All measurable authority seems to flow through pages that are linked. Without this linkage, no authority flows. This strongly suggests there is absolutely no domain level influence.
Wikipedia is an excellent example of a website that does thorough internal linking. Without those links, new pages would have squat for authority. I challenge you to produce a single page within the Wikipedia website that has authority without internal and/or external backlinks that can account for all of that authority being derived for that page.
Until you can find a single example to support your theory, I will remain skeptical.
I’m not surprised that you have chosen to cite Rand Fishkin. That is appropriate since the whole notion of domain authority seems to originate from his theory, which he tried to find a way to measure it but couldn’t ( Hence, why I say it isn’t measurable). He ended up just using the page authority metric as the only real measure of authority.
He chose to keep a separate metric that he labeled domain authority, but it is actually just the page authority from the home page, not a domain-wide metric.
I have made several open challenges, in the past, for anyone on this forum to find a single example of measurable domain authority, as opposed to page authority. I’m still waiting and again call for anyone to share any evidence they can find that supports this theory. It seems to be a theory which many people have chosen to believe without a shred of evidence to support their belief.
Correlation does not imply causation.
First, let me say that I like Rand, he has done some great work in building consensus within the industry with his annual survey of SEO opinions. I have admired his link baiting skills for years. I just think he has bought into a notion that wasn’t sound.
Indeed, when he tried to build a tool that would quantify domain authority, he wasn’t able to demonstrate a measurable effect beyond page-level factors that would correspond to Google’s search engine rankings. That is when he changed his tune and started to downplay the “importance” of domain authority in favor of “page authority”.
While he never dropped the notion of domain authority, perhaps to save face since it was his signature SEO theory for quite a while, about all he has to say about it these days is that it is not important.
Your whole argument seems to be based on correlation as causation, which simply isn’t evidence, just flawed thinking. Correlation can suggest a cause but is not evidence of a cause. Where is the evidence?
If the notion of “Domain Authority” as an SEO factor had any validity we should be able to find definitive evidence of it and it should be prominent since the highest authorities would theoretically have overtly measurable evidence. Yet, nobody seems to be able to point to any evidence, just the same old invalid “correlation as causation” conclusion.
As I said previously, “Your whole argument seems to be based on correlation as causation, which simply isn’t evidence, just flawed thinking.”
I’m sticking with that assertion as it seems to apply perfectly toward your reply.
For the sake of clarity please allow me to reiterate: “correlation” can never be considered a valid base of evidence. At best it can be a hint of a possible relationship, but to consider it as “evidence” of causation is just flawed thinking.
And just for the fun of it, let me help you out with the real definition of a straw man argument:
Straw man – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I made no attempt to reframe your assertions, I simply pointed out that your primary assertion was a Non sequitur argument.
I agree there is evidence of a correlation. However, correlation is not evidence of causation. That is the common logical fallacy that I pointed out by the term “Cum hoc ergo propter hoc”. Yet you are repeatedly presenting “evidence” of correlation as if it is “evidence” of causation.
Correlation does not rise to the level of actual evidence, it is simply coincidental in its very nature. Page-level factors seem to account for the correlation, and evidence of page-level factors is well established. We have a plausible and reasonable cause for the correlation and absolutely no evidence of domain-level factors having influence.
Again I will assert that you, nor anyone else that I know of, have produced a “shred of evidence” that Google uses “domain authority”, as a factor in SERP ranking. Therefore I will remain skeptical and challenge anyone that believes in the notion of domain authority to present actual “evidence” not purely coincidental correlations.
Forget ” beyond a shadow of a doubt”, forget “reasonable doubt”, you can even forget “a preponderance of evidence”. How about any “evidence of causation”, got any? Evidence of correlation is not the same as evidence of causation. Do you have a shred of true evidence?
Suggesting that “evidence” of correlation is equal to evidence of causation is the fallacy of your argument. Using that same logic I could argue that since there are more authority pages launched on rainy days, rain is the cause of web page authority. Is rain evidence of authority (Reductio ad absurdum)? Can anything be considered evidence of a cause-based solely on a correlation? I assert it cannot.
Again, I maintain my assertion that you, nor Rand have produced a shred of evidence that domain authority is a factor in SERP rankings.
Rand made his initial assertions of domain authority long before he started testing and accumulating data. Rand had to back off the claim of “domain” authority as an important metric used by Google because he could never find any evidence that went beyond page level. Rand himself has acknowledged this on multiple occasions.
I’m afraid that you have mistaken my Reductio ad absurdum for a false analogy.
Please see the section that refers to a “false charge of fallacy”: False analogy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia