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Before we start, let’s talk about what “Topical Authority” is.
Topical Authority is the act of helping search engines (Such as Google and Bing) associate your website with certain topics that are closely related to what the website is about or what services they offer. It is yet another form of search engine optimization.
Topical Authority (Sometimes also known as “Topic Clusters”) can be closely related to the overall business goals and objectives. By fine-tuning your topics on your blog or throughout your website, you can really gain an advantage over competitors who spend no time on it.
How do search engines become aware of your Topical Authority efforts? It happens in 4 stages:
In 2012, Google launched what’s known as a “knowledge Graph.” If you ever did a direct search for a company, you may have noticed a “panel” on the right hand side of the Google search result for that company. It is filled in with company information such as the contact info, photos, reviews, etc… All this is manipulated via Google My Business.
In 2015, Google announced a new algorithm that acts as a machine learning system that is used to better match search queries with their search results. They call it RankBrain.
In 2018, Google introduced “Neural Matching” which is another algorithm to make better sense of concepts, and how people are now asking for things when they do searches. For instance, instead of typing in a question, they hit the microphone icon and ask their questions verbally.
In 2019, Google introduced “BERT,” a neural network-based technique for natural language processing pre-training, as a way to even better understand implicit and explicit language.
Involves any proactive activity that happens on the website itself, where we have the most control.
Include such things as:
Try to cover different topics without diving in too deep into any one specifically.
Example: “Marketing” being the main topic
Try to cover as many relevant “sub-topics” as we can for specific topics we’re interested in. For al the horizontals examples above, for instance, to break each one down even further. When you think about it, there are so many topics to cover!
Example: “Content Marketing” (taken from above) being the main topic:
Unless you have all the time in the world, or have a limitless spending budget, you can start to see the difficulty of trying to capture each topic and subtopic per category.
Your best approach, in this instance is to start with one of your most important categories, and stick with that one, until you have completely covered the topic.
Don't forget to make sure your website pages have basic SEO implementation, just to be sure your efforts don't go unnoticed.
A good indication that you are truly becoming an authority for the topic would be when other websites start linking to your articles. How do you know if that is happening? With the use of good SEO tools or an SEO agency such as webstuffguy.com to help keep track.