Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Lots of companies and marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge offer.

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

However does a greater Domain Authority in fact lead to better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the proof regarding 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 comprehend what Domain Authority is.

Initially, there is domain authority– the concept– 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 website explains how crucial the website is for a specific targeted discipline [and] relevance with regard to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is determined using dozens of factors, consisting of the variety of connecting root domains and the total number of links. Ball game itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

It deserves noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has developed a metric for measuring website 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 Rating that determines the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a website has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Lots of posts talking about Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a great 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 search engines like Google.

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verification 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 Element: The Proof

Moz’s website states its Domain Authority rating does not effect Google search results.

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

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

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

In 2016, Illyes answered a concern about whether adding or removing pages from a website impacted its domain authority.

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

A couple of weeks later on, during a conversation about linking to image files or webpages 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 many confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t utilize it.

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

“Google doesn’t use ‘domain authority'”

In 2018, somebody 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 on that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verification if Domain Authority existed– again– Mueller reacted:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine do not use 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 typically 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 broader (eg, we’ve spoken about this in regards to some of the older quality updates).”

Later that year, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if a drop in search engine traffic was due to a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller replied:

“We don’t utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d advise beginning a thread in the aid forum with the details, including the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing changes 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 reaction:

“We do not utilize domain authority at all in our algorithms.”

A couple of months later, Mueller was asked how essential Domain Authority was to crawling web pages much faster on Buy Twitter Verification.

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

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

Up up until that point, Google representatives appear clear that there is no usage of Domain Authority. Nevertheless, 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 some of those site-wide level metrics may kind of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller addressed another concern 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 use it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your website up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or at least use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is frowned upon by lots of SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I have actually ever searched for the DA for a website in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

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

He emphasized that user signals, not any sort 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 Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated 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 similar things as Domain Authority, he has repeatedly rejected 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 element.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel