordable collection of wonderful content” about that topic.

He emphasized that user signals, not any type 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 resembles Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Score, and Circulation Metric Scores by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated by third-party tools that have no real impact on search engine rankings.

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

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