SEO best practices – Gaining your website authority

In this article we look what this is and how to establish your website as an authority its niche. We look at outbound and inbound links, where to get back links from and linking back links to each other.

What is Authority? A definition

Authority can be defined as “an accepted source of expert information”.  

How to achieve authority?

To be accepted as a source of expert information, as the above definition suggests, your own website must feature quality content and be well organised, as discussed in previous articles. Also, your website must be put out to as many relevant and high quality websites as possible. Note the words relevant and high quality!

Linking to other websites – outbound links?

This is often overlooked and feared by some because website owners fear loosing page rank. It may have been true before, but not so now. It is all about making references to related authority websites from within your page or article. Its makes sense to do it because it adds value to your content by helping the visitor. They can find out more, explore a more detailed or specific article.

You can link to these websites from within your text or create a reference section at the footer of the page.

Do not use “No Follow” links because this tells the search engines you don’t trust the website you are linking to and that your are hoarding page rank for yourself.  

Back linking – inbound links?

This is all about links coming into your website from other websites. The rule of thumb about inbound links is that as your quality links grow, your own website will increase its ranking.

This technique is both a good and bad. When this is done correctly the technique will help your website improve its place among the rankings. Conversely, over doing it and getting hundreds of poor quality links pointing to your website, and quickly, will result in penalties, if not now, but later.

Many experts still debate whether links coming into your website should be high quality links or not. You should focus on considering the quality of every link to your website. That means checking the page and the content where your link is included. Ask yourself if it an authority website or not? An authority website typically has age of 5+ years and a domain name rank of 4 or more. Forget about the page rank of that page.  

You should also check out the theme of the website or page that the link is on because Google seems to be paying more attention this more than the anchor text in a given link.

Example 1

Consider that your website is about motor cycle accessories and many inbound links were from motor cycle related websites, including articles and information sources on the same subject like safety. Google would see the links and hopefully look upon this website favourably.

Example 2

Consider that your website is about pet supplies and its inbound links came from all over including prescription drugs, sports and other irrelevant websites. Google would see immediately that you are using such strategies to try to rank better. The result would be a penalized website.

What type of back links should you get?

You should aim for quality back links. The thinking now is that you should go for quality, not quantity. It’s that old high school slogan for essay writing again! Quality links come from authority sites. Remember things like domain name age and domain page rank.

What you do not do is use automated link building software. Instead you should do is write articles and post these articles on numerous authority websites with a link back to your website. Remember that your articles must be relevant, on topic and well informed. That is not just any old rubbish. Also, do not put the same article on lots of different places. You could instead have one set of related articles on one article website, and another set of related articles on another.

You can also publish short movies to YouTube and similar. These can be a great way to increase authority especially if your logo is included. The video descriptions allow a lot of text, which should be on topic and relevant, but also allows for a vital back link.

In addition to the above, you can use Twitter and Facebook business pages to gain authority by posting relevant news, topics, and articles links. Listing directories are still worth a look. They may not be as powerful as they used to be but they are valid links. You should choose manually choose the best ones to list in.    

Linking back links to back links

This technique is all about making links to the existing back links to your website. Any method such as those above can be used. However, the links must all be high quality. The idea is to make each page linking to one of your pages stronger and pass along the “link juice”.

Do not use low quality and spammy links or engage in linking schemes because the opposite effect will occur.