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Understanding SEO: Why Authority Matters to You

Understanding SEO: Why Authority Matters to You

By Kendall Jarboe This blog was Posted on Thursday, September  6, 2018 6 YEARS AGO

Understanding SEO: Why Authority Matters to You"Jack of all trades, master of none" is a figure of speech used when people try to do everything and end up spreading themselves thin so they are not actually an expert on anything. A common temptation for website owners is to appeal to the masses and appear on as many SERPs as possible. Keyword stuffing is a SEO campaign mistake and has the goal of being listed in the most number of searches as possible. Relevance is important to search engines, but a significant contributor that is often forgotten about is authority.

What is Authority?

Authority is the level of trust search engines attribute to websites. We’re not talking trust in the sense of avoiding fraudulent websites and boosting security, but trust in the sense of community-approved brands. There are two types of authority: domain authority and page authority. Domain authority refers to the trust granted to an entire website, and page authority is reserved for individual pages within the websites.

Authority is different from relevance. Relevance asks the question, “Does this site’s content match the user’s query?” Authority asks the question, “Is this site well-known enough to send the user to it?” Sometimes it seems like authority is just a popularity contest. While that is certainly true to some extent, search engines determine authority in many different avenues.

How is Authority Determined?

In the past, links were the main variable in authority. To put it plainly, authority is the fruit of link building. While link building is still vital, links are no longer the only determining factor in a site’s authority. Search engines take the content of a website into account when scanning for trustworthiness. The quality of your content is also important for generating more buzz about your brand.

Instead of being an expert in everything, the emerging idea of topical authority refers to the practice of working toward the goal of being the absolute best in your particular niche. Take Walmart and Tiffany & Co. for example. Walmart sells just about any type of product you could need on a regular basis. Tiffany and Co. is just known for their luxury jewelry. While Walmart offers a variety of items that people like to buy, they don’t offer the absolute best in anything. When someone wants to buy a piece of fine jewelry for someone special they don’t think, “I have to go to Walmart for this!” It’s nothing against Walmart, it’s just the fact that smaller and more niche-focused shops are able to specialize in particular products and excel in them.

Prioritizing topical authority and social media go hand-in-hand in playing a huge role in who is talking about your brand. People are more likely to mention an article or a website that offers a fresh and new perspective or insight into the market they care about compared to a generalized statement that isn’t specific enough to relate to.

Another factor in authority exists in the genetics of your website. You will have greater authority if your website has better optimization. If your website caters to mobile devices, if it loads quickly, has an organized structure to it, and does not host broken links to name a few. Your website’s SEO authority might be suffering if it does not meet this standards. Be sure that you are aware of how to know that you need a new website.

While SEO relevance will get you on the SERPs, it only goes so far. You need to be an authoritative and trusted brand to rise to the top. WebRevelation wants to help you be a trusted and authoritative voice in your niche. We can help you optimize your website so that search engines will will send the ideal client your way. Give us a call today or fill out a contact form and we will be happy to discuss your options and a game plan.

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