Domain Score, Not Page Score

As I’ve been saying, I think Google have been placing emphasis on domains lately, as opposed to pages.

It’s not so much that the domain name itself is tagged with authority, but if the domain contains enough pages that are deemed authoritative, then it can be assumed that other pages on the domain are also highly likely to be authoritative, even if the authority of those pages hasn’t been individually calculated yet.

It’s like trusting someone who has given you good advice in the past is likely to give you good advice in the present. That assumption may not be true, but it is a reasonable assumption to make, especially if you are unable to check credibility by other means, at the time.

It makes sense for Google to turn up this dial. It’s very hard to fake factors such as the longevity and influence of a web site, both factors which Google would surely see as markers of quality. Not saying that older domains are of higher quality by virtue of being older, but if you combine age with influence, then you’d have a useful metric. A new domain could also do well, so long as demonstrates a high degree of influence.

All conjecture, of course ;)


  1. carpsiocarpsio03-30-2007

    I second that emotion. I have sites that can rank for almost anything – no matter how tangential to the site’s core theme, and I’ve long held that someone, somewhere flicked a switch (metaphorically speaking) to say: “domain x is now an authority site.”

    When I see business trying to build equity in multiple domains I can’t help but feel they’re wasting some of the efforts. Build the domain, and so long as there is some thematic consistency in its content it should rank well for everything. Doing that for 7 domains is probably exponentially harder…

  2. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-01-2007

    >>I have sites that can rank for almost anything – no matter how tangential to the site’s core theme

    Yes. It used to be like this, then it failed to work, and now it appears to be making a comeback.

    Keeps us on out toes, eh.

  3. HalfdeckHalfdeck04-07-2007

    http://www.seo4fun.com/blog/2007/04/06/proof-is-in-the-serps-overestimating-domain-authority-take-2.html

    Read it and weep, Peter :)

    Domain strength is undeniable but it can be trumped – just like any other factor.

    “I have sites that can rank for almost anything – no matter how tangential to the site’s core theme”

    Topic-independent authority score calculation algo is called PageRank.

    Other algos – Hilltop, HITS, CLEVER, topical PageRank – are all topic/query-dependent.

    “then it can be assumed that other pages on the domain are also highly likely to be authoritative, even if the authority of those pages hasn’t been individually calculated yet.”

    Google calculates PageRank every day, and yeah, new pages from an authoritative domain benefit from a site’s overall link pop.

    So PageRank still matters – no shocker there =D

  4. John ScottJohn Scott04-08-2007

    Halfdeck,

    I don’t know that your experiment shows anything other than what Peter has been saying. One established site (v7n) ranked for SEO Course, and now another established site (redcardinal) ranks for SEO course.

    If you really wanted to prove that domain authority wasn’t a determining factor, then I would think you would go about that by getting a new domain ranked for that search term.

    And I also do not see where Peter denied that power of anchor text of inbound links.

  5. Peter Da VanzoPeter Da Vanzo04-08-2007

    Halfdeck,

    Yes, linking matters. I’ve never said otherwise.

    My point here is that V7N (still at #7 from where I’m sitting) entered the SERPS, on the first page, within days, with no SEO strategy, other than to publish a post on an established domain that already has high authority. That authority score comes from inbound links.

    As John points out, I’m not sure we are talking about different things?

  6. King CobraKing Cobra09-01-2008

    Domain authority seems to be becoming even more prominent now. There’s still a lot of work to be done though and I’ve seen some new sites thrown together that do very well. As the algorithm improves I’d expect to see less and less of this.

    Ken
    King Cobra Poker

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