Do You Consider Your Site Authoritative?

If you eat search, you’re at least thinking about Panda. In a nutshell, Panda is:

The Panda update was designed to improve the user experience by catching and demoting low-quality sites that did not provide useful original content or otherwise add much value. At the same time, it provided better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

Google believes that helpful pages have high quality, authoritative, and comprehensive information about a users search. They hire people to answer questions about websites and from these answers they are able to recognize patterns about websites that are low-quality. One of the questions that their quality raters are asked is whether they find a particular site authoritative on a subject.

So ask yourself, “Is your site authoritative?”

Be critical. Are you creating blog posts for the sake of creating blog posts? Are you creating new pages so that you get more traffic?

Do you spend time thinking a lot about using keywords in your pages and posts?

Do you fret over whether you are supplying search engines with enough posts?

Do you race to see how many posts you can crank out in as little time as possible?

If so, your site probably isn’t authoritative.

What is your site about? Is it one of the best sources of information on the web on the subject?

If not, why not? What can you do to make it more authoritative? What sites on your subject are authoritative? What makes them so?

Do more of that.

I talk to a lot of lawyers who think their websites and blogs are amazing. They just can’t understand why they’re not “ranking better” or “getting more traffic” or “getting new clients”. But when we look at some of their core metrics, we see that no else really likes their posts. No one is subscribing. No one is sharing or linking to their content.

Typically, they conclude that it’s the nature of their subject matter. It’s just too hard to engage people with legal content. And they’re right, it is hard.

It’s hard to commit time to developing helpful content. Especially helpful legal content.

It’s hard to develop a regular readership.

It’s hard to motivate other people to care so much about what you write that they write about it, link to it or share it with people they know.

So they resort to artificial alternatives.

But instead of focusing on how you can temporarily trick search engines into thinking you’re an authority, why not invest some time in actually becoming more authoritative? Oh wait, it’s too hard.

2 thoughts on “Do You Consider Your Site Authoritative?

  1. I think this is spot on Gyi. It takes a lot of focused effort to make an authoritative blog/site.

    An interesting side bar is that I was told by 2 different sources that they loved reading my posts but that they were so “complete” that they didn’t feel they could add anything so never bothered commenting. I say this not to boast – why would you when the thing you’re trying to achieve clearly isn’t working – but to raise the fact that there may be a fine line between creating an “expert” blog and making engagement possible.

    Many thanks. Glenn

    1. Glenn, great point! Motivating engagement is very different from demonstrating expertise. One certainly does not necessitate the other. However, perceived competence can help. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of incompetents spur a lot of engagement.

      Thanks for commenting.

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