Have you ever searched for a topic on Google and wondered which search result has the most reliable information regarding the topic?
Well, to solve this issue, Google created a system called “Topic Authority”.
Definition: It is a system that looks at different signals to find out the level of expertise a publication has in a particular topic.
This system significantly impacts the ranking of a news article (especially local news articles). Let’s look now at how it works and what are its benefits.
How does Topic Authority Works?
Google’s Topic Authority system works on three key signals mentioned below:
- Notability: This signal helps Google to sort publications relevant to a particular topic. For example, if you are finding out a news article about plantation drive in New Delhi, then, a local news publisher that consistently writes about New Delhi has more chances to rank if they cover a story about the same.
- Influence and Original Reporting: This signal helps Google to filter publications that are more influential and authoritative regarding a particular topic. Google does this by finding out how many other publications have cited your publication. In fact, In 2022, Google introduced the Highly Cited label to help people easily identify publications that are referred by many other news organizations.
- Source Reputation: To determine the reliability of information present in a news article, Google looks at the reputation of the news article source. It looks at the history of high-quality reporting the source has done in the past, whether it has received any prestigious journalism award, and so on.
Benefits of Topic Authority for News Websites
The benefits of topic authority are highly associated with a news website, especially the local one.
Let’s say there is a flood in your area and you want to read news regarding it.
In that case, what will Google’s Topic Authority do?
It first sorts the list of publishers writing about the same topic.
The list will have both National and Local publishers.
However, Google gives more weightage to rank local publishers because:
- They have covered more articles regarding the topic in comparison to national publishers.
- Google sees which publisher is near the event based on location data. If you are a local news publisher and want Google to know about your location data. I mean, at which particular location you have written the article, you can provide the same to Google by integrating your address information in the Schema.
That’s the reason topic authority is highly beneficial for local news websites to have authority about a particular topic.
Strategies for Publishers to Succeed with Topic Authority
If you are a publisher looking to succeed in the search result, you should focus on creating great coverage about a particular topic in your area.
Once you consistently deliver high-quality articles regarding your local area, you will naturally align with Google’s Topic Authority system.
Make sure to create helpful and people-first content that aligns with Google’s overall ranking guidance.
So, what are your thoughts about Google’s Topic Authority? Have you ever focused to create a topic cluster on your website? Looking forward to your opinions in the comments down below.