Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Numerous business and online marketers believe that Domain Authority is a big deal.

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

But does a higher Domain Authority in fact lead to much better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

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

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

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

“The domain authority of a site describes how essential the site is for a particular targeted discipline [and] importance with respect 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 predicts how most likely a site is to rank in online search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated using lots of aspects, consisting of the variety of linking root domains and the overall variety of links. The score 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 established a metric for determining site authority. You will also discover that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Score. AR ranks websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Ranking 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 Score that measures the general quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that determine the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Many articles discussing Domain Authority refer to it as an online search engine ranking rating and suggest it is a great predictor of how well a site 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 an interesting Buy Twitter Verification thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, revealing internal documents 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 impact Google search results page.

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

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

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

In 2016, Illyes answered a question about whether adding or getting rid of pages from a site affected its domain authority.

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

A couple of weeks later on, throughout a discussion about connecting to image files or web pages for an effect on domain authority, Illyes replied:

“We do not really have ‘total domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is better though”

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

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

“Google does not utilize ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s action acknowledged that:

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

Later 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 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 addressed:

“We do not use domain authority. We typically 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 broader (eg, we have actually talked about this in regards to some of the older quality updates).”

Later 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 don’t use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d recommend beginning a thread in the aid online forum with the details, consisting of 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 websites matter in site rankings. His reaction:

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

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

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

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

Up up until that point, Google representatives seem clear that there is no usage 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 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, 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 kind of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller responded to another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The concern 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 require DA for Google Search. Google does not utilize it * at all *. If you want to level your website up in search, you ‘d need to concentrate on something else, or at least utilize other metrics for it. This is mostly why DA as a metric is discredited by numerous 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 extra recommendations on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by focusing on a topic with low competition and producing “… a sensible collection of fantastic content” about that subject.

He emphasized that user signals, not any kind of authority score, 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

Score, 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 when suggested that Google has metrics that map into similar things as Domain Authority, he has actually consistently rejected making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

He also noted that they don’t call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel