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The SEO world is abuzz following the release of Penguin 2.0, though there have been several updates to the algorithm since it launched in April 2012.
The release took place on 22 May, 2013 with additional changes and tweaks likely to take place over the summer months. You can watch the video for yourself below, but, as well as investing in quality content, one of the key phrases that was of considerable interest was this from Matt Cutts:
We are trying to detect when someone is an authority in a specific space and trying to make those authorities rank higher.
So the question that marketers need to ask themselves is ‘How do you create an Authority brand online?’ It’s time online marketers replaced this question over their traditional ‘how do I get to the top of Google?’
Create an authority website, full of interesting content that your target customers want to read and share and you will be rewarded by Google. But not just by Google, but by your customers too.
How do I create an authority website?
Invest in quality content
Everything you create – both on and offsite - should have quality at its core. Create content for users, not search engines. Hire real writers, real content marketing experts with an abundance of ideas that can help turn your business into an authority online content platform.
Invest in blogs, news, features, white papers, infographics, videos; but only if they are relevant and likely to have a real benefit to your customer base.
Invest in onsite content
Google rewards websites that publish content on their own websites. It is a key metric, and growing in importance, brands and businesses that fail to invest in developing onsite content strategies are not going to succeed online.
True, there is often more visibility and increased brand ‘eye-balls’ on content published to your own website, but publishing onsite is a necessity post-Penguin. Publishing content to your own site means that you can share content using social media and generate more inbound links to your site as a result.
Something else worth remembering is that you retain all publishing control when you own the platform you are publishing on – your own website – so you can go back and edit content published again if necessary.
Use Google+ Authorship markup to gain even more authority in Google
Why use Google+?
- It immediately indexes your new content in Google.
- Create authority and respect in Google’s eyes – Google loves Google products.
- Generate more inbound links.
- Generate more social likes and shares.
- Build up your authorship and expertise in an emerging area for SEO.
- Add additional SEO power to your guest posts and blogger outreach.
- Cultivate business leads and be seen as a thought leader.
Amplify your content to create authority
Think first about where you want your content to be amplified, the audience and quality of where you are seeding, it's not just about a link anymore.
With this in mind, avoid poor quality link neighbourhoods. Inbound links and content amplification are important metrics that Google uses to rank authority.
It’s not about masses of poor quality inbound links – it’s about relevant, high value content and inbound links from relevant and quality sites and authors that share a story, is useful to your customer base and shareable.
Social shares are very important for search success, but also in building your authority in Google’s eyes.
Increase traffic to your website
Google has already stressed that it is looking to judge sites on their authority. What metrics can Google use to determine authority?
Here are just a few of them:
- Inbound links.
- Social shares.
- Time on site.
- Bounce rate.
- Visitor numbers.
Yes, visitor numbers can be manipulated and bought, but rarely to hit all of the above metrics.
If you use content amplification services such as native advertising or guest posting to promote good content to relevant audiences, all the above metrics are likely to show up in your favour – your social shares, time on site are going to increase, letting Google know that you are an authority.
Implement these changes and invest time and energy in turning yourself, your business and your website into an authority on a chosen topic and, as Cutts points out, any future Google changes 'shouldn’t be a big surprise and you shouldn't have to make too many changes'.