Ranking well in search engine results helps boost business. As such, it’s only natural to want to do whatever you can to improve your ranking. One hotly debated topic involving Google ranking involves domain authority. Some SEO specialists say that your domain authority is an important ranking factor for your site, while others say it does not matter and that you should spend your time and energy focusing on other aspects of SEO.
Whenever it comes to questions involving search engine ranking factors, it’s always best to turn to the search engines themselves and see what Google has to say about the matter. Here is what you need to know about domain authority, Google ranking, and what to keep in mind when choosing a domain for your site.
What Is Domain Authority?
There are two things people could be talking about when they discuss domain authority. One is the simple concept of the matter while the other is a metric by Moz.
Domain authority as a concept is how relevant your site is for a targeted area in regard to search words. People think that in order to improve the authority and ranking of their site, they need to put keywords into their domain. For instance, if you sell fantasy books in California, you may think that a domain name like buyfantasybooksCA would be best to get your site to rank.
Domain Authority as the ranking score by Moz predicts how likely a site will be to rank in search engine result pages (SERPs). This ranks sites on a score of 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a better likelihood of ranking. You can put your site through Domain Authority and it will calculate factors such as the total number of links and linking root domains into your score.
Is Domain Authority A Ranking Factor?
In short? No.
Neither the concept nor the score you get from Domain Authority affect the overall authority of your site. Moz itself states on its site that: “Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and has no effect on the SERPs.”
When asked about domain authority, John Mueller from Google has acknowledged that domain authority exists as a tool by Moz. However, he also stated that Google does not use domain authority when it comes to indexing, crawling, or ranking.
Over the years, when asked about domain authority as a ranking factor, he has repeatedly denied it. He noted that Google does not call anything that they do internally “domain authority”.
Mueller states that: “Just because a website has a keyword in its domain name doesn’t mean that it’s more relevant than others for that keyword”. He also mentions that putting keywords in your domain could put your business at a disadvantage in the future, if you evolve and expand and your domain no longer makes sense for your business. You would then have to move domains, which can be difficult.
How Do You Get Your Site To Rank?
In order to get your site to rank well in SERPs, you’ll want to invest in proven SEO practices. These include high-quality, relevant content that isn’t stuffed with keywords, optimized pages and images, and more. You always want to adhere to Google guidelines and stay away from anything that is spammy.
You can hire an SEO marketing firm to create a strategy for you. Bear in mind that it takes time to see the results from SEO, so be prepared to wait as long as 6 months for the SEO work to do its magic.
How Do You Choose A Domain Name?
It used to be that exact-match domains were valuable for SEO. These are domain names that are exact to a search result, such as Hotels.com. Historically, they ranked well, and in the case of Hotels.com, continue to.
Unfortunately, many exact-match domains have been purchased by domain squatters, webmasters, and others looking to make money from those who want them. Other exact-match domains had very low-quality, spammy content.
Google does not mind exact-match domains, as long as they are not spammy. However, given that so many have been taken, this segways into the topic of domain authority and putting keywords into your domain in order to rank better.
However, you don’t need to do this. Google laid out its guidelines for coming up with a good domain name like this:
- Less is more. Pick a domain no longer than 2-3 words.
- Keep it simple and spelled correctly.
- It should be close to your brand name and website name.
- Strive for good, not perfect.
- If relevant, you can include keywords.
You shouldn’t stress too much about your domain name. If you want your site to rank, there are other ways to do this.
Performance Driven Marketing is an SEO marketing company. We use proven SEO practices to help our clients rank in SERPs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us help you boost your site traffic!