Want to rank well in search engine results? Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Spam, releases the latest Google Webmaster Help Video where he answers this question:

As Google continues to add social signals to the algorithm, how do you separate simple popularity from true authority?

Google’s Answer:

Matt answers this question like this: Just because a site is popular, doesn’t mean it has authority. The Google team gets frustrated when people mention page rank as “a measure of the popularity of website”. There’s a difference!

What truly gains authority, according to Google, is based on the reputation of the website. And the reputation of the website is based on your inbound links. Inbound links are links on other websites that have links that go to your website. Popularity is how much traffic goes to a page and authority means how many people are linking to a site.

How to Improve Your Website’s Page Rank

What makes your website a good match to suggest on search results pages? Google looks at the anchor text on these inbound links. If the same phrases and keywords come up over and over again in links on other websites, and pointing to your website, Google will view you as the authority for that topic or phrase.

Matt hints that current and upcoming algorithm changes will focus on figuring out topics a site is authoritative on and rank accordingly. Google’s upcoming changes will move away from giving ranking preference to well known sites and consider evidence that your site has useful content and links. This gives niche websites a chance to shine now since the most popular sites won’t be ranked unless they step up their content.

Tip from us: Have our site manager look at “Links to Your Site” and then “How Your Data is Linked” in your Google Webmaster tools to find out what links of yours others are using in their content and what they’re labeling it as on their site. This will give you insight to see what content is helping your rank better. 

In order for sites to take advantage of Google’s new relevancy signals, Cyrus Shepard from MOZ provides the following insights:

  • Become an authority – What helps build authority are words, anchor text, and social signals
  • Establish real people as authors for content
  • Publish regularly creating best-of-class authoritative content on particular topics (aka, be the expert in your industry on topics related to your business)
  • Continue good site architecture and best sematic practices to make meaning of your content clear on Google.
  • Actively promote your content through influencers and influential channels (targeted distribution)

Watch the full video from Matt Cutt’s on Authority vs. Popularity below:

About Small Screen Producer

Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.