Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Many business and marketers believe that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

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

However does a greater Domain Authority actually result in better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, initially, we must understand what Domain Authority is.

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

As VentureSkies describes it, the general 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] relevance with respect to … search words.”

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

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

It deserves noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has established a metric for determining website authority. You will likewise find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. AR ranks sites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Rating 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 measures the general quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a website has and the quality of the site’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Lots of posts discussing Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking score and suggest 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 factor for search engines like Google.

There is even an intriguing Twitter thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal files from Google, recommending Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

However continue reading– the evidence ends up being clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Proof

Moz’s website says its Domain Authority score does not effect Google search results.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking element 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 reaction:

“We don’t have “authority”, but signals must hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes answered a concern about whether adding or removing pages from a site affected 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 respond to”

A few weeks later, throughout a conversation about connecting to image files or web pages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes responded:

“We don’t truly have ‘total domain authority’. A text relate to anchor text is better though”

From there, you will discover numerous verifications from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google does not utilize it.

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

“Google doesn’t utilize ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response acknowledged that:

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

Later on that year, when asked on Twitter if Domain Authority existed– once again– Mueller reacted:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating 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 Twitter, Mueller addressed:

“We do not utilize domain authority. We typically 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 talked about this in concerns to a few of the older quality updates).”

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

“We don’t utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d recommend starting a thread in the aid forum with the information, including the URLs & queries you’re seeing changes in.”

In 2020, Mueller got another question about domain authority. This time, someone 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 couple of months later, Mueller was asked how important Domain Authority was to crawling webpages faster on Twitter.

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

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

Up up until that point, Google agents appear clear that there is no use of Domain Authority. However, 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 mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I do not know if I ‘d call it authority like that, however 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 may type of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller answered another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The concern was how to increase a site 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 use it * at all *. If you wish to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is discredited by lots of SEOs. For context, I do not believe I’ve ever searched for the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He used extra recommendations on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a topic with low competitors and creating “… an affordable collection of wonderful material” about that subject.

He stressed 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 Decision

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority

Rating, and Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated by third-party tools that have no actual result on search engine rankings.

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

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

Therefore, we can conclude that Domain Authority is certainly not a ranking factor.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel