Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Aspect?

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Many business 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 better rankings in search engine result.

But does a higher Domain Authority actually result in better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

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

Initially, there is domain authority– the idea– 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 site explains how essential the website is for a specific targeted subject area [and] importance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is computed utilizing dozens of factors, including the variety of connecting root domains and the total number of links. Ball game itself is shown 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 discover that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Score. AR ranks sites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Rating 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 performance of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that measure the variety of links a website has and the quality of the website’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Lots of articles going over Domain Authority describe it as a search engine ranking rating and recommend it is an excellent 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 factor for online search engine like Google.

There is even an intriguing Buy Twitter Verified 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 proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor: The Evidence

Moz’s site states its Domain Authority score does not impact Google search results page.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and has no result 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 should pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes answered a concern about whether including or getting rid of pages from a website impacted 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 address”

A couple of weeks later on, during a conversation about linking to image files or webpages for an influence on domain authority, Illyes replied:

“We don’t really have ‘general domain authority’. A text relate to anchor text is better though”

From there, you will discover numerous verifications from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however 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 reaction acknowledged that:

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

Later on that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verified if Domain Authority existed– once again– Mueller responded:

“‘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 Verified, Mueller answered:

“We don’t use domain authority. We typically attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes that’s not so simple, in which case we look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we have actually talked about this in concerns to a few of the older quality updates).”

Later on that year, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if a drop in search engine traffic was due to a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller responded:

“We don’t use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO company. I ‘d recommend beginning a thread in the help online forum with the information, consisting of the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing changes in.”

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

“We do not 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 Verified.

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

We do, nevertheless, index tweets that speak about 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 answer hints at a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I do not understand 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 some 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 concern 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 require DA for Google Search. Google doesn’t use it * at all *. If you ‘d like to level your site up in search, you ‘d require to concentrate on something else, or at least 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 site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He offered additional suggestions on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a topic with low competitors and developing “… an affordable collection of wonderful content” about that subject.

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

[Suggested Read:] Google Ranking Factors: 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 Rating, and Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics computed by third-party tools that have no actual impact on online search engine rankings.

While Mueller once suggested that Google has metrics that map into similar things as Domain Authority, he has actually repeatedly denied using Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

He likewise kept in mind that they don’t call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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