Google Shouldn't Run After Authority Signal So Madly…

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web-spam team has been telling for the past 6 months or so, on multiple occasions, that how their engineers are working hard to integrate “authority or subject authority” as a ranking signal for ranking web content.

Basically, instead of demoting bad guys, they want to promote sites or authors who are experts in a subject.

So that when somebody will search for information about medical, photography, traveling, etc. only authority sites and content written by experts in that fields will rank higher in Google search.

Authority means…

A person is called authoritative when people trust him, recognize him as an expert, and seek help from him in time of needs.Authority can’t be achieved overnight. It takes years of hard work and dedication.

When an author consistently produce quality content for 2 years… 4 years, or even 5 years;in the process of becoming an authority, he becomes a popular figure – online (social media) and offline. His site gains plenty of links, or vote of confidence from other webmasters.

Time spent, domain trust and decrease bounce rate; his website gets all the 200 signals used by Google to rank content higher. So, when he publish a piece of content on his site, it naturally ranks higher for all the +Ve signals. And when he writes on another authoritative site, that’s also ranks higher. Have you ever seen an authoritative person publishing from a low quality site?


Just do a Google search for anything about copywriting. And look who has come at the top? It’s Brian Clark’s Copyblogger, right? Because he, and his website are an authority in copywriting space.

If you search something about SEO – It’ SearchEngineLand, MOZ, and other sites on a decreasing order of authority.

If most of the signals used by Google to rank a content higher is based on the, or derived from the “authoritative nature of the website or author” – Is there a need of adding authority as a ranking signal in Google’s existing algorithms?

Add your thoughts (+Ve & -Ve) in the comments below to make this post more debatable


  1. says

    I think adding authority to the ranking algorithms would be a good step.
    I have seen some really stupid webpages coming at the top of google search results before the new algorithm came. Obviously, that would have been achieved by black hat seo techniques.
    Adding authority would not only decrease that but I think people would get better results and also, people like me, bloggers, who sometimes get confused whom to trust and whom not would find it beneficial. We would know that we’re doing the right thing by trusting the people.
    But I am afraid that the time taken to build an authority over a particular niche would be hated by many and it’s certainly going to be a problem for the bloggers who are not niche specific.

    • says

      Hi Manpreet,

      Yes, there are smaller niches where Google still shows “stupid results” at the top of the search results; instead of authority websites or articles from authoritative writers.

      Thanks for adding your view :)

  2. says


    Yet another great article! I’d say improving authority is really important step in online blogging or branding. You’ve shared a wonderful insights of authority. I’m not all caring about authority but I’m gonna work and focus on that from now.

  3. says

    Yes agreed with your points regarding the authority. Yes those who are expert in the subject they can easily gain more authority so more improvement in ranking. Now it’s very important to work on gaining authority so that we can get traffic.

  4. says

    I really don’t think Google will take that step. Authority will be determined with the social signals, which means Facebook likes, tweets, G+ everything will be taken into account. And we all know that social media activity can be automated or it is can be purchased at very low cost. Google wont risk whole algorithm just for the sake of authority as they are aware that social media activity is out of their control or they cannot track its credibility.

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