In this article, we will try to understand how Google measures website / domain authority, and what can we do to improve it.
One of the most important and significant factors in ranking any website in search engines is the authority of the site. Google will strive to show users relevant results that represent the most authoritative sites that relevant to the search query.
You don’t take authority. You receive authority
No matter how much we will check it, authority in life itself is not something that one person can one day get up and decide to have. Authority in life itself is a characteristic that is built over time, slowly, and that is based on concrete experiences that have shaped the personality of the person with authority.
How do humans recognize authority?
Humans can easily recognize authority. Here are some examples that help us quickly analyze situations and understand who is the authority in the environment:
- Degrees on the shoulders may indicate that this is a senior army commander. Everybody understands that a Major General in the IDF is a senior officer in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and everyone who understands that a counter-army in the IDF is a Major General (well, maybe not officially, but what do you think will happen if a Major General tries to give order to a Sergent Major of the army? Regional war is just one of the right answers)
- A magnificent office can indicate that this is a senior manager. When was the last time you saw a junior employee overlooking a spectacular view in the vast and private office where he works?
- In the same way, an advanced academic degree can indicates an expert in its field.
- An expensive suit can indicate a person whose self-branding is important to him.
There are other examples, of course, but the point is clear: to us, humans, it is easy to recognize authority. The real question comes when it comes to search engines.
How does Google recognize authority?
Preventing a search is much harder then analyze a site's authority. However, over the years, Google has been able to develop a complete methodology for evaluating the authority of websites, and incorporating this method in its site ranking algorithm. How does Google identify an authoritative site? We don't really know, but we can guess. Here are some hypotheses, some more established, and some less established:
An authoritative website will, in most cases, have a rich backlinks profile, which is constantly updated. It will receive links from both strong and medium sites. The anchor text in the links that will receive the site will be varied. The site will receive links from sites that Google "expects" to receive – if it is indeed an authority in its domain. The way in which inbound links are received will be frequent and continuous.
An authority site will receive direct traffic on a large scale. Intended for traffic from non-search engines or social networks. A high-branded site will bring in user traffic that will simply type in the browser's URL or save it to favorites, "chrome" I already said?
Authority through education and training
A site of authority will present on the about pages the reason why it is an authority in its field: it will refer to the academic institutions from which it has received training, and to various certificates and licenses it has received in the fields it deals with.
Publishing articles as part of authority building
A site with authority will present official articles that it published, whether it is scientific articles or if it is in the niches areas in which it specializes. Google's human rank is known, among other things, to check the professional literature to which the authority sites refer, to make sure it represents professional and quality content.
Domain expiry date
A site with authority will sometimes renew its domain for longer. Think about it, a big business like a major newspaper in the country is unlikely to act like a small business when you renew your domain. Renewing the domain for a long time can signal to Google that there is a business here that intends to stay in the ring for long years (not binding, but for the message, it is worth remembering this).
Liaise with relevant authorities
A business that has relevant relationships with the authority holders that is relevant to its field – can enjoy the authority they project. How is such a relation measured? There is no limit to the imagination. Some claim that even a photo of an embraced business owner with a business owner with authority, or tagging on social media can produce such a connection.
It is unclear what tools Google has to understand the quality of a website's design, but it is known that Google also uses human scanners that provide site reviews. One of the questions human site rankings are asked is, without doubt, would you trust the site you are visiting.
Distribute the content in the relevant communities
A site with authority expected to distribute content in forums and communities relevant to its field of activity. The relevant community should know the business, refer to it, connect with it and recommend it.
After all that is written here, it is important to understand that gaining authority is an ongoing process, which takes time, in part depending on the field of the site and the level of competition. There are no shortcuts to this issue of authority, unfortunately or to our delight.
How do I identify an authoritative site?
There are quite a few ways to identify an authoritative site, but the simplest is through ahrefs or majestic, or semrush. Just run the URL and see its data, how much "authority" the same domain has, here's an example of my Ahrefs site review:
By the way, here you can find a really cool comparison between Ahrefs and Majestic.
Authority is measured differently in humans and in search engines, but if we invest time and thought, we can, over time, transform the website we run into authority in its domain.