Understanding The 3 Pillars Of SEO: Authority, Trust & Relevance

June 5, 2023
Up Inc.

SEO Authority

On average, only 54% of marketers feel confident in their ROI measurement across digital channels, leaving them with more questions than answers about the returns from their overall spending.

Key Takeaways

  • Many SEOs think that linking out to high-authority sites helps send trust signals to Google
  • 42.6% of link builders rely on metrics like Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) to measure link-building effectiveness
  • A Google Patent titled "Search result ranking based on trust" seems to back up the claim that "TrustRank" is a massively important ranking factor
  • According to The Hilltop Algorithm, Google may use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal
  • 93.8% of link builders say link quality is more important than link quantity
  • The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords
  • Google may give an edge to sites with high levels of E-A-T, especially sites that publish health-related content

In contrast, the worth of the SEO industry has grown to over $50 billion as of 2023 as SEO-generated leads have been proven to produce a 15% close rate. So, if you count yourself within that 54% of discontented marketers, then it may be time for you to explore search engine optimization and all that it can offer you.

Understanding how to make search engines work in your favor is no small task. But if you want to learn more about how you can best leverage a search optimization strategy resulting in more organic traffic to your website, then you’ll definitely want to keep reading. 

See Related: SEO Trends & Predictions For 2023: Top 10 Takeaways

The Foundation of SEO Success

Appeasing search engines requires an attack on all fronts. But in the world of SEO, there remain three distinct pillars of best practices that, if followed, can increase your ability to rank higher across all search engine result pages (SERPs).

Authority

Domain authority page authority scaled

Website authority can be measured in many different ways. But at its core, it refers to the overall strength of a particular domain and its ability to rank across search engine results pages.

All reputable websites have accrued their authority through a variety of means. But many attest to the tried and true SEO strategy of link-building as a way to build more authority while piggybacking off the reputations of other sites.

Many SEOs think that linking out to authoritative sites helps send trust signals to Google.

And why wouldn't it? Across the world wide web, there are only a handful of web pages with in-depth articles, high-quality links, and reliable information that users feel they can trust.

So, generally speaking, building up your website's authority is a surefire way to make sure all organic search queries funnel through to you.

Domain Authority Score

Landing page domain authority

This particular SEO concept often gets mistaken for Domain Authority, a metric coined by MOZ. As a provider of SEO software, MOZ developed Domain Authority Scores to predict the likelihood of any given website's chances of appearing in the SERPs.

This search engine ranking score is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 representing higher page authority overall. And while this tool can be particularly effective for measuring a website's domain authority and page authority, this remains a relative authority based on backend SEO metrics.

Still, 42.6% of link builders rely on metrics like Domain Rating (DR) and Domain Authority (DA) to measure link-building effectiveness.

So, this is not to say that Domain Authority or even Page Authority is irrelevant in the least. Instead, when coupled with organic search best practices, these metrics can provide a more holistic view of a website's authority overall.

Topical Authority

Featured image

Topical authority, on the other hand, encompasses a more holistic SEO approach that combines efforts with quality content marketing. In essence, when you write content on any particular subject that's valuable and worthwhile, you establish yourself as an authority on the topic.

This requires a website to dig into the content depth of that particular focus while also generating topical relevance that speaks to the site's overall niche or market.

Of course, this kind of SEO talk can get heady really fast. So if you're simply looking for a way to get higher rankings in the SERPs without delving into an SEO 101 crash course, then it's best to work with an experienced SEO company like ours that can help you navigate this complex terrain.

From 2020-2021, we managed to 35x one luxury beauty company's organic visitor growth, resulting in 605 unique organic sales in 10 months and ranking them for 6,500 keywords in Google's Top 100 results.

Suffice it to say we know how to get you the results you want to see across the SERPs.

Trust

Website link profile

As you've already seen, there's ample overlap between authority and trust; namely in that accruing authority over other websites increases the likelihood of users trusting you.

A Google Patent titled "Search result ranking based on trust" seems to back up the claim that "TrustRank" is a massively important ranking factor.

After all, web users want to know that they can trust a website as well as the information it advertises. But trust can be broken in many different ways such as through broken links, bad links, poor link authority, or poor technical SEO.

All of this is to say that while trust is an important factor, it remains an abstract ranking factor as well. But utilizing SEO best practices that boost authority overall helps to build trust in the meantime while encouraging users to browse beyond the first page of your website.

Relevance

Site machine learning

Like trust, web page authority and relevance go hand in hand. Accruing topical authority through your website requires that you produce relevant content; that is, content that covers the entire spectrum of a single niche or topic.

But relevancy doesn't just come from the landing page on your website alone.

According to The Hilltop Algorithm, Google may use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal.

For example, if you build links in your content that are related to the topic at hand, then Google registers that your page is an authority on the subject, citing external links that further your point.

Additionally, internal linking on your own site can signal relevance as well as you're directing users to different resources you already have in-house.

Bonus: Organic Marketing: What Is It And How To Get Started

3 Ways To Improve Your Website's Authority

When it comes to boosting authority across your website, there are some tried and true methods that can help you see some serious results.

#1. Invest In High-Quality Backlinks

Site site

Internal links and external links alike can do wonders for sending Google positive signals. But you don't want to invest in cheap links just because they seem more accessible.

93.8% of link builders say link quality is more important than link quantity.

So, when choosing links to include on your site or when choosing guest posts that boost your site URL across other platforms, make sure you go with dependable, reliable sources. This way, you can boost the credibility of your page while tapping into trusted audiences as well.

#2. Produce Relevant Content

Content graph

Producing high-quality content is a surefire way to enhance the authority of your site overall. With so many pages for Google to have to crawl through on the Internet, you want to make sure your site stands out.

The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.

Even if you're working on one page alone, with SEO best practices, you can see all ships rise across the board. Utilizing the right keywords from the landing page to blog posts will signal to search engines that your site knows how to offer valuable content.

#3. Practice Google E-A-T

Graph

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness and has been making waves across the SEO world as they have become new ranking factors that search algorithms have taken into account. All of these practices effectively serve to enhance your site's authority overall.

But Google may give an edge to sites with high levels of E-A-T, especially sites that publish health-related content.

With that in mind, it'd be in your best interests to dive deeper into this E-A-T terrain. And you can do so by checking out our other blog posts that go over this very topic!

The Bottom Line

With 35+ years of experience, our SEO company has developed the necessary strategies to boost relevance, trust, and authority across the board. So, if you’re looking to see these kinds of results for your eCom business, feel free to reach out and learn about our strategies!

Keep Reading: Why Blog? 11 Benefits It Can Offer You In 2023

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Up Inc. eCommerce Agency is a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2021, Up Inc. specializes in eCommerce, generating growth for brands by focusing on visibility, customer loyalty, and digital revenue. For more SEO tips and industry insights, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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