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So, What Exactly Makes a Website an ‘Authority’?

18th March 2013

The words authority and expert are used in an astounding amount of marketing campaigns designed to sell people just about everything under the sun. It’s not hard to figure out why this is done. The term authority adds confidence to a product because people naturally trust authority and rely on it to keep them safe and help them make the best decision.

However, while authority as a term is a great word to use in a marketing campaign, it has started to lose some of its sway as consumers become more savvy. This isn’t to say that consumers have any less respect for the idea of authority nor does it mean that this term can’t sell products.

No, what this means is that more consumers are wanting to see proof of a person’s authority on any given subject and this can actually be a positive for your website.

Reputation Breeds Authority

By becoming an authority site in the eyes of Google, you do a lot to bolster the reputation and credentials of your website. Because the internet consumer has become more savvy and thus is suspicious of claims of authority, having something like being an authority site gives you a leg up on everyone else in your market.

Internet consumers may be suspicious of unfounded claims of authority but when you can make the claim that you are an authority and its backed up by something as well respected as Google, then you gain a lot of esteem in the eyes of those very same consumers.

Authority Means Traffic

If you are not currently an authority site then you might want to look into what it takes to become one because doing so will bolster the amount of traffic your website gets on a daily basis, which will lead to an increase in profit.

The process of becoming an authority site differs according to what your site does but this should not stop you from doing everything you need to accomplish this goal. Not only will becoming an authority site help you ensure a greater deal of consumer confidence but it will also lift your website ranking in Google as well, which of course is something that every website wants to happen.

Authority Process

While the process to become an authority site is different for each website based on what that website does, there are some things that are pretty general. To become an authority site you need to have accurate information that is verified in some way.

Along with needing to have accurate information, you need to have some kind of reference that shows this information is true and have a link that leads to this information. In many cases some kind of documentation that proves a certain amount of education or experience in a particular field is needed although sometimes it’s not. Finally another common requirement of the site is that you have been around for a certain amount of time and that you update your information every so often.

Again these are just the general strokes of what it takes to become an authority site, and if you decide to do so, you will need to find out what you need to do specifically.

Photo credit: Ian Sane via photopin cc

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  • Jennifer Cunningham
    Posted at 2:50 pm March 20, 2013
    Jennifer Cunningham

    Yes, authority carries a lot of weight. Everyone wants an answer from the authority. Thanks for the idea.

  • Ivan Widjaya
    Posted at 4:35 pm April 10, 2013
    Ivan Widjaya


    Indeed – why would we read an article that is similar to 1,000s other on the web? Authoritative content is unique and standing above the rest!