Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Many business and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a big offer.

There are guides everywhere about how you can boost your site’s Domain Authority for much better rankings in search engine result.

But does a higher Domain Authority actually result in much better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

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

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

As VentureSkies describes it, the basic definition of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a site describes how crucial the website is for a particular targeted subject area [and] importance with regard to … search words.”

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA score, which defines the metric as “… a search engine ranking score established 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 using dozens of factors, including the number of linking root domains and the overall variety of links. Ball game itself is shown on a 100-point scale.

It’s worth keeping in mind that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has developed a metric for determining site authority. You will also discover 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 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 Score that measures the overall quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or web page.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Scores that measure the number of links a website has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Numerous posts talking about Domain Authority describe it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is an excellent predictor of how well a website will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

This can lead some to think that Domain Authority is a ranking element for search engines 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 Factor: The Proof

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

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

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

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

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether including or removing pages from a site impacted its domain authority.

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

A few weeks later, during a conversation about linking to image files or webpages for an influence 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 find many confirmations from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google does not use it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t use it.”

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

“We don’t use domain authority. We normally attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so simple, in which case we take a look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we have actually spoken about this in concerns to some 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 responded:

“We do not use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d suggest starting a thread in the assistance forum with the information, including the URLs & queries you’re seeing modifications in.”

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

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

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

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

We do, nevertheless, index tweets that speak 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 prior to, this response hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t know if I ‘d call it authority like that, but 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 might sort of map into comparable things.”

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

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

He provided additional recommendations on how one could improve a domain’s authority by focusing on a subject with low competition and producing “… an affordable collection of great content” about that topic.

He highlighted 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 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 real effect on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller when suggested that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has repeatedly denied the 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.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel