Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Many business and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge deal.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority really 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 comprehend whether Domain Authority is a part of the Google algorithm, initially, we must understand what Domain Authority is.

First, there is domain authority– the principle– 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 website explains how essential the site is for a particular targeted discipline [and] relevance with regard 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 forecasts how likely a site is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is computed using lots of aspects, including the number of connecting root domains and the overall variety of links. The score 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 measuring site authority. You will also find that:

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

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Element

Many posts talking about Domain Authority describe it as a search engine ranking score 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 think that Domain Authority is a ranking element for search engines like Google.

There is even an intriguing Buy Buy Instagram Verified Verified thread in 2020 from the co-founder of Moz, Rand Fishkin, showing internal documents from Google, suggesting 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 Element: The Evidence

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

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

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

“We do not have “authority”, but signals need to hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes responded to a concern about whether including or getting rid of pages from a site affected its domain authority.

“so, my issue is that I do not 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 effect on domain authority, Illyes replied:

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

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

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

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

Mueller’s response acknowledged that:

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

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

“‘Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking rating developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Online search engine don’t utilize it.”

In 2019, when inquired about a site-wide metric similar to Domain Authority on Buy Buy Instagram Verified Verified, Mueller answered:

“We don’t utilize domain authority. We usually try to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes that’s not so easy, in which case we look at things a bit more comprehensive (eg, we’ve spoken about this in concerns to some of the older quality updates).”

Later on that year, a Buy Buy Instagram Verified Verified 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 recommend beginning a thread in the aid forum with the details, consisting of the URLs & inquiries you’re seeing modifications in.”

In 2020, Mueller received another question about domain authority. This time, someone asked if backlinks from high domain authority sites matter in website rankings. His response:

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

A couple of months later on, Mueller was asked how crucial Domain Authority was to crawling websites much faster on Buy Buy Instagram Verified Verified.

“Simply to be clear, Google does not use Domain Authority * at all * when it pertains to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is pretty clear on their site.

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

Up up until that point, Google representatives appear clear that there is no use 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 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 site level, some metrics that are more on a page level, and a few of those site-wide level metrics might type of map into comparable things.”

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

“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 wish to level your site up in search, you ‘d need to focus on something else, or at least use other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is frowned upon by numerous SEOs. For context, I do not think I have actually ever searched for the DA for a site 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 “… an affordable collection of great material” about that topic.

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

[Advised Read:] Google Ranking Aspects: 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 Score, and Flow Metric Ratings by Majestic. They are all authority metrics determined by third-party tools that have no actual effect on online search engine rankings.

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

He likewise noted 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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