This entry is part 11 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

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

Leveraging topical authority to improve search rankings mostly comes down to three things; research, publishing and engagement.

Topical authority requires ENDLESS research

The most important skill in the worlds of SEO, content marketing, digital PR, etc is the ability to continuously learn new things.

Which means “the only constant is change”. “Research” has no end. Literally.

Research is important to both publishing and engagement.


Publishing means regularly and consistently publishing in-depth and comprehensive content that answers questions people ask.

No more “fluff” or “thin” content

The days of “fluff” or “thin content” ranking are over. Ten years ago you could rank by publishing a high volume of thin content, but no more.

We are having a brief resurgence right now (Feb 2024) of AI generated content on large sites ranking well, but I suspect Google will eventually determine what the “digital fingerprint” of such content is and it will be deprioritized.

Comprehensive means…

Covering various aspects of a topic.

The important point here is to pick a topic you know really well and are willing to learn more about. Then learn more about it and explain it well to others.

You will publish a variety of posts each of which covers a different aspect of the topic. For example, who, how, why, where, when can be covered in different posts.

Is too in-depth a thing?

Since different aspects of your topic are published in different posts, not really.

If you feel it’s appropriate to go really deep into a topic, create a post that does so. People with a deep level of interest will read it while others won’t.

While content that is “too” in-depth may not appeal to everyone, it does demonstrate your expertise.

Consistently means…

Create a schedule and stick to it. It’s that simple.

Regular consistent publishing shows search engines a commitment to the topic. Which is a bare minimum requirement for being seen as having topical authority.


This changed a lot over the past decade.

It was once sufficient to promote blog posts via various social media platforms and people liking and sharing your posts seemed to have a positive impact.

But over time, probably as a result of the Internet and social media networks getting more crowded, the effectiveness of this diminished.

Where does your tribe hang out online?

Where your people congregate online is what matters now.

It could be Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, Slack channels, forums, etc.

The problem I’ve seen is that most social media groups are still where people are “shouting into the void”. Where a lot of people post, and engagement is poor.

True learning communities are few and far between, and are worth their weight in gold.

If you’re having trouble finding some good ones, the only advise I can give is to keep looking. They’re out there.

Are there any perspective that haven’t ALREADY been discussed in depth?

Probably not. And part of engaging with an online community is having something to say that is relevant.

With pretty much every nuance of every topic having been covered somewhere by someone that can be challenging.

However, no matter what the subject, there are people to whom it’s new, so that helps.

The key take away here is when you see what others are saying in these online communities, you see perspectives that aren’t being covered, shared, or emphasized enough.

And that creates opportunities for YOU to contribute.

Also never lose perspective that these communities are also places to learn.

Even when you’re an extreme expert in some topic, there is always more to learn, and we all have things we can teach to each other.

More research? Even here?

I’m afraid so. Without end.

In closing

Always be learning. Always been in “research mode”. And always be searching for your tribe or audience online.

Series Navigation<< Why topical authority is crucial for ranking on specific topicsBest practices for integrating topical authority into your SEO strategy >>

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.