This AI generated image of a purple octopus standing in front of a whiteboard using a pointer to point at a pie chart accompanies a blog post titled "What is the topical authority ratio?".
This entry is part 20 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 topical authority ratio is a suspect metric, at least in my humble opinion.

For a given website, it is the number of webpages about a specific topic relative to the total number of webpages on the site, that are in Google’s index. “That are in Google’s index” is an important part of this metric.

The idea is that sites with a higher topical authority ratio for a given topic are more likely to rank higher for that topic.

If your website has 187 pages in total, and 103 of them are about some specific topic, relative to that topic the topical authority ratio of your site would be 103 divided by 187, which is 0.55.

But it seems to me the evidence this is not a meaningful metric is easy to find.

I’ve seen claims made online that having a strong topical authority ratio is good for your sites search rankings, but very large websites that are updated frequently generally tend to outrank smaller websites that are less frequently updated.

A news website with 10,000 total pages of which 12 are about your specific topic and which is updated multiple times each day would have a topical authority ratio of 0.012 and yet is very likely to outrank your site with a topical authority ratio of 0.55 (from above), because the news site is to much larger and is updated so much more often.

So while I get the idea being conveyed by this metric, I question whether it is as relevant as some seem to believe.

And, when I ask my preferred AI engine (Perplexity AI – as it provides citations) if there are any known structured experiments to test the validity of this metric, the answer is:

“Structured experiments on the relevance of the Topical Authority Ratio of websites have not been widely documented.”.

Perplexity AI in response to the prompt “Has anyone done any structured experiments on the relevance of the topical authority ratio of websites?”.

Series Navigation<< How do you create topical authority in SEO?Why is it important to build topical authority? >>

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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