This AI generated image shows a man receiving a Nobel Prize. It was created to accompany a blog post titled "How do I make myself an authority?", which is about topical authority as it related to SEO (search engine optimization).
This entry is part 34 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

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


The short answer is learn your topic. Become an authority.

If you already are, great. If not, you’ve got some learning to do.

But I suspect the motivation behind this question is less how to BE an authority and more how to BE RECOGIZED AS an authority.

How to be recognized as an authority

Within the context of SEO, content marketing, topical authority, etc, the short answer is “publish“.

The longer answer includes the proactive seeking of external validation. More on that later.


Of course there is more to it, but at it’s core, the answer is that you become recognized as an authority by demonstrating that you are in fact an authority.

To do this, you publish.

Obviously you’ve got to publish good stuff, quality content, answers to questions people ask, etc.

And that is where the concepts of “topical authority” and “Google E-E-A-T” come into play.

Some people incorrectly think they’re ranking signals. They’re not.

They are both frameworks for generating high-quality content that answers questions people ask. To learn more about them, click the links above.

External validation

To a certain extent, search engines, especially Google, base their ideas on “high-quality” on external validation.

Specifically links and brand mentions.

But, not all links are the same.

Someone once told me “Links show you’re known by the right people” and that’s a very concise way to demonstrate the importance of links.

But, if they can show you’re known by the right people, they can also show you’re known by the wrong people.

Which demonstrates that there are in fact good links, and bad links.

In closing

The way you get recognized as an authority on some topic is to:

  1. Be an authority, or write on behalf of one who helps you learn.
  2. Publish quality content on the topic, regularily and as frequently as you can.
  3. Actively seek external validation by participating in online communities of people interested in the topic in which you’re an expert.
  4. While participating in those online communities, ask questions. Even people who know a lot about a topic can still learn more.
Series Navigation<< How does topical authority work?How do you build authority with content? >>

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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