To achieve top rankings in Google it is important to understand what criteria Google applies to ranking the information. The algorithm for organizing and ranking online information is complicated to understand. It involves thousands of variables that determine the position of it in search results. However, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) variables can be understood easily by clarifying two factors: authority and relevance.
Andrew Dyhan, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt explains pros and cons of choosing authority and relevance as the primary aspects to focus on.
Relevance determines whether the page is appropriate for a specified query. During the initial development stages of SEO, the search relevance was limited to the keywords that were used in the query. These keywords were compared to the keywords that are illustrated on the indexed page. The algorithm changes, introducing effective SEO strategies, which can analyze intention of searcher. The generated results are suitable because they fit the needs and interests of the users.
Keywords are still an important aspect of the SEO strategy. However, relevance is growing in significance in the search process. Relevance is closely related other processes as well, for example, the identification of the niche market, selection of the appropriate topics for digital marketing and, of course, keyword search.
Authority indicates the level of value and trust that a web page demonstrates. Authority has two classifications. The first classification is the domain authority that represents the entire website. The second classification is the page authority that denotes the reputation level of a given page. Previously, Google analyzed the authority score using the PageRank scale that has values from 0 to 10. The PageRank score is currently irrelevant because Google no longer updates the values.
The domain authority is the preferred evaluation strategy. The domain authority calculates the performance of a business in the search engines, in comparison to the performance of the competitors. The search score is calculated basing on the quantity quality of the inbound links. Domain authority is more effective than the PageRank criteria because it generates scores from 0 to 100.
Google views authority relies on several factors. Google provides more authority scores if a website functions effectively on both computer and mobile devices. Google improves the authority of a site if its inbound links are of high quantity and quality. The technical performance, appeal, and structure of the site are also critical in increasing authority.
In some SEO cases, authority is not important. An example is when using a niche keyword that is not used by other sites. However, a business should have a high authority level when using keywords that are highly used by the competitors in the search engines.
Authority without Relevance
It is not easy to access a site with authority but no relevance. This is because such as site does not focus on a given topic or field. The lack of niche keywords makes it challenging for the users to locate the site in the Google search process.
There are certain publisher websites that have high levels of reputation. The significant reputation improves the search rankings of these sites, for example, Forbes.com, TechCrunch, and HuffingtonPost.com. These sites have high visibility, even though they publish information on diverse topics. The publishers have developed an effective online brand that has significant authority. Slight relevance makes these reputable sites to rank at the top of the Google search results.
Relevance and authority should be used together to ensure an effective SEO campaign. However, at the initial stages of the SEO process, it is important to place more emphasis on relevance. This is because authority becomes important if the users of the site can place their content on the site.