The AI generated image shows a cat, looking unhappy, having had a fez just placed on his head. It's to represent the concept of "recap" (yes it's a bad pun) for a blog post titled: Recap of the key points covered in the guide. The guide bing about the concept of topical authority, an increasingly important topic in the world of SEO.
This entry is part 15 of 44 in the series Topical Authority

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

This post is a terse summary of the main concepts from every prior post in this series. You can in theory read this one post and get the main points, but the other posts do show greater depth and nuance.

Not only is this a terse recap, I expect there will be nothing here you haven’t seen elsewhere.

But sometimes restated what everyone SHOULD already know helps. I hope this is one of those times.

What is topical authority?

It’s a framework for guiding content quality. It’s related to Google EEAT. And it’s all about quality.

Write good stuff, in-depth, comprehensive, with appropriate visual aids (graphics, videos, etc) to help PEOPLE.

Why does topical authority matter for SEO?

Because Google makes the rules, and they say so. It’s really that simple.

What is the definition of topical authority?

Part of the problem here is that while Google pushes this concept aggressively, they’ve never defined it.

So people try to “read between the lines” and “know what they mean” based on what they say.

But in summary, focus on publishing good stuff. Answer questions people ask.

How does Google “use” topical authority?

It’s all about quality

It’s not so much that THEY use it, but rather that they enforce it’s use on US.

Topical authority is not a ranking signal. There is no topical authority score for websites. It’s a framework for guiding the quality of content we publish.

Publish regularly and consistently

In addition to publishing good stuff, publish often, and publish regularly.

Publish in “clusters”

A topic cluster is nothing more than a group of posts that are all topically related to each other and link to each other.

Those internal links signal the search engines that these posts are related, that they go together.

Use section headings, make them HTML H2, H2, H3, etc tags

These serve two purposes.

They make your content more scannable, which is how most of us read online. We scan until a section heading catches our interest, then we read that section.

And the H2, H3, H4, etc HTML tags help Google understand what the blog post is about. Section headings matter.

How do you obtain topical authority?

Through publishing, as described above. Conceptually it’s that simple.

However, it takes work. It’s not for the impatient, lazy, or anyone else looking for magic shortcuts. There are no magic shortcuts.

External validation matters

External validation is mostly backlinks and brand mentions. They matter BECAUSE they establish you and your website as relevant (which is what topical authority is all about).

Links show you’re known by the right people.

While YOU can declare that your site are relevant, if the world disagrees, it isn’t.

For purposes of topical authority, your site NEEDS external validation.

It helps to find your tribe online

The days of simply promoting blog posts via social media are over.

You need to find online community of your people, where they actually engage with each other, and you need to join in.

You need to mostly listen to see what people care about, and sometimes when you have value to add, speak up.

Topical authority requires “endless” research

Endless is an exaggeration here. Continuous is maybe a better word.

Topic experts are sometimes mediocre writers, and great writers may not be topic experts. That creates a division of labor.

And also means that writers have to be good at learning. Because you’ll be doing that, A LOT.

Capture a steady stream of content ideas

They’re all around you. They occur to you at the most inconvenient times.

So you need to setup a system to capture them. Make it simple.

I use Google Keep and a Google Sheets doc.

Google Keep for quick capture, I then copy and paste the topic idea into the Google Sheets doc which puts it in the queue.

You need analytics

You need to know what content is getting traction.

As much as people complain about the new Google Analytics 4 (GA4), it, combined with Google Search Console (GSC) is adequate for most of us.

While there may be better packages out there, when you’re starting out, GSC and GA4 are all you really need.

In closing

Other people have created high ranking websites by following the framework of topical authority, and you can too.

You just have to put in the work.

Series Navigation<< Analysis of the impact of topical authority on search rankingsFinal thoughts on the significance of mastering topical authority for SEO success >>

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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