Google’s last big update was the ‘Brand’ update in March, which meant increased rankings for many bigger brand websites and authority sites. Despite the best efforts of some SEO companies, who had previously garnered good results with lesser known websites, branded and authority websites have started to rank over seemingly better, or more aggressively, SEO’d websites.
This has hit websites who have engaged in large scale link building tactics the hardest, with some notable sites dropping in rankings even though they have enjoyed a comparatively long reign at the top of the SERPs and have tens of thousands of links.
If Google is favouring authority websites then the competition for places on the front page of Google just became a lot fiercer. More importantly, just what constitutes an authority website and how can you ensure that your website is seen by Google as an authority, or a brand?
Firstly, Google needs to see you as a source for information in your industry; a source for relevant and unique information in your industry. If you have content on your site copied from other sources, even if you own the other sources, you’re not going to be seen as an authority, merely a duplicate of already existing information.
What better way to be seen an as authority for information than by becoming a Google News publisher? Google only lets the most useful and informative resources into its Google News service, so by becoming a publisher you’re doing exactly what Google wants to see from your website.
Of course, what you write on your own website will only get you so far. If you’re being written about then you’re more likely to become an authority. The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about – as the saying goes. The more quality content you have on your site, the more it’s likely to be referenced by other websites. These references don’t have to provide you with backlinks either (although that would be nice). So long as you’re being quoted, being talked about, you’re on your way to being an authority.
The more noise you make, the bigger your online presence becomes, the more people will search for you by name. If you’re being searched for on Google by your company name, then surely you’re a brand? Well, almost.
All of this is sound advice but you should also be aware that a brand can be destroyed just as easily as it can be built, the same goes for an authority website. There are SEO practises you could employ that would see an otherwise authority site fall from grace like a pigeon being shot with an air rifle.
For example, authority websites attract good quality links from established websites. They get picked up by news sites, competitors, magazine sites and relevant sites within their industry. They do NOT purchase thousands of links on unrelated websites hosted in Poland.
What? You think Google can’t see this?