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Authority means top rankings

By Alexandra Gavril - July 2, 2012

Trust builds trust and trust builds authority. Authority is an important factor that helps rise up the rankings, which means that, in terms of SEO, authority has a positive influence on search engine rankings.

What does Authority mean?

Authority refers to:

  • the quality of a site. This can be a combination of the site’s relevance, importance, age, size.
  • a niche site. Most authority sites are built around a particular subject and this helps them gain the status of experts in their field. Leading experts in a specific field are the ones that carry most authority because they are focused on a single subject, and don’t claim to know everything about everything.
  • sites that rank high for a specific keyword or phrase. This means that authority sites are also popular.
  • sites that are referred by other sites that consider them to be the most relevant in that domain or industry.

Why authority sites rank higher

Authority sites are highly appreciated because of the quality content that people find there. Site owners also ensure to constantly publish fresh and unique content because they know that new content will be spidered and indexed quicker by search engines.  This will not only enhance authority, but also help them rank easier for specific keywords in their field.

Aside from being rapidly spidered by search engines, authority sites also get links from other sites easier. Quality content gets noticed, shared and linked by other sites. If some of these sites that recommend your content are also authority sites, then the links are A list links, the best quality links one can get. They certify to the quality of the content and they recommend it to their readers. Search engines see that and it’s when they elevate the authority site to the top of the search rankings.

How to achieve Authority

Authority doesn’t necessarily mean having the highest page rank. It’s more about a mix of relevant, quality content that people find useful, as well as off page optimisation.

Domain age is also an important factor because people often link authority to a website’s age. However, even with a domain that has been online for years, it’s still the fresh content, optimised around powerful keywords, that matters the most. If it’s not link-worthy, people won’t share it or link to it.

The key to an authority site is to give people what they need, and that is well documented, unique content that they will want to share. It’s that type of quality and useful content that other authority sites would want to be associated with. To achieve that, you need to determine what the trends are in your industry and create relevant content around it so that other sites, authority ones especially, will want to pick up and promote. Once it becomes popular, your site will benefit from it by traffic increase and higher ranks.

Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, are also good places to build links, as these sites already have authority which will be transferred to you instantly if the content you publish is relevant to their users. So, choose your sites carefully and ensure your target audience is there. You can also promote your content on other channels, such as directory submissions, blogs, press releases sites and more.

Be an authority, not a crowd pleasure

To be an authority and get all the benefits that come with that status, you should focus on a niche and demonstrate your expertise to your readers. When people deem you worthy of their time and consider you to be the go-to resource for solutions to their problems, it’s when you will win the battle for page rank.