Understanding Topical Authority: How to Build and Leverage It for SEO




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What Is Topical Authority in SEO and How to Build It?

Are you struggling to improve your website’s ranking? Topical authority in SEO is a proven strategy that can boost your position on search result pages. This blog post will demystify topical authority and give actionable tips on how you can build it for your site.

Keep reading; this could be the game-changer your SEO strategy needs!

Key Takeaways

  • Topical authority in SEO refers to a website’s expertise and knowledge on specific topics, which helps boost its ranking on search engine result pages.
  • To build topical authority, focus less on keywords and more on providing valuable information about the topic as a whole.
  • Building topical authority can lead to increased organic trafficquality backlinks from other sites, higher rankings, and improved conversions and income.

Understanding topical authority in SEO

Topical authority in SEO deals with a site’s know-how on given topics. Being an expert in a specific area makes the website trusted and valuable to its users. Google likes sites like this because they give clear, helpful information to people who search for it.

The more you know about a topic and show it on your website, the higher your topical authority is.

To build topical authority, focus less on keywords and more on the topic as a whole. This helps Google see what your site is about, so it can send people there who want that information.

Sites that aren’t known yet can still rank highly if they have strong topical authority. A boost came from Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013, when content was ranked based on how well it matched user searches instead of just keyword usage.

The importance of topical authority for SEO

Topical authority can change how a website ranks on Google. When a site has clear topics, Google understands it better. This helps the website get high scores for related keywords.

More scores mean more chances to be seen by people searching for those words.

In 2013, Google made changes with its Hummingbird algorithm. Now, sites need topical authority to rank well. If content is relevant and matches what users are looking for, it gets a better ranking.

Even websites with low Domain Rating (DR) scores can beat others if they have strong topical authority.

Best of all, building this kind of power has lots of benefits. It leads to more traffic from organic searches and quality backlinks from other sites too. A site’s trust value goes up, so conversions and income rise as well! With higher rankings come more shares on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter.

How does topical authority work?

Understanding how topical authority works is essential for improving your SEO rankings. By focusing on creating high-quality, authoritative content around specific topics and building relevant links, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field and gain more visibility in search engine results.

To learn more about the strategies and methods to build topical authority, read on!

A Brief History of Google and Authority

Google was born in 1998. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students from Stanford University, made it. First, Google looked at how many times a keyword appeared on a page. But people began to trick the system.

So Google decided to rank pages based on topic authority in 2013 with its Hummingbird algorithm update. This meant that instead of just looking at keywords, it started paying more attention to whole topics and ideas related to search queries made by Google users.

Then came the focus on expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in ranking content for SEO strategies. So far, so good!

Understanding E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness)

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It plays a big part in SEO. Google uses E-A-T to see if your site is worth trusting or not. “Expertise” means that you know a lot about the topic you write on.

For this, you need to write useful content that helps people.

The “authority” part shows how well others trust your site or brand. If many high-quality sites link back to yours, it shows authority and builds topical power. Finally, “trustworthiness” checks if your website is safe and reliable for use by visitors.

Google’s Hummingbird algorithm from 2013 looks at websites’ E-A-T closely before giving them ranks in search results.

Methods to Measure Topical Authority

To measure topical authority, you can use the following methods:

  1. Analyze Search Rankings: Check how your website ranks for relevant keywords in search engine results pages. Higher rankings indicate stronger topical authority.
  2. Monitor Organic Traffic: Measure the amount of organic traffic your website receives. An increase in organic traffic indicates that your content is authoritative and relevant to users’ search queries.
  3. Track backlinks: Keep an eye on the number and quality of backlinks pointing to your website. Backlinks from reputable and relevant sources contribute to establishing topical authority.
  4. Assess Social Signals: Look at social media shares, likes, and comments on your content. Engagement on social media can indicate that your content is valuable and authoritative.
  5. Use Topic-Based Keyword Research Tools: Utilize keyword research tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer or Google’s Keyword Planner to find keywords related to your topic and assess their search volume and competition.

Strategies to Build Topical Authority

To build topical authority, you can employ strategies such as topic-based keyword research, the creation of topic clusters, writing authoritative content, and building relevant links.

Topic-Based Keyword Research

Topic-based keyword research is a crucial step in building topical authority. Here are some important points to remember:

  • Keyword research helps identify the topics and subtopics that are relevant to your website or business.
  • Start by brainstorming broad topics that align with your industry or niche.
  • Use keyword research tools like Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to find related keywords and phrases.
  • Look for long-tail keywords that have lower search volume but higher relevance to your specific topic.
  • Consider search intent when selecting keywords. Think about what users will be looking for when searching for your topic.
  • Analyze competitor websites to see what keywords they are targeting and how you can differentiate yourself.
  • Use tools like the Content Gap tool and Site Explorer to identify gaps in content coverage within your industry.
  • Focus on creating high-quality content around each targeted keyword, providing valuable information to users.

Creation of Topic Clusters

Creating topic clusters is a strategy to build topical authority in SEO. It involves grouping related content together to make it easier for search engines and users to understand and access. Topic clusters help establish your website as an authoritative source on a particular topic, boosting its visibility in search engine results. By creating pillar content that covers the main topic comprehensively and then linking it to cluster content that dives deeper into specific subtopics, you can demonstrate expertise and provide valuable information to users. This approach also improves internal linking, making it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. The use of topic clusters enhances the user experience by presenting them with comprehensive information on a specific subject, increasing their time on site and engagement. Additionally, topic clusters can help you target long-tail keywords and capture more organic traffic. By incorporating relevant keywords throughout your cluster content, you can increase the relevance of your website for those specific queries, improving your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.

Writing Authority Content

Writing authority content is a crucial part of building topical authority for SEO. When you write authority content, you provide valuable and informative information that establishes your expertise in a specific topic.

By creating high-quality and authoritative articles, blog posts, or guides, you can attract more organic traffic to your website and gain the trust of both search engines and users.

Additionally, writing authority content helps you acquire more quality backlinks from other reputable websites, which further strengthens your topical authority. Remember to conduct entity-based keyword research and target the entities that Google associates with your topic to optimize your content for better visibility in search engine rankings.

Building relevant links is crucial for improving your website’s topical authority. Here are some strategies to help you acquire quality backlinks:

  1. Guest blogging on authoritative websites in your industry.
  2. Engaging in influencer collaborations and getting featured on their platforms.
  3. Creating valuable content that naturally attracts inbound links
  4. Participating in industry forums and discussion boards, including a link to your website in your signature or profile,
  5. Utilize social media platforms to share your content and encourage others to link back to it.
  6. Reaching out to other website owners and offering to exchange guest posts or collaborate on content.

Tools for Topic Research

Discovering relevant keywords and topics for your content is crucial for building topical authority. Tools like keyword research tools, Google’s “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches,” AlsoAsked, and Answer the Public can help you uncover valuable insights to enhance your SEO strategies.

Explore these tools to gain a deeper understanding of topical research and boost your website’s visibility in search engine results.

Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools are essential for building topical authority in SEO. These tools help identify the talking points within a topic and uncover relevant keywords. They allow you to understand what people are searching for and what keywords they use. Here are some popular keyword research tools:

  1. Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer: This tool provides valuable insights into search volumekeyword difficulty, and potential traffic for specific keywords.
  2. Content Gap Tool: This tool compares your website’s keywords with those of your competitors, helping you discover new opportunities to target.
  3. Site Explorer: With this tool, you can analyze your competitor’s website and see which keywords they rank for, helping you find untapped areas to focus on.
  4. Traffic Share by Domains: This tool shows the organic search traffic share of different domains, allowing you to assess the competition.

Google’s “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” are tools that provide additional information and suggestions related to a user’s search query. They can be used for topic research in SEO to understand what questions and related topics users are searching for. Here is how they work:

  1. “People Also Ask”: This tool displays a box of related questions that users often ask in relation to the initial search query. Clicking on one of the questions expands the box to reveal the answer, and additional related questions may appear.
  2. “Related Searches”: This tool provides a list of other search queries that are related to the initial search query.


AlsoAsked is a tool that can be very helpful when it comes to understanding topical authority in SEO and how to build it. It helps in building topical authority by fully covering a topic as a whole instead of just focusing on individual keywords.

This tool allows you to see the questions related to your chosen topic that people are asking on search engines like Google. By addressing these questions with relevant content, you can establish yourself as an authoritative source and increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.

In addition, AlsoAsked provides insights into related topics and subtopics, allowing you to create comprehensive content that covers all aspects of your chosen subject. So if you want to enhance your topical authority and improve your SEO performance, AlsoAsked is definitely worth exploring.

Answer the public

Answer the Public is a useful tool for topic research when it comes to building topical authority in SEO. It provides insights and ideas by generating questions and related search terms based on a specific keyword or topic.

This tool helps you understand what people are searching for, allowing you to create content that addresses their needs and interests. By using Answer the Public, you can discover new angles or perspectives to explore, helping you build comprehensive and authoritative content that resonates with your target audience.

Topical Authority vs. Domain Authority: Understanding the Difference

Topical authority and domain authority are two important concepts in SEO. Topical authority refers to how well a website or piece of content covers a specific topic and provides valuable information related to that topic.

It helps websites with lower domain rating scores outrank more established players in search results. On the other hand, domain authority is a measure of the overall strength and reputation of a website based on factors like backlinks, site age, and content quality.

While both topical authority and domain authority are crucial for effective SEO, they serve different purposes. Topical authority focuses on expertise in a particular subject area, while domain authority measures the credibility and trustworthiness of an entire website across multiple topics.

Understanding this distinction can help businesses develop targeted strategies to improve their rankings and visibility in search results.

The Impact of Topical Authority on SEO Ranking

Topical authority has a significant impact on the ranking of websites in SEO. When a website has strong topical authority, search engines like Google understand that it is an expert in a particular topic.

This helps the website rank higher in search results for relevant keywords and attract more organic traffic. Topical authority is especially important since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update in 2013, which focuses on ranking content based on its relevance to user queries.

By building topical authority through strategies like topic-based keyword research, creating topic clusters, writing authoritative content, and building relevant links, websites can improve their SEO rankings and gain more visibility online.


1. Topical authority helps search engines understand a website’s topic and increases its potential to rank for related keywords.

2. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm in 2013 made topical authority increasingly important by ranking content based on relevance to user queries.

3. Analyzing rankings, traffic, and keywords can provide insights into measuring topical authority.


In conclusion, topical authority in SEO is about becoming an expert in a specific topic or topics. By fully covering a topic and establishing trustworthiness, websites can improve their rankings on search engines.

To build topical authority, focus on keyword researchcreate diverse content formats, and establish semantic relationships through internal linking within topic clusters. Remember that it’s essential to cover all relevant aspects of a topic to strengthen your topical authority.

Interesting Reads: Google On Topical Authority: Don’t Worry About It


1. What is topical authority in SEO?

Topical authority in SEO means your website has become an expert on a specific topic. Google’s search engine sees your site as the best place for people to learn about that subject.

2. How does one build topical authority?

To build topical authority, you need high-quality content around a certain topic. Using keyword research can help guide the type of content to create. Also, use link-building techniques like gaining backlinks and setting up internal links.

3. Does having topical authority affect my ranking on Google?

Yes, strong topical authority can be a powerful tool for ranking on Google search results pages because it helps Google understand what your site is about.

4. Can someone measure their website’s topical authority?

While there’s no direct metric to measure this, inbound links from authoritative sites and organic traffic volumes linked to specific topics are good signs of where your website stands.

5. In simple terms, what do I achieve when creating a ‘topic cluster’ for my site?

Creating a ‘topic cluster’ means grouping related pieces of content together, which gives you higher chances of becoming an authority on that subject from Google’s point of view.

6. If my business offers more than one product or service, how should I approach building my site’s topical relevance?

For each type of product or service you provide, generate unique clusters centered around relevant keywords regarding each offering! This way, every section has its own chance at gaining high ranks under its respective queries.

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