Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Numerous companies and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

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

However does a higher Domain Authority in fact 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 comprehend whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we must understand what Domain Authority is.

First, there is domain authority– the principle– 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 website describes how important the website is for a particular targeted discipline [and] relevance with regard to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated utilizing dozens of aspects, consisting of the variety of linking root domains and the total number of links. Ball game 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 measuring site authority. You will also find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Score. 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 general quality and SEO performance of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Flow 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 Aspect

Lots of posts talking about Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking score and recommend it is a good 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 element for online search engine like Google.

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verification 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.

However continue reading– the evidence ends up being clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Evidence

Moz’s site says its Domain Authority rating does not impact Google search results page.

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

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

“We do not have “authority”, but signals need to pass on, yes.”

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

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

A few weeks later, during a discussion about linking to image files or webpages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will discover numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t utilize it.

In December 2016, Mueller responded 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 action acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is an online search engine ranking rating developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Search engines do not use it.”

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

“We don’t use domain authority. We typically try to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so easy, in which case we look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we have actually spoken about this in concerns to some of the older quality updates).”

Later that year, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if a drop in online 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 advise starting a thread in the help forum with the details, consisting of the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

In 2020, Mueller got another concern about domain authority. This time, somebody 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 couple of months later, Mueller was asked how important Domain Authority was to crawling webpages much 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 pretty clear on their website.

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

Up until that point, Google representatives seem clear that there is no usage 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 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 website level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and some of those site-wide level metrics may type of map into comparable things.”

In 2022, Mueller answered another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The question was how to increase a website 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 utilize 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 numerous SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I’ve ever searched for the DA for a website in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

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

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

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Factors: Reality or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

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

While Mueller as soon as suggested that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has actually consistently rejected using Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

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

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

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