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Does Domain Authority Help You Rank?


Orange SEO blog discusses anything new and current in the digital marketing industries. Because we work with influencial people in the digital marketing scene we are always on the cutting edge.


Does Domain Authority Help You Rank?

Michael Richmond


Recently, Moz has changed their Moz domain authority metrics to reflect more accurate information. This has brought up a topic that has been debated for many years by SEO experts and I have to say I don’t agree with Moz. I have been doing SEO for over 10 years and I don’t agree with Moz that “domain authority is not a metric used by Google in determining search rankings and has no effect on the SERPs”

moz DA.JPG

The reason I don’t believe with what Moz has said, even thought they are considered the authority on this subject, is because if you search any keyword in Google search you will always see websites ranking high that have high DA and PA. You will almost never see a website with low DA or PA rank higher then a website that has high DA and PA. Please see example below.

moz score hedge funds.JPG

Domain Authority Definition

Moz definition of Domain authority is it is used as a metric on how competitive a site is. This is different then my definition. I like to say that the domain authority shows how creditable a website is and the domain authority gives your website a value score of how google values your website in their eyes. I might be splitting hairs here, but I think there is a big difference between these two definitions.

The Moz also says there are many things that make up our domain authority such as content quality, content uniqueness, click through rates, internal links and backlinks. However, they don’t emphasize which one is more important then they others. Moz would tell you that they can’t gauge that, and each metric is valuable. The real answer is backlinks are the most important part of a domain authority score and can affect it the most. The reason why they don’t emphasize this is probably because they don’t have hard facts to back this up. However, I have been link building for a long time and can tell you from experience that backlinks are very important even though there has also been debate the backlinks don’t matter. Just remember when google fist started their search engine backlinks is the main reason why websites ranked over each other, and it was the core concept behind their algorithm. Yes, googles algorithm has become much more sophisticated but backlinks are still one of the most important factors in ranking as no now.


I have been doing SEO for a long time and I have had a lot of time to test different techniques that will increase search engine rankings and exposure. Inexperienced SEO people will tell you that if you create good content and use on-page SEO techniques you will rank well over time. This is not the case unless you are going after keywords that have no search volume or competitions.

The only way you can rank for high quality keywords that have good search volume and high competitiveness is to create good content and get quality backlinks to that page. This will help you rank high on a keyword quicker. If you lose the backlinking effort then Google will see this is good content but there are no credible websites linking back to them which lets Google know they are not an authority on this subject so they will rank them on the 3 or fourth page which no one looks at. If you want to be on the first page of Google a link building effort will need to happen.


How to Link Build for Specific pages

There is 3 ways to link build and only one does not waste a lot of time or effort.

1.      Reach out to your network of contacts that have high quality websites and see if they will add your website as a backlink to their website. Most people do not have this wide network of contacts that have amazing websites that will allow them to link to. This is only an option to people that have backlink farms. Backlink farms are not a recommend method of doing link building because their website have so many out bound links that they have no trust score which is important from a ranking aspect


2.      Create a list of websites that are related to your industry and reach out to all of them to see if they will backlink to your website. This effort takes a lot of effort and time and most website admins will not respond at all. You are lucky if 5% of people you email get back to you and if they do, they will try to sell you a backlink for a ridiculous price.


3.      Have a reputable agency do link building for you. The is the most recommended way to do link building for your website if you are a business owner and you don’t have time for link building on a regular basis. I personally use an agency that does guest blog link building for me. They have a low fixed price and they will add the links to a high authoritative website within 30 days.


In Conclusion

In my opinion domain authority is a ranking factor for google. Domain authority is an easy way Google can score your website and know if your website is credible, has high quality backlink profile, has quality content, and has a good user experience. You can look as domain authority as a page score. The higher your page score or DA they better and faster you will rank for. These are just my opinions and I know a lot of SEO experts will not agree with me, but I am just tired of people telling me the DA and back links don’t matter when all of my research says otherwise.