This AI generated show someone showing off the three layer cake they created. It accompanies a blog post with the title of "How do you create topical authority in SEO?".
This entry is part 19 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 requires publishing, A LOT of publishing

It can feel like obtaining and growing topical authority requires a never ending stream of publishing. And that’s because it does.

But while quantity and consistency matter, they’re just the beginning.

The stuff you publish must also be very good.


People have questions.

You need to provide answers, and those answers need to be to an appropriate level of detail, which varies depending on who you’re talking to.

But, somewhat related to “various nuances and perspectives” below, different people want and can absorb different levels of detail. So you’ve got to write for various levels of expertise.

Have you seen any of those “So and so describes something to 5 levels of difficulty” videos?

If not, check out Harvard Professor Explains Algorithms in 5 Levels of Difficulty.

To the best of your ability, you need to do that, with different levels of difficulty being in different blog posts.


This is related to in-depth, but refers to covering all relevant parts of some topic. A comprehensive article or series of articles covers every significant aspect of a topic.

Various nuances and perspectives

This includes not only the who, how, why, where, and when perspectives, but “the history of”, “the future of”, “common misconceptions of”, “beliefs about”, etc.

Any aspect of a topic that is not immediately apparent but matters, is a different nuance or perspective that needs to be addressed.

Additionally, showing various nuances and perspectives demonstrates critical thinking.

Structured as “clusters”

At some point you’ve heard the phrase “topic cluster”. This is nothing more than a set of blog posts, on various aspects, nuances, and perspectives of a topic that link to each other.

Those internal links create the topic cluster, which benefit your readers by making it easy to click from topic to topic, and benefit your SEO by signaling to the search engine software that those posts are all related.

Topical authority requires external validation


In the beginning, by which I mean 1998 when Google released what everyone saw as a demonstrably better search engine, links were THE form of external validation on which everything depended.

Links still matter, but today the focus is on “topical relevance” not JUST high domain authority.

Brand mentions

And… SEO has a much stronger focus on brands than it used to, so building your brand, including what is called “brand publishing“, is now part and parcel to building your site’s SEO.

Engagement and interaction

You also now need to find your tribe online (most likely on forum sites such as Reddit or Quora) and participate. See what they say and when appropriate, chime in.\

When you have questions, ask.

Topical authority requires being current

This is related to “A LOT of publishing” as mentioned above.

Google has favored larger sites that are more frequently updated for a few decades now.

If and when you stop publishing, your site traffic starts to fall off.

So you’ve got to keep at it.

In closing

Publish stuff that is so good other people will want to link to it. Do it regularly, frequently, and often.

Then find and engage with your tribe online.

Conceptually easy, but definitely easier said than done.

Series Navigation<< As regards SEO, what is topical relevance?What is the topical authority ratio? >>

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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