Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Element?

Posted by

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

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

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

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

[Ebook:] Download The Total Google Ranking Aspects Guide

What Is Domain Authority?

To comprehend whether Domain Authority belongs of the Google algorithm, initially, we must comprehend 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 definition of domain authority is as follows:

“The domain authority of a website describes how essential the site is for a specific 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 established by Moz that forecasts how most likely a website is to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs).”

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated using lots of aspects, including the variety of linking root domains and the overall variety of links. Ball game itself is shown on a 100-point scale.

It deserves keeping in mind that Moz is not the only SEO platform that has actually developed a metric for measuring website authority. You will also discover 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 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 Score that determines the total quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Flow Metric Ratings that determine the number of links a website has and the quality of the site’s content.

The Claim: Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect

Many posts talking about Domain Authority refer to it as a search engine ranking rating and recommend it is an excellent predictor of how well a site will perform in SERPs for targeted keyword phrases.

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

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

However continue reading– the evidence becomes clear.

[Discover:] More Google Ranking Element Insights

Domain Authority As A Ranking Aspect: The Evidence

Moz’s site states its Domain Authority rating does not effect Google search results.

“Domain Authority is not a Google ranking element and has no impact 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 need to hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a question about whether adding or eliminating pages from a site 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, during a conversation about connecting 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 find numerous confirmations from John Mueller, Browse Supporter at Google, that Domain Authority exists but that Google doesn’t use it.

In December 2016, Mueller responded 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 response 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 a search engine ranking rating developed by Moz’ so exists = yes. Search engines don’t utilize it.”

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

“We do not use domain authority. We usually attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes 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 a few of the older quality updates).”

Later that year, a Buy Twitter Verified user asked if a drop in search engine traffic was because of a loss in Domain Authority. Mueller replied:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Up until that point, Google representatives seem clear that there is no use 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 prior to, this answer 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 a few of those site-wide level metrics might type of map into similar things.”

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

“I’m kinda torn. On the one hand, you do not need DA for Google Search. Google does not use it * at all *. If you wish 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 primarily why DA as a metric is discredited by numerous SEOs. For context, I do not think I have actually ever searched for the DA for a website in the 14 years I have actually been doing this.”

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

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

[Recommended Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Truth or Fiction

Domain Authority As A Ranking Signal: Our Verdict

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 consistently denied making use of Domain Authority by Moz on Buy Twitter Verified and Reddit.

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

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

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/Best SMM Panel

< img src ="// www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20760%20300%22%3E%3C/svg%3E" alt="Ranking Factors: Reality Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some Myths! [Ebook] width="760" height="300" data-src="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rf-ebook-download-banner-62e8c6126ffe8-sej.jpg"/ > < img src="https://cdn.searchenginejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/rf-ebook-download-banner-62e8c6126ffe8-sej.jpg" alt="Ranking Factors: Truth Or Fiction? Let's Bust Some Myths! [Ebook]/ >