Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

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

There are guides all over about how you can enhance your website’s Domain Authority for better rankings in search engine result.

But does a higher Domain Authority actually lead to much 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 understand whether Domain Authority belongs of the Google algorithm, first, we must 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 definition of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a site describes how important the site is for a specific targeted subject area [and] relevance with respect 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 anticipates how likely a site is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is computed using dozens of elements, including the variety of connecting root domains and the overall variety 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 established a metric for measuring site authority. You will also 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 Ranking reveals the strength of a site’s backlink profile compared to others in the Ahrefs database on a 100-point scale.
  • Semrush has an Authority Score that determines the overall quality and SEO performance of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that measure the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Many posts going over Domain Authority refer to it as an online 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 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, suggesting Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

However continue reading– the proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor: The Proof

Moz’s website says its Domain Authority score does not impact Google search engine result.

“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 response:

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

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether including or getting rid of pages from a site affected 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 on, during a discussion about connecting to image files or web pages for an impact on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will find many verifications from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t utilize it.

In December 2016, Mueller reacted 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 reaction 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 a search engine ranking rating established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine do not utilize it.”

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

“We do not utilize domain authority. We normally attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so easy, in which case we look at things a bit wider (eg, we have actually spoken about this in regards to some 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 replied:

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

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

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

A couple of months later, Mueller was asked how crucial Domain Authority was to crawling websites quicker on Buy Twitter Verification.

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

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

Up till that point, Google agents seem 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 mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I don’t understand 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 kind of map into comparable things.”

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

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not require DA for Google Browse. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your website up in search, you ‘d need to focus on something else, or a minimum of utilize 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 site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered extra recommendations on how one could improve a domain’s authority by concentrating on a subject with low competition and developing “… an affordable collection of wonderful content” about that subject.

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

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Truth or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

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 computed by third-party tools that have no actual result on search engine rankings.

While Mueller as soon as recommended that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has actually repeatedly rejected making 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 definitely not a ranking factor.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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