Google is constantly working to keep the best, most relevant results at the top of SERPs, and one way to do that is by breaking up the billions of results into different subjects. According to Search Engine Land, Google is "working on an algorithm to give authorities in a particular subject a ranking boost for being that authority." In other words, whether you're an individual or a website, if you are authoritative in your particular niche, you'll have a jumpstart when it comes to ranking well on a SERP. The question, then, is simple: How exactly can you become an authority in your niche if you're not already?
How to Become an Authority in Your Niche Online
It isn't easy to be seen as an authority online because there is so much competition. It takes a long time to really begin establishing your business and your website, so it takes patience and hard work. There are a few basic things you can try to help speed up the process:
- Great Content. This is number 1. Sides with poor content are not going to last long because readers won't want to stay on the page for long, and Google will be able to tell if the content has too many links or a poor format. Good content will also ensure that you're really targeting and educating the right audience, which helps show you really are an expert in that particular place. Hint: Staring a blog is a great way to get great content our there fast so you're never lagging behind your competition.
- Social Media. You want to market your content, and one of the best ways to do this is through social media. Be active and have accounts on all of the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) and start getting the word out there. The more people that know about your content, the better you will look as an authority.
- Be Original. Try to have a "thing" that sets you apart from the rest. Whether it be very detailed content full of screenshots, awesome white board presentations (ever heard of the authority in my niche, SEOMoz?), interactive infographics, controversial posts, or just cool content ideas. Being original is what makes an authority.
- Author Rank. It's important to remember that being an authority on a particular subject does not mean you have to be an authority as a company. If you're an authority as an author, Google is going to want to move the articles you write to the top of a SERP (which will most likely bring your site to the top in addition). Get involved with author rank to help claim your content.
It's clear that most of these points are not new, but that's OK. Becoming an authority in your niche is all about keeping a steady pace and always improving. There are going to be those companies that fall or that get lazy on these basics-outrun them and continue to always use these tactics and you're on your way to being a real authority.
Why It Matters: More on Google's New Algorithm
As discussed above, Google is in the process of creating an algorithm that helps subject authorities gain a boost in ranking results. This was actually discussed by Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, in one of his videos discussing what we can expect from Google in the next few months. You can watch this video here.
Do you think Google is making the right move with this new algorithm? How do you help ensure that you are an authority in your industry?