Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

Posted by

Many companies and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

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

However does a greater Domain Authority really lead to much better rankings?

In this chapter, we will explore what Domain Authority is and the evidence regarding whether it is a Google ranking element.

[Ebook:] Download The Total Google Ranking Aspects Guide

What Is Domain Authority?

To understand whether Domain Authority belongs of the Google algorithm, first, we should understand what Domain Authority is.

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

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

“The domain authority of a website explains how crucial the website is for a particular targeted discipline [and] relevance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is computed using lots of factors, including the variety of linking root domains and the overall number of links. Ball game itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

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

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. 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 Rating that measures the total quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Scores that measure 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 short articles going over Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking rating and recommend it is an excellent predictor of how well a website will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

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.

But continue reading– the evidence ends up being clear.

[Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights

Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor: The Evidence

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

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking aspect and has no result 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 don’t have “authority”, but signals must pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether adding or eliminating pages from a site affected its domain authority.

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

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

“We do not truly have ‘total domain authority’. A text relate to anchor text is much better though”

From there, you will find numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google does not use it.

In December 2016, Mueller reacted to a comment about a desktop domain having higher authority.

“Google doesn’t 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 on that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verification if Domain Authority existed– once again– Mueller responded:

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

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We normally try to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so easy, in which case we take a look at things a bit wider (eg, we have actually talked 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 online search engine traffic was because of a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller responded:

“We do not utilize domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d suggest beginning a thread in the help forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & queries you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

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

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

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

Up till that point, Google agents appear clear that there is no use 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 answer hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t 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 a few of those site-wide level metrics might type of map into comparable 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 responded to:

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not need DA for Google Browse. Google doesn’t utilize it * at all *. If you wish to level your site up in search, you ‘d need to focus on something else, or a minimum of utilize other metrics for it. This is mostly 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 site in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

He offered extra guidance on how one could improve a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competition and creating “… a reasonable collection of great content” about that subject.

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

[Advised 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 effect on online search engine rankings.

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

He also 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.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *