Is Domain Authority A Myth?

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I wanted to have a discussion or even just ask a question. How does the authority of a domain or the strength of its homepage effect the site as a whole.
We hear that the better the domain authority the better a page can rank...I set out to find any case studies I could, the landscape was a little barren.

I did stumble on one case study from a reputable SEO

- In his tests 5 fresh domains and 5 orphan pages
- Started sending links to the domains and couldn't get the orphan pages to move


Unless your amazon they have so much internal linking, what people perceive as domain authority is just good internal linking.

Where I can see domain authority coming in is this scenario exactly, if you have a homepage with all your main pages linked you are benefiting from that page rank going out.

Whereas if you have a homepage with just a image slider and no links to your money pages, your wasting that juice...its not going anywhere.

Not sure how navigation links effect this, I have seen notes saying navigation links send less page rank and are seen as lower strength links.

Thoughts?
 

stackcash

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Evaluate any low difficulty keyword and you'll quickly see the power of domain authority.

Most low competition keywords are dominated by high domain authority websites.

Now, try outranking those pages for that keyword with your new / fresh / low domain authority website. I bet you'll have a hard time overcoming the bigger sites domain authority.

You'll be able to rank for that keyword with less domain authority than the big sites if you do proper onsite optimization, as you have suggested. But, you'll still have to fight the age, link profiles, site size, and traffic of the big guys - which is easier said than done.
 

Ryuzaki

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You seem to be talking specifically about some sitewide authority metric based on backlinks. I only mention that in order to narrow my response to that and not talk about time, indexed pages, etc.

Think about a web 2.0 like Blogger or Wordpress.com. You get a sub-domain that is entirely separated from the main parent domain. It's treated as a basically new domain. Is that because that's how all sub-domains are treated or because it's isolated from the parent?

Now extend that to orphaned pages. Are they to be treated as equal to content on the parent domain just because they exist in some virtual sub-folder of the parent domain? Or, since they as equally isolated as a sub-domain, are they treated as a brand new domain?

It's possibly the case that web 2.0 sub-domains aren't treated as brand new domains (I know they are, it's not a perfect analogy), but have zero metrics to go off of since they're isolated. And in that case, can the same be argued for orphaned pages on existing domains?

I'd argue that yes, there are sitewide metrics for domains that exist (without a doubt in my opinion). But a page needs to be shown to exist on that domain as an entity within its own micro-web. And it's not tied into that web, so why should it be treated as a part of that web?

My conclusion is that sitewide metrics exist but to benefit from them you must exist within the microcosmic internet of a domain itself, not simply be related-in-name-only while otherwise having nothing to do with it. Outgoing links from the child page itself don't cut it, obviously. Internal links flowing into the page do.
 
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@Ryuzaki - I suppose maybe a better title would have been is domain authority the same as page authority and just dependant on per page interlinking rather than some metric of the entire sites trustworthiness. But thats a hell of a title hehe.

I guess alot of these examples can be stringed in with this recent seo competition where the owner of seo optimizer Kyle Roof won a contest ranking a new page for a #1 local term against all the other seos with just lorem ipsum text and having it as a secondary page on a new site with no domain authority.

He does a webinar and actually says in it the one thing that confused him was why people were trying to get the domain authority up on the homepage, in his opinion they were just wasting time and should have just sent all the juice to the domain they wanted to rank since to him domain authority isnt a thing and since penguin everything is on a per page basis, he did absolutely nothing with the domain authority to win the contest.

I do like you agree there may be something there like looking at the new medic updates and people suggesting to update their about sections with better info...but according to the winner of that contest who went up against hundreds of SEOs he sidestepped it.

Now I continue to build links to the homepage because i have good interlinking and watch the juice spread out. But this makes me put the money pages I prefer on the homepage, and avoid all orphans.


@stackcash
Yes I think I wasent great at titling this. With regards to a site like amazon, I started selling a product about 1.5 years ago and before it was anywhere on the first pages in the category I used to check it on ahrefs for giggles and it ranked for nothing, when the page got to the first page of the category suddenly im ranking for 40+ terms related to my product.
I still think even with amazon some of its distant in the interlinking pages will never get much ranking unless they have some interlinking to them and the authority factor(if we exclude interlinking) is minimal and wont get them up there.
I compete in the serps against some amazon terms and when I studied their interlinking I see massively strong category pages, ads and promotions all over their site pointing to these pages, if we followed moz as a metric that would be over 50 pages with pa over 40 etc pointing and passing page juice.


Anyone thats new here I only have a few years seo experience and a 2 successful sites so dont think I know what im talking about, im just debating and trying to understand better :smile:
 

Calamari

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Is it a common practice to define domain authority as the power of the homepage? If that's what is happening people are selling themselves short when they try to build up "domain authority".

Am I misunderstanding how you define domain authority?
 

Ryuzaki

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I'm on the same page (no pun intended!) as @Calamari. Domain Authority (in terms of links) doesn't refer only to the links pointing to the homepage, but to every page on the domain all added together.