The term authority site is not exactly new. It has been around for a long time. In fact, Google wants that all websites on the Internet to be authority websites. Who wouldn’t want an Internet filled with websites that don’t deliver what they promise? Who wouldn’t want people to click through search results and land on pages that actually deliver the stuff that is mentioned on the search result? Our lives would be much better, and the Internet would be a much happier place.
The truth is that it is a world that doesn’t exist. A lot of the Internet is primarily made of spam or bad quality pages. That is why it is a big thing for Google to push the concept of authority sites. It is throwing its weight around by unleashing the Penguin and Panda updates. Panda update is more relevant to the question of authority sites. The Penguin, on the other hand, has an indirect effect. Regardless, with these updates, Google is making it known, loud and clear, to everybody that it is not going to tolerate the old ways of publishing just focused on lucrative keywords, put up a bad quality content and drove traffic to these pages to make money. Those days are over. Good for us users who search for something specific, bad for spammers and really bad for those who were hit and never had the attention to spam.
Yes, some sites who didn’t do anything wrong but using the same anchor text over and over were hit as well. We all didn’t see anything bad in doing that before these updates. Today though, this is bad practice. I recently wrote about backlinking here.
The authority site model is here to stay and is only going to get bigger with time. The question is, are you going to get on this bandwagon or just wait it out? If you answer the latter, you might be waiting in vain because the old spam pages are not going to come back. They are going to be penalized and are going to stay penalized. So if you want to have a future in online marketing and publication, you need to build authority websites. For that, we need to define “Niche Sites” new. Niche Sites are not just shady sites with a few pages selling a product. A niche site can also be something of value. If you build a site around a small topic you can still make good money from it. With time and more content though, you’ll make an authority site from it because it will cover more themes and give the reader more information and value. So don’t worry too much about having a niche site, just worry about sites which do not add value to the Internet and are solely created for the purpose of selling.
In the Academy, we start out by building a niche site just because I don’t want to overwhelm you. This doesn’t mean though that you can’t make a huge authority site from it with time. For example, one student built a site about crochet. With time, she added more and more about sewing and then later about some more crafting stuff. There is nothing bad with starting out about crocheting, right? But with time you might like to expand and become a great resource for crafting.
Here are the three reasons why you should build authority websites
1. Authority Sites build credibility not just for you but for the whole Internet
They add value to the Internet because it builds trust among Internet users who whenever they look for certain things online, they would find it. You don’t have that right now. Right now, it is pretty much a hit-or-miss. Thanks to the rise of authority sites, the chances are going to be higher than if you are going to be looking for something online, you will find it.
2. Authority sites make commerce easier
The fact is that if you want to buy something from somebody, you have to trust that person. How can you trust webpages that are filled with spam? An authority website by building trust through authority content helps making online commerce easier. It is easier to buy and sell because there is a lot of trust involved. Authority websites make that happen.
3. Authority sites weed out spammers
In the bad old days before Panda and other updates, it didn’t take much money to make money online. All you needed to do was to find the right keywords, hire low quality writers from the developing world and put up webpages using “.info” domains. This made a lot of money back in the day but not now because it filled the Internet with just garbage pages. Google is saying, “good riddance” to those days. By increasing the cost of admission for online publishing, Google is hoping that the online publication game will attract only serious business people who are willing to put in the time, resources and credibility to put up quality websites.
Filed in: Internet Marketing