Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

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

There are guides all over about how you can improve your site’s Domain Authority for better rankings in search results page.

However does a higher Domain Authority really 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, 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 crucial the site is for a specific targeted discipline [and] significance with respect to … search words.”

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

Domain Authority by Moz is determined using dozens of factors, including the variety of linking root domains and the total variety of links. Ball game itself is displayed on a 100-point scale.

It deserves noting that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has developed a metric for measuring website authority. You will likewise find that:

  • Ahrefs has an Ahrefs Rank and Domain Ranking. AR ranks websites in the Ahrefs database by the size and quality of their backlinks, while Domain Rating reveals 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 overall quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or webpage.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Ratings that measure the variety of links a site has and the quality of the site’s material.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Factor

Numerous articles talking about Domain Authority describe it as an online 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 aspect for online search engine 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, suggesting Google does have a domain authority-like metric.

But continue reading– the proof ends up being clear.

[Discover:] More Google Ranking Factor Insights

Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Proof

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

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

In 2015, Gary Illyes, Chief of Sunlight and Joy at Google, was asked about authority passing from HTTP to HTTPS. His response:

“We don’t have “authority”, but signals must pass on, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether including or removing pages from a website affected its domain authority.

“so, my issue 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, throughout a conversation about connecting to image files or web pages for an effect on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

From there, you will discover lots of confirmations from John Mueller, Search Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google doesn’t utilize it.

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

“Google does not use ‘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 on that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verification if Domain Authority existed– again– Mueller reacted:

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is an online search engine ranking score established by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t use it.”

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

“We don’t utilize domain authority. We usually attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, in some cases that’s not so easy, in which case we look at things a bit broader (eg, we’ve spoken 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 due to a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller responded:

“We do not use domain authority, that’s a metric from an SEO business. I ‘d recommend starting a thread in the aid forum with the details, consisting of the URLs & queries 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 site rankings. His action:

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

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

“Simply to be clear, Google doesn’t utilize Domain Authority * at all * when it pertains to Browse crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is pretty clear on their website.

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

Up until 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 answer mean a possible DA-like metric in Google’s algorithm.

“I do not understand if I ‘d call it authority like that, but 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 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 does not use it * at all *. If you want to level your website up in search, you ‘d require to focus on something else, or at least use 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 site in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

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

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

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: Fact or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

Domain Authority (DA) by Moz is similar to Domain Rank (DR) by Ahrefs, the Semrush Authority Rating, and Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics determined by third-party tools that have no actual effect on search engine rankings.

While Mueller when suggested that Google has metrics that map into comparable things as Domain Authority, he has actually consistently rejected using Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verification and Reddit.

He also kept in mind that they do not call anything they do internally “domain authority.”

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

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