Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

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

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

But does a higher Domain Authority actually 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, initially, we must comprehend what Domain Authority is.

Initially, 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 site explains how crucial the website is for a particular targeted discipline [and] importance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is determined utilizing dozens of factors, consisting of the number of linking root domains and the total number of links. The score itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

It’s worth noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has actually developed a metric for measuring site authority. You will likewise find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Rating. AR ranks sites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Score 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 Rating that determines the general quality and SEO performance of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a website has and the quality of the site’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Numerous articles talking about Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a good predictor of how well a site will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

This can lead some to believe that Domain Authority is a ranking aspect for search engines like Google.

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

However continue reading– the evidence becomes 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 results.

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

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

“We do not have “authority”, however signals must hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes responded to a question about whether including 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 on, throughout a discussion about linking to image files or webpages for an impact 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 lots of confirmations from John Mueller, Browse 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 use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s reaction acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine do not utilize it.”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We generally try to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes that’s not so simple, in which case we take a look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we’ve discussed this in regards to some of the older quality updates).”

Later on 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 beginning a thread in the help online forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

In 2020, Mueller received another question about domain authority. This time, somebody asked if backlinks from high domain authority websites matter in website rankings. His reaction:

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

A few months later, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling webpages quicker on Buy Twitter Verified.

“Just to be clear, Google doesn’t utilize Domain Authority * at all * when it pertains to Browse crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is quite clear on their website.

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

Up until that point, Google representatives 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 prior to, this response hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t 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 might sort of map into comparable 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 responded to:

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

He offered additional advice on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by focusing on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a reasonable collection of fantastic content” about that topic.

He stressed that user signals, not any sort of authority rating, would be what moves the needle.

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Reality or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz resembles Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Rating, and Circulation Metric Scores by Majestic. They are all authority metrics computed by third-party tools that have no actual result on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller once recommended 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 Verified and Reddit.

He also kept in mind that they do not 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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