Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

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

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

However does a greater Domain Authority in fact result in better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

To comprehend whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, first, we must comprehend what Domain Authority is.

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

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

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

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

Domain Authority by Moz is computed utilizing dozens of elements, including the number of connecting root domains and the overall number of links. Ball game itself is shown on a 100-point scale.

It’s worth noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has developed a metric for determining site authority. You will likewise 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 overall quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Scores that measure the variety of links a site has and the quality of the website’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Lots of articles going over 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 carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

This can lead some to believe that Domain Authority is a ranking element for online search engine like Google.

There is even a fascinating Buy Twitter Verification thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, showing internal files from Google, recommending Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

However continue reading– the proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Evidence

Moz’s website 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 Joy 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 responded to a concern about whether adding or getting rid of pages from a website impacted its domain authority.

“so, my issue is that I don’t 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 websites for an influence on domain authority, Illyes replied:

“We don’t actually have ‘general domain authority’. A text link with anchor text is better though”

From there, you will discover numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t use it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response 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 reacted:

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

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

“We do not use domain authority. We usually attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, often that’s not so simple, in which case we 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 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, including the URLs & questions you’re seeing changes in.”

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

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

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

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

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

Up until that point, Google representatives 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 answer hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I do not know 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 may type of map into comparable things.”

In 2022, Mueller answered another question about Domain Authority on Reddit. The question 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 need DA for Google Search. Google doesn’t use it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your website up in search, you ‘d require to focus on something else, or a minimum of use other metrics for it. This is mainly why DA as a metric is discredited by numerous SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I’ve ever looked up the DA for a website in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered additional recommendations on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by focusing on a subject with low competition and creating “… a sensible collection of fantastic material” about that topic.

He highlighted that user signals, not any type of authority rating, would be what moves the needle.

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Fact or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Decision

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz resembles Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Score, and Circulation Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics determined by third-party tools that have no real effect on search engine rankings.

While Mueller when recommended that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has repeatedly rejected the use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

He also noted that they do not call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

Therefore, we can conclude that Domain Authority is definitely not a ranking element.

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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