Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Numerous business and marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge offer.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority in fact lead to 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 comprehend whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we must comprehend what Domain Authority is.

First, there is domain authority– the idea– 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 site explains how important the site is for a particular targeted subject area [and] significance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is determined using lots of aspects, consisting of the variety of connecting root domains and the overall number of links. The score itself is displayed 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 Ranking. AR ranks sites 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 Rating that measures the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of articles going over Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking score and recommend it is a great 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 factor for online search engine like Google.

There is even a fascinating Buy Twitter Verification thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, showing internal files from Google, suggesting Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

But continue reading– the proof 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 effect Google search engine result.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking aspect and has no result 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 need to hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes responded to a question about whether including or eliminating pages from a website affected its domain authority.

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

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

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

From there, you will find many verifications from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t use it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response acknowledged that:

“Obviously 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 an online search engine ranking score developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine do not utilize it.”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We normally try to have our metrics as granular as possible, in some cases that’s not so easy, in which case we look at things a bit wider (eg, we’ve talked about this in regards to a few of the older quality updates).”

Later on that year, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if a drop in 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 aid forum with the information, including the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing changes in.”

In 2020, Mueller received another concern about domain authority. This time, someone asked if backlinks from high domain authority websites matter in site rankings. His response:

“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 much faster on Buy Twitter Verification.

“Simply to be clear, Google does not use Domain Authority * at all * when it pertains to Browse crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is quite clear on their website.

We do, however, index tweets that talk about it.”

Up until that point, Google representatives 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 response hints at 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 might kind of map into comparable things.”

In 2022, Mueller addressed another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The concern 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 require DA for Google Browse. Google doesn’t use it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your website up in search, you ‘d need to focus on something else, or at least utilize other metrics for it. This is mainly why DA as a metric is frowned upon by lots of SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He provided extra suggestions on how one could enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a topic with low competitors and producing “… a sensible collection of wonderful material” about that topic.

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

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Truth or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to 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 effect on search engine rankings.

While Mueller when 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 Verification and Reddit.

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

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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