Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

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

There are guides everywhere about how you can boost your website’s Domain Authority for 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 proof as to 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, initially, we should comprehend 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 meaning of domain authority is as follows:

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

Then, there’s Moz’s Domain Authority or DA score, which defines the metric as “… a search engine ranking rating developed by Moz that anticipates how most likely a site is to rank in online 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 overall variety 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 developed a metric for determining 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 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 determines the total quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Circulation 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 Element

Many short articles talking about Domain Authority describe it as a search engine ranking rating and recommend it is a great predictor of how well a website will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

This can lead some to believe 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, revealing internal files from Google, recommending 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 Proof

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

“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 inquired about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His reaction:

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

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

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

A few weeks later, throughout a discussion about connecting to image files or webpages for an effect on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will discover numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google does not utilize it.

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

“Google doesn’t utilize ‘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 responded:

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

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

“We don’t use domain authority. We generally 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 more comprehensive (eg, we’ve talked about this in regards to a few 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 business. I ‘d suggest beginning a thread in the aid forum with the details, including the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

A couple of months later on, Mueller was asked how crucial 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 pertains to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is quite clear on their website.

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

Up up until that point, Google agents 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 prior to, this answer mean 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 site 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 question 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 Browse. Google doesn’t utilize it * at all *. If you wish to level your website up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is mainly why DA as a metric is frowned upon by many SEOs. For context, I do not believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a website in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He used additional guidance on how one could improve a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competitors and developing “… a sensible collection of wonderful material” about that topic.

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

[Advised Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Truth or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority

Score, and Circulation Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics calculated by third-party tools that have no actual impact on search engine rankings.

While Mueller once suggested that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has repeatedly 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 certainly not a ranking aspect.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel