What is Page Authority and How Can I Get Me Some?Shawn 01.14.2014
Moz asked a panel of 120 leading search marketers to rank 80 factors that affect page ranking. Their #1 answer?
Guess what? Page Authority was the #1 factor 2011, too. Obviously, Page Authority isn’t going anywhere, so the question is:
What is Page Authority, and How Can I Get Me Some?
Page Authority is a complicated dance of in-bound link counts and web indexes, but it boils down to one simple factor – Value.
Ok…great, but that doesn’t really help me. Alright then, let’s get specific.
Another word for “authority” is “popularity.”
Popularity is entwined with Page Authority because people like – and remain on – pages with content that’s useful to them. Bounce rate is a factor, so retaining users for more than the traditional 4.5 seconds is crucial.
A keyword search for “sailboat” for example, will reveal thousands of pages, each with their own keyword strategy of alt-tags and links galore, but front page results will always contain relevant information and captivating content for their niche. Pages that discuss Sailboats for sale, are the #2 page result (behind Wikipedia of course), because of the keyword research, rich image gallery, video clips, and relevance of Boat Trader’s page content to general “sailboat” queries – i.e. most people Googling “sailboat” are looking to buy or sell. Front page results demand:
Current Content – Frequency of posting is key to remaining on top. The sailboat sales site (say that five times fast) is updated DAILY.
Images – Image searches are vital, and with the rise of mobile use, image thumbnails and author profile pics are a growing element in front page results. Boat Trader’s site is littered with quality images. Don’t forget to alt tag images on your page with keywords so the search engine can “see” your image.
and the biggie…
Video – Google prioritizes “Blended Results,” meaning, front page results need to fieature mixed media – text, image, and video. YouTube is the #2 search engine, and Forrester Research found that pages with video are 53 times more likely to receive organic front page rankings than traditional websites. Boat Trader features multiple videos on each of its 134 pages. They’re #1 not because they gamed the system, or applied “video SEO” but simply because people looking to buy sailboats want to see images, read updated descriptions, and watch video. Check out this beauty:
Stop wasting time on tricks and tips from “experts.” Google is getting smarter. Penguin, Panda, Caffeine, Hummingbird – each algorithm improved its content parsing skills to get to the real value through the development of “Conversational Searches.” Now more than ever, people can search for information using conversational search terms instead of specific keyword cul de sacs. I love the way Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutt put it:
“If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc., but that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking. Rather than chasing +1s, your time is much better spent making great content.”
Treat your readers, viewers, and users like the geniuses they are, and respect the hell out of them by creating amazing, useful, entertaining, and informative content as often as possible. Video is great for mobile and Google rankings, but the bottom line is simple – make your site a hub for your niche.
Popular pages are on the front page for a reason – they’re good.