Google confirms that “Overall Domain Authority” is not a ranking signal

According to a recent Twitter exchange with Google’s Gary Illyes, websites are not given an “overall domain authority” score as part of the main ranking algorithm.

When asked if a URL was given overall domain authority as a ranking signal, Gary responded that, “we don’t really have ‘overall domain authority’.”

Although this would sensibly seem to indicate that pages are ranked on their own particular merits, John Mueller has said in the past that “site wide signals” or “site wide authority” were sometimes used in order to rank new pages that had no page specific ranking signals.

When asked about the subject in May 2016, John Mueller had the following to say:

“For the most part, we do try to understand the content and the context of the pages individually to show them properly in search. There are some things where we do look at a website overall though.

So for example, if you add a new page to a website and we’ve never seen that page before, we don’t know what the content and context is there, then understanding what kind of a website this is helps us to better understand where we should kind of start with this new page in search.

So that’s something where there’s a bit of both when it comes to ranking. It’s the pages individually, but also the site overall.”

So What Does All This Mean?
If you find this to be somewhat confusing, you are not alone. However, we get that picture that most existing pages are ranked using page specific signals and that site wide signals are sometimes used to rank a page – but only when no other signals are available.