How does Google know that your site is important? Google knows because people link to your great content. These links are important, as without them, you may as well be invisible on the internet. Google indexes and ranks these links according to how much authority your site has. Authority seems to be a topic that everyone is writing about at the moment – and you will want to have authority if you want a piece of the action (or at least to be seen as an expert in your chosen niche).
How to get authority
I never hesitate to open a Copyblogger email when I receive it, as there is so much priceless information in there. By clicking on a few links within today’s email, I came across a site called Authority Rules.com which I subscribed to immediately as it has a free ten part training session. Wow!
By signing up you get a free report from Brian Clark (Copyblogger founder) called The 10 Rock Solid Elements of Effective Online Marketing. In the report he explains the difference between:
- telling everyone that you are an expert (in your bio page), and
- actually showing them via your web content.
Although you can tell everyone you are an expert by including the right words in your bio page, your website or blog’s content must demonstrate your ability to provide the expertise. It made me think about My Writing Notebook (this blog) and how I have been innocently sharing all these tips over the last 243 days (including today) without much thought – mainly because I love learning, but also because I like teaching others.
After reading Brian Clark’s report, I now know that I have been using my time effectively; I don’t hide any information, I just share it. Had I kept it all in a secret file ready to be launched on the world ‘one day’, no one would have seen it and the links wouldn’t have started to form on the web. Also Google wouldn’t have started to follow and index me and the authority that I am (hopefully) gaining wouldn’t be there.
I suppose what Brian Clark is trying to say is that if you build your site with well-written, relevant and interesting content about your chosen niche, you start to be seen as an expert and this instills confidence in your readers. By continuing to build on this confidence by researching and providing regular fresh content, your authority will start to grow – but the key is to continue providing the great content.
To do this you have to get into the mind of your reader and think about the type of questions they might be asking. What are they searching for on Google? Then provide the content they want. This, coupled with up-to-date news about the niche you have become an expert in, is like gold dust to your readers. Despite all this, it’s still up to your readers to decide if it’s great content worth sharing and this is usually done by the social media channels.
Imagine you are sitting at work wanting to know whether to use the phrase ‘in doing so’ or ‘in so doing‘ in your report. You might type the phrase in Google and hit the search button. If Mr Bloggs happens to have published fantastic content that people have previously shared, and Google have indexed and ranked it highly, his blog post will hopefully appear on the first results page.
Then imagine Miss Notebook who is ‘qualified to the hills’ and claims to know so much more about the subject (it says so in her online bio), but she has never shared any information online that she has researched. She is waiting to publish her work in a book next year (if she gets time). You will never find her content and Mr Bloggs will be the one everyone is talking about online. If you like the content, you might choose to tweet it, facebook it or email it to your friends and other contacts – these are the links that you want for Google to be able to index and rank you.
(If Brian Clark from Copyblogger ever happens to read this – thank you, and I hope I have explained this exciting concept as well as it’s written in the report!)
So, what is next?
The next logical step after creating the ‘gold dust’ content is to make money from it. There are apparently many ways to do this….but I’ll save that for another blog post.
- The Best of Copyblogger 2011 (copyblogger.com)