This AI generated image shows a woman wearing a "Sherlock Holmes" style hat examining a book with a magnifying glass. It was created for a blog post titled "How do you determine content authority?".
This entry is part 37 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

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

What does “content authority” even mean?

It means whoever created the content did a good job in establishing themselves and the website as demonstrating content authority.

While that feels like I’m defining a term in terms of itself, in this instance I’m not sure how to avoid doing so.

You determine content authority by seeing if the content, website, brand, etc, has authority.

What makes content authoritative?

The key concepts here are Google E-E-A-T and Topical Authority.

Neither of which are ranking signals per se, but both of which are frameworks for guiding your content development and generation efforts.

These frameworks help you create content that more directly answers questions and provides useful information.

For the most part, what follows below is a description of E-E-A-T, but without a section for “authority”, since determining if content is authoritative is the focus of this post.


Did the writer personally have experience with whatever the topic is? Or is the experience from the perspective of someone else? If so is the person with the experience identified? Quoted?


Simply put, do the answers seem right? Are they also direct and succinct? Are clarifying examples provided where needed.


Is it true?

Is the writer, website, brand, etc, known to make statements that can be verified? If/when they do make a mistake, do they own up to it and correct it?


This one is sometimes overlooked, but in my opinion should not be.

Is the answer they’re providing relevant to the question they’re answering?

I asked because this is not always true.

Google pushes a concept of “search intent” and sometimes I’ll find a website that interestingly deviates from the apparent search intent in weird ways.

Having said this, if Google somehow thinks the page does satisfy search intent, maybe it kind of does, but if your post title is a question, the way the title of this post is, just answer the question.


Links, mentions, shares, etc have always mattered and still do.

In spite of Google saying links are no longer one of the top three ranking signals, they’re still a ranking signal.

And Google themselves emphasizes the importance of branding to SEO. So brand mentions matter.

In closing

When writing content that has authority, you won’t go wrong following the E-E-A-T framework. You should also use it to asses if the content written by someone else has authority.

Conceptually, it’s really that simple.

Series Navigation<< How do you create a topical cluster?What does SEO authority mean? >>

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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