Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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

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

But does a higher Domain Authority actually lead to much 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, first, we need to understand what Domain Authority is.

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

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

“The domain authority of a site describes how essential the website is for a specific targeted discipline [and] importance with regard to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is computed utilizing dozens of factors, including the number of linking root domains and the total variety 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 site authority. You will likewise find 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 Rating shows 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 total quality and SEO performance of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that measure the number of links a site has and the quality of the site’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Lots of articles going over Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a good 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 search engines like Google.

There is even an intriguing 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.

But continue reading– the proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Evidence

Moz’s site states its Domain Authority rating does not effect Google search engine result.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking aspect 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 reaction:

“We do not have “authority”, however signals must pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a question about whether including or getting rid of 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 address”

A couple of weeks later, throughout a discussion about linking to image files or websites for an influence on domain authority, Illyes responded:

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

From there, you will discover numerous verifications from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t use it.

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

“Google does not utilize ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s action acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is an online search engine ranking rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t utilize it.”

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

“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 wider (eg, we have actually spoken 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 because of a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller replied:

“We don’t use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d advise beginning a thread in the help forum with the information, including the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing modifications in.”

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

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

A few months later on, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling websites faster on Buy Twitter Verification.

“Just to be clear, Google does not use Domain Authority * at all * when it comes to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is quite clear on their site.

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

Up up until that point, Google agents seem 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 understand if I ‘d call it authority like that, however we do have some metrics that are more on a website level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and a few of those site-wide level metrics may sort of map into similar things.”

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

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not require DA for Google Search. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you want to level your site 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 discredited by many SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a site in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He used extra guidance on how one could improve a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competition and developing “… an affordable collection of fantastic content” about that topic.

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 Verdict

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

While Mueller when recommended that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has actually repeatedly denied making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

He also kept in mind 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/Best SMM Panel