We wish we could tell you, “Do X, Y, and Z” and your website will have high authority on Google rankings but unfortunately it’s not that simple. Google uses ranking signals, think more A – Z, to determine authority on a page-by-page basis.
Authority is important for your website’s content as it’s a major factor of how well your website and its pages rank in the search engines. Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, and whoever else you use for searches want to show the most relevant and trustworthy results to searchers. Essentially, the better your content the better you’ll show up higher in the search engines’ results.
Google doesn’t divulge all the factors it uses to determine authority and rank but over the years certain factors have been identified to have weight when it comes to how well your site shows up for certain search terms.
Some of the ranking factors Google can use to measure the authority of your site:
- Domain-level links: Quality links to and from the domain.
- PageRank: Quality links to and from the page.
- Page-level keywords: Are the right keywords used within the content?
- Quality content: Quality content in terms of unique and relevant information as well as length and readability. The search engines typically frown on thin content or content with little value.
- Brand citations: How often is your brand cited or referenced on other websites (news, hospitality associations, social, etc.).
- Users and traffic: Signals from searchers and how they interact with your site, such as click-through rates and how much traffic is coming to your site.
- Social signals: How often are your website links shared on social media sites, how often is your brand posting, are the posts of quality, etc.
Bottom line: Make sure your website has fresh, high quality content that encourages visitors to engage with it and quality sites are linking to yours.
Though we said that ranking is done on a page-by-page basis, there are a few factors that have an impact on your authority at a domain or sitewide level.
- Hacked/malware: If your site’s been infected or hacked, Google might take that into account or at least display a warning in the search engines that your site may not be safe, thus impacting your click-through rate.
- Speed: Similarly, if your site is slow and every page takes a while to load, that could also negatively impact your ranking.
Over at Moz, they’ve developed a tool that does measure domain authority to see how well websites rank in the search engines. The scores range from one to 100, with new websites having a score of one. This tool can you help you vet other websites wanting to link to your site or if you want to link to theirs.