Domain Authority: Is It A Google Ranking Factor?

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Numerous companies and online marketers think that Domain Authority is a huge offer.

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

But does a greater Domain Authority really result in much better rankings?

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

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What Is Domain Authority?

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

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

As VentureSkies explains it, the basic definition of domain authority is as follows:

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

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

Domain Authority by Moz is calculated using dozens of factors, consisting of the number of connecting root domains and the overall variety of links. The score itself is displayed 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 website authority. You will also 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 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 overall quality and SEO efficiency of a domain or website.
  • Majestic has Circulation Metric Scores that determine the number 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 suggest it is an excellent predictor of how well a website will carry out in SERPs for targeted keyword expressions.

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

There is even an interesting Buy Twitter Verification 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 proof becomes clear.

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Domain Authority As A Ranking Element: The Evidence

Moz’s site says its Domain Authority score does not effect Google search engine result.

“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 action:

“We don’t have “authority”, but signals ought to hand down, yes.”

In 2016, Illyes addressed a concern about whether adding or getting rid of pages from a website affected its domain authority.

“so, my problem is that I do not know of anything in ranking that would equate to “domain authority”, so can’t respond to”

A couple of weeks later, throughout a discussion about linking to image files or websites for an influence on domain authority, Illyes responded:

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

From there, you will find lots of confirmations from John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, that Domain Authority exists however that Google does not utilize it.

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

“Google does not use ‘domain authority'”

In 2018, somebody 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 that year, when asked on Buy Twitter Verification if Domain Authority existed– again– Mueller reacted:

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

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

“We do not use domain authority. We typically attempt to have our metrics as granular as possible, sometimes that’s not so easy, in which case we take a look at things a bit broader (eg, we’ve spoken about this in concerns to a few of the older quality updates).”

Later on that year, a Buy Twitter Verification user asked if a drop in online 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 company. I ‘d advise starting a thread in the aid forum with the information, including the URLs & questions you’re seeing modifications in.”

In 2020, Mueller received another concern about domain authority. This time, somebody 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 few months later, Mueller was asked how important Domain Authority was to crawling web pages much faster on Buy Twitter Verification.

“Just to be clear, Google doesn’t use Domain Authority * at all * when it comes to Search crawling, indexing, or ranking. This is pretty clear on their website.

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

Up until that point, Google representatives appear 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 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 a few of those site-wide level metrics might sort of map into similar things.”

In 2022, Mueller answered another concern 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 doesn’t 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 utilize other metrics for it. This is primarily why DA as a metric is discredited by many SEOs. For context, I don’t believe I have actually ever searched for the DA for a site in the 14 years I’ve been doing this.”

He used additional suggestions on how one might enhance a domain’s authority by concentrating on a topic with low competition and creating “… an affordable collection of wonderful material” about that topic.

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

[Advised Read:] Google Ranking Elements: Reality 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 calculated by third-party tools that have no real result on search engine rankings.

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

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

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

Included Image: Paulo Bobita/SMM Panel