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Topical Authority and Google - how is it shown?

     
10:57 am on Jun 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have read some articles about how Google favors sites that display topical authority, especially with regards to Panda 4. An analysis I read said that those who benefited greatly from the latest Panda update are those that demonstrate that they go deep into a topic.

How do you show Google that you really do know that topic? What are the must-have signals that must be on a content page so that Google will clearly see that you are not covering the topic only at a surface level?
2:41 pm on June 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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A few off-the-cuff guesses:

1) Number of pages on [topic], or maybe the percentage of the site's pages devoted to [topic].

2) Inbound links to pages on [topic].

3) History/age (how long has the site been publishing information about [topic]).

4) Length/depth of pages about [topic].

I can say that, on our site, the oldest "evergreen" pages about our key topics get the most respect from Google. Pagination of multipage articles with link rel="previous" and link rel="next" seems to have helped, too: If Google knows that pages about rabbit terriers, badger terriers, and snake terriers are part of a single entity about terriers, it may be more likely to determine that our article about terriers is an in-depth resource on that topic.
3:53 pm on June 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Your site needs to have some unique original content that isn't found anywhere else on the web. I'm convinced that this is the main reason why my sites have generally done well in Google. Eventually most unique content gets scraped, often many times, so that it is no longer unique, but at least in my case Google's algorithm (and Bing's) have always known that my sites were the original source.
7:01 pm on June 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Is adding something like Related Articles to easily show how many other articles on the topic you've written something to be considered as a good signal for Google?
7:05 pm on June 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Return visits, maybe?
7:46 pm on June 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'd think that a good selection of natural inbound links to different parts of your content would help as well, links that aren't just to the domain, but to pages or categories of your site and using a good cross section of anchor text to share your content would be a good indication that others see it as valuable for a variety of reasons. I don't think large inbound link numbers are near as important for inbound links value as the variety of interests that find the content useful.