What Is an Authority Site and How Do You Get One?By Toby Russell
Hi there now for most of us the fact that it takes time to grow your traffic to your website or blog is a major frustration and one that we are constantly trying to overcome. For Sam & I its about using loads of marketing methods including articles, social media etc all of the time to build a ‘brand’ or if you like ‘authority’ and that’s what I want to talk about today.
If you’re posting regularly to a blog and the traffic is trickling in, eventually there’ll be a day when it suddenly starts to flow. This is the day that your site becomes an ‘authority’ site.
An authority site is a website that Google recognizes as a good source of information in its niche. When your site is recognized as an authority, this gives you a massive boost in the search results.
Google has a complex algorithm for granting authority status and nobody outside of the Big G knows it. But we do know that they look at your site’s content and also the backlinks that are coming into it from other trusted sites.
How do you make yours an authority site? We’re not going to crack the code here, but this is what we know about how they decide.
Domain age is one of the main factors in authority status. It’s hard for a brand new site to get it. On the other hand, a site can sit around without being updated for years and suddenly get authority status. The number of years the site’s been around is a major consideration.
The quality of the content plays a huge part. No site with a mish mash of incoherent error-ridden content is going to be recognized by Google’s algorithms. It all has to be decent quality. The pages need to be connected and relevant to each other. It also helps if your content is updated consistently.
Large sites that are rich with content have a much better shot at authority status than small sites that have just a few pages. For one thing, more pages means more opportunities for backlinking. What Google is looking for are sites that can be used as resources, and they usually need to be big to do that.
Good User Experience
In order to become an authority site, your site needs to be easy to navigate. It can’t be cluttered and hard to manoeuvre. The page separation should be logical and it appears to help if all pages are accessible from the main page.
One thing that’s known for sure is that backlinks from other authority sites helps you get authority status. This shows that other sites find your content valuable and are linking to you. Links from social media sites like Facebook and Twitter also help.
Some of the best backlinks you can get are from directories. These are sites that have categories with links to all sorts of information. They’re not commercial by nature and most of them are carefully edited by volunteers. Links back from directories are really valuable in the eyes of Google because directories are so picky.
Any site that has lots of visitor interaction and engagement is going to be much more likely to become an authority site. For example, if your blog has lots of comments and trackbacks, this will help. Adding a forum to your site where visitors can participate is also great for building authority.
If you want a good idea of what makes an authority site, have a look at About.com. It has lots of useful information about a variety of topics that are all tied together logically. Create a site that presents comprehensive information on your topic like About.com, and you’ll have a good shot at authority status.
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