Published on November 24th, 2023

The Significance of Topical Authority

In the present digital landscape, there exists a scaringly fierce competition. If a brand truly wants to stand out amid a sea of competitors, then establishing topical authority shouldn’t be their goal but the ultimate necessity. Only then do the chances of becoming uber-successful increase for it. 

But what is actually the concept of this topical authority? And why from many Ranking Systems to EEAT, most updates rollout recommending to focus more on building a topical authority? 

In this blog, we’ll dive deep into the concept of topical authority and learn how it impacts different aspects of Search and why is it equally significant for link building.  So without further adieu, let’s begin! 

What is Topical Authority?

Topical authority can be defined in several ways, for instance:

Topical authority refers to having a certain level of expertise and credibility over a particular subject or in a specific niche. 

Ahrefs explains it in the following words:

“Topical authority is an SEO concept where a website aims to become the go-to authority on one or more topics.” 

It is also defined as the amount of authority you earn through consistently generating premium quality content. 

In order to have a better idea of it, imagine there are two content pieces on SEO trends. The first one comes from a known expert and the other comes from an unknown amateur. Naturally, more users will be drawn towards the expert’s take. Why? Because the expert has already built their credibility, such that peers of the niche rely on them. That’s exactly how the topical authority works.  

The more well-crafted content the audience comes across, the more they trust the website as a trustworthy and authoritative source. And this in return increases the chances of ranking higher in SERPs.

Google has this system in place — Topic Authority — that examines the degree of expertise an original source or publication has in a certain area. This Search Central Document says:

“To better surface relevant, expert, and knowledgeable content in Google Search and News, Google developed a system called topic authority that helps determine which expert sources are helpful to someone’s newsy query in certain specialized topic areas, such as health, politics, or finance.”

The whole Google article is related to news-related search queries and news sites. But the concept of it also applies to the general Search as well. You can check out the whole document for more interesting details. 

Therefore, topical authority is super important. It depicts how much a person, business, or organization understands their target audience and makes an effort to cater to what they’re searching for on the internet. 

Topical Authority vs Domain Authority

Note that topical authority is a whole different concept from domain authority. It is simply a search engine ranking score that predicts how likely a website is to rank over its competitors in SERPs. 

Why is it important for SEO? 

When it comes to search engines, topical authority can influence the rankings. As a rule of thumb, well-crafted, quality content emanating a good amount of topical authority will likely rank higher on Google. This is why Search Engine Algorithms are consistently updated to ensure only relevant results come up on user queries.

So when you craft excellent content, you’re developing trust. And this trust resonates with your target audience and the search engine.

Here’s a little example, if you go to Google and type in ‘Fashion’, Vogue and Fashion Nova will appear in the top 2 spots. This is a testament to Google acknowledging the topical authority of these websites in the fashion niche over all other gazillions of sites out there. So, it just ranks them over others.


How to build Topical Authority 

Okay, so here’s the thing, Building topical authority isn’t some piece of cake. It requires persistent effort, undying enthusiasm, and vigilant attention to the ever-evolving trends and consumer demands. The whole process takes a considerable amount of time depending on the type of quality you’re delivering to users. 

To give you a good starting point, here are some tips to initiate building topical authority in your niche.

Create a Winning Content Strategy

First of all, you need to have a powerful content strategy designed to cater to your audience specifically. For that, you can start with an in-depth research process. Look out for the ongoing discourse happening in your industry, the hot trends, myths, and ambiguities, and the plethora of questions asked by your target audience. 

You can also look into different social platforms, keyword data from different tools, Google’s People Also Ask, and online tools as well. Simply put, it’s best to use every resource available to you for building a robust content strategy from the ground up. This will help you garner diverse ideas to further work on.     

Keep in mind your content pieces are supposed to outperform other content on the internet, so it should be nothing but outstanding!    

Craft Topic Clusters

Topic Clusters are a crucial part of the topical authority map. In case you don’t know, they’re the range of content assets based on the same topic. These content pieces contributed to delivering all relevant and necessary information under the every particular topic. This helps your audience find all the answers they’re looking for. 

And as Google actively looks for subtopics, matching phrases and synonyms, and specific topics, topic clusters give out signals that there’s a plethora of information present on your website. Therefore, Google will consider your content more authoritative than the others. 

Take the help of Subject Matter Experts to craft content 

Now the major task — creating incredible quality content that is conducive to building your topical authority. There are two ways you can approach this. Either you can build a team of subject matter experts that create exceptional quality content pieces, or, you can ask industry experts to enhance your team’s ability to produce coveted quality.” 

No matter what approach you go for, it will greatly help you produce pieces that provide valuable information, clarify concepts, deliver data, and give users exactly what they’re looking for. And eventually, your brand will start to get noticed and receive more traction.   

Prioritize getting Relevant Links 

Link building is a crucial part of cementing your topical authority. And while getting backlinks to your well-thought-out, incredibly written, authoritative content pieces, one thing that should be prioritized more than anything is topical relevance.  For instance, if you’re creating a stack of content on keto diets, then always look out for getting backlinks from bigger keto diet blogs or websites that cover keto diets specifically. This will not only help you build your authority but also get you streams of new audience, traffic, and coveted visibility. And while making an effort to acquire backlinks in an organic manner, don’t ignore internal links. 

Internal links also help Google to know more about your website and the type of content you roll out. So, it goes without saying that these internal links are also crucial for building authority.  

So what you can do is treat the most in-depth, lengthy piece of content as a pillar page and use internal links to further connect it to every piece of content you have on the same topic. And these supporting pieces can link out to the primary page on which you want to draw the most attention.  

Final Thoughts

Developing topical authority is similar to becoming a prodigy in a particular subject matter. It takes time, effort, and persistent passion, but eventually, you get there. And this is what we’ve learned witnessing the amazing journeys of so many uber-successful experts and businesses. Had they given up, we wouldn’t have any idea about who they are today.   

Hence, prioritize building topical authority in your content, vision, and all interactions. And you’ll start meeting your goals effortlessly.

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Published on November 24th, 2023
Updated on January 3rd, 2024

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