This AI generated image of a panda bear meditation in a mountainous setting is meant to represent "final thoughts" for a blog post whose title is Final thoughts on the significance of mastering topical authority for SEO success.
This entry is part 16 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

The lead post in this series is Mastering Topical Authority: A Comprehensive Guide to Boost Your SEO.

Topical authority is now a cornerstone of SEO and brand marketing

Considering the Google algorithm updates are forcing us to take this idea seriously, if we want our websites to rank, we need to take this idea seriously.

Having said that, there are two aspects of topical authority I think are really important.

First, that Google is pushing content quality is good. And that they’ve created two frameworks, “topical authority” and “EEAT” is helpful.

And second, SEO very much now includes “building your brand” whether that brand is focused on commercial sales or not. The perceived reputation, trustworthiness, and authority of the organization matters, as it should.

People want answers

And while it feels no one should ever have to state or emphasize this, one of the big reasons people go online to search is to get answers.

In a world of SERPs

In the world of SERPs (that will take a while to fully move out of) good high quality in depth comprehensive answers should, and will, over time, raise the position of your webpages in SERPs.

In a world of generative AI

For the world of generative AI we’ve moving into, where “keyword phrases” are replaced with “prompts” and we receive answers instead of SERPs, those answers are increasingly accompanied with links to where the answers were found (check out Perplexity AI to see how all AI engines SHOULD, and likely eventually will, work).

As AI prompts contain many more words than keyword phrases, the odds are very good that different people will see different answers with links to different sources, based on the nuances in their prompts.

In order for your sites and webpages to be included in those sources requires you embrace topical authority and EEAT.

In a world of unprecedented information overload

Be succinct. Don’t’ be one of those recipe sites where every recipe is preceded by some story of prior life trauma.

Please don’t misunderstand, there is nothing wrong with stories of prior life trauma, just put them after the recipes. People who want to read them will, and people who just want the recipes won’t. And that’s OK.

In a world of misinformation and disinformation

Inexpensive domain services and webhosting have created an environment where anyone with $10 a month or less can become a publisher.

This has led to an explosion of online information. Some of it true, and some of it not.

The frameworks of topical authority and EEAT give you an incentive to publish stuff that is true, thought out, rational, where the connection of ideas to other ideas is easy to see.

Signal to noise

While signal to noise is a concept of radio communications, the concept applies here in the context of “standing out”.

If you want your content to “rise above the static”, you NEED to embrace the frameworks topical authority and EEAT.

They’re literally your ticket to the big leagues.

The critical nature of external validation

External validation, in the form of backlinks have ALWAYS mattered, and while they still do, the way they matter in a world of topical authority and EEAT has changed.

Today, links matter, but not ALL links matter.

The ideal backlink is a topically relevant link from the main content of a webpage on a reputable website.

Other types of links are of less value, and some types of links actually detract links.

But…. It’s work

And while it does work, it TAKES work.

Anyone can establish topical authority for themselves, their brands, and their sites, but it takes time, effort, consistency, and persistence.

But, the proof that YOU can do it is that others have too.

In closing

SEO has undergone many changes since Google showed up with a demonstrably better search engine in 1998.

And with the introduction of generative AI SEO is undergoing more changes.

And while some say SEO will die in the era of generative AI, I think otherwise.

SEO will change, no doubt about it. But the answers the AI engines produce come from SOMEWHERE, and that somewhere could be a webpage written by you.

But even if I’m wrong and generative AI does kill SEO, you still need to build YOUR personal brand as a writer.

And using the framework of topical authority, EEAT, and external validation will help you do so.

Series Navigation<< Recap of the key points covered in the guideWhat is the difference between backlinks and topical authority? >>

Kevin Carney
Kevin Carney

Kevin "fell into" SEO by accident, like many others. The SaaS platform to help writers boost their topical authority came years later after various SEOs said it was something they would like to see.

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