Authority is something that gets thrown around quite often when talking about SEO and rankings but what does it actually mean? Well, authority is actually an estimated score of how well a specific page on your site will rank. This score is indicated on a scale of 1-100, however, there has been confusion about how these scores are deduced.
While knowing the authority of your site pages is a useful tool for developing and improving your SEO, Google doesn’t actually have a single authority metric to measure this figure. Instead, the search engine uses a range of different existing metrics, which are not known, in order to calculate authority.
Paul Haahr, a Google senior engineer described the process of determining authority as “a whole bunch of things we hope together help increase the amount of authority in our results”.
While the ‘bunch of things’ that are used by Google to calculate authority are unknown, we have a pretty educated guess about what they could be:
How helpful are your pages? High quality content that provides real information to users has better chances of gaining authority than large chunks of content that are full of keywords. Instead of writing for Google, write for your users, this will not only increase user experience but also page quality.
Over linking isn’t the best practice but a small handful of useful links to larger, authoritative pages provide a better chance to increase page authority. Include links from sites that are well known by users and Google to be popular within the specific topic area you are discussing.
Okay, this one isn’t really a Google metric but it is important. Because Google measures authority on a page-by-page basis inconsistent quality on various site pages has the potential to drag the whole site down, so ensure each page is the same quality as the next.