Topical authority for SEO: a complete guide 
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Topical authority means for any website to enjoy the status of expert in a specific subject in the eyes of Google because it creates all the necessary content so that a user can be fully informed about a subject without leaving the same site.
Useful content that answers all the questions, doubts and concerns of people about a product or service and that has that personal touch that we all look for when we are looking to buy or hire something: experience.
One of the E’s of the E-E-A-T and that is to contribute to each publication you make, information that has to do with your knowledge and your experiences in relation to your service, your product or your sector.
With topical authority we do the same thing: we reinforce our professional image so that not only search engines, but also users perceive us as a reference in our sector and trust us. In the case of Google, that catapults us to the top positions in the SERPs.
But how do we reinforce this topical authority? Is it enough to choose keywords and related queries and create the best content available? Topical authority is influenced by E-E-A-T, but also by internal linking, linkbuilding, semantic SEO, entities and many other aspects.
Google has to find your content and be able to follow it, and for this you have to get a bit technical. Don’t worry, because from here you will get a list of steps and actions to implement in your project to work on your authority and you will be able to carry them out easily with just a few tools.
What is topical authority?
Topical authority is not a new concept in SEO and content marketing, but it is a term that is often confused with linkbuilding and all that surrounds it.
It has a lot to do with it for a simple reason: both are a way to help search engines to understand the subject matter of a website and to assess whether it is the best option to show to the user in terms of relevance, authority and trust.
But they work very differently:
- Topical authority: speaks of the expertise of a website in relation to a topic and the authority it has in its specific product or service niche.
- Linkbuilding: is the exchange or generation of links from one site to another, which must have some specific characteristics to contribute to what we call Google’s PageRank. It is a patented system that gives a score to each page of a site and that, among other aspects, takes into account the links received.
On the latter, let’s delve deeper to better understand the difference.
Linkbuilding vs topical authority: why they are not the same but complement each other
We can say that the most important thing about topical authority is the reinforcement of a site’s authority on a topic through the creation of content that brings together all the information that the user needs and is looking for. The more expert knowledge we share, the more authority we have in our sector.
And this is precisely the basis of linkbuilding when it works naturally, because establishing ourselves as a reference will increase the likelihood that other pages will link to us. In turn, this will be another sign of authority for Google. Being linked to by other sites means that they recognise the quality and authority of our content:
The more popular and important a site is, the more weight the links from that site carry. A site like Wikipedia, for example, has thousands of diverse sites linking to it. This indicates it provides lots of expertise, has cultivated authority, and is trusted among those other sites.MOZ
Sound familiar? This is exactly what we need to transmit with our content in order to work on our topical authority: our expertise. And that, in turn, is one of the E of the E-E-A-T. Therefore, inbound links are another tool to work it, although it is considered an external and not an internal topical authority (we will see).
A note: it is important that the inbound links maintain a certain semantic affinity with our page. That is to say, they must be of a related subject. Depending on the relationship they have with our area of expertise, we will talk about semantic affinity, high, low or intermediate. If we are talking about a mountain equipment website, for example, we will talk about high, low or intermediate semantic affinity:
- High: other equipment websites
- Low: a website on a different topic (home, animals, video games…)
- Intermediate: a physiotherapy or sports training website (related or complementary subject)
This is yet another way of working on semantics for topical authority, but through linkbuilding.
How does topical authority work? A bit of context
We’ve already covered a lot about how this concept works and we’ve mentioned some aspects that influence it, but what is the origin of all this and how did we move from SEO based on linkbuilding to one that is more focused on content? 2 reasons: the semantic web and Google’s updates since 2011.
The start of it all: defining the semantic web
The Semantic Web is a way of organising the information available online, which arranges and prioritises terms and words into groups and categories in order to better understand the meaning of each one and how they relate to each other.
Google began this process in 2011, inspired by the concepts of taxonomy and ontology, from which it created what it called its Structured Search Engine.
A search engine that would use the classification of all words known to humans to understand the meaning of the expressions that users use to search for information and better determine their search intent.
The aim was to be able to show the most relevant results for each query, and to achieve this, Google introduced several important changes in its algorithm and that made SEO positioning change completely.
The Essence of the Semantic Web: Entities and the Knowledge Graph (2012)
The perfection of the semantic web came with the creation of the Knowledge Graph, which organised information into entities. Entities are real-world objects or concepts that have an independent existence and can be identified by a unique name. They can be anything from people, places and objects to ideas, events and concepts. For example, in the field of music, entities could be artists, songs or albums.
The Knowledge Graph uses the available information about the entities to build connections between them and create an interconnected knowledge network. To understand: if we are talking about the singer Michael Jackson, to his name as an artist will be connected information about his music (song and album titles), his personal life (birthplace, family, descendants…) and his career (concerts, important events, awards…).
These are the entity connections, a concept that can be understood very well if we look at them in schematic form:
These information connections are the ones that Google would use to enrich its search results as a result of the changes in its algorithm, and the entities, terms that it would begin to identify in the content to analyse their relevance and show them in the results.
Hence, as we will see later, it is crucial to detect them from the keyword research itself. Although in this case it is a research of entities and that is why in Keytrends we wanted to develop an entities & keywords research tool, merging the two.
The Google Hummingbird Update (2013): a before and after for search
Before the semantic web, and due to the way its algorithm was conceived, Google could not satisfy many of the users’ search intentions.
This was because, on the one hand, users started to use questions, and not so much keywords, to search for information. In addition, they incorporated everyday slang words, expressions, propositions and different orders in their queries to refine their searches, which Google did not fully understand.
On the other hand, because the algorithm depended much more on factors such as keywords and the profile of external links to choose the results to be shown, and less on how useful or relevant the content was.
This meant that, in general, it did not understand the context of queries and search intent. This all changed with the semantic web, entities and the Knowledge Graph, which made possible a major algorithm update: Hummingbird.
Thanks to this update, Google began to understand the search intent behind users’ questions and queries and to enrich its results with panels of complementary information:
This standardised approach would not have been possible without all the changes brought about by the semantic web, which gave rise to what is now known as semantic SEO. At the same time, the quality and relevance of the content, including the topical authority, started to become much more important in order to offer better results to users:
Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, implemented in 2013, put topical authority at the forefront of SEO. Now the search engine could evaluate natural language and analyze the meaning of related terms. Instead of ranking sites based on inbound links and keywords, Google could now rank content based on relevancy to a query.Market Muse
If you feel like it, and to understand it better, you can go deeper into the semantic web in this talk given by Andrew Hogue in January 2011:
Google Medic Update, YMYL and EAT (2018), and Bert (2019)
The previous improvements set the course towards the importance of relevant content, quality and authority, but these 4 improvements that we are including here emphasised it even more and defined Google’s algorithm as we know it today.
Earlier we talked about the E-E-AT; well, it was first born without the first E in 2018 and it did so hand in hand with two other changes, Medic and YMYL. Then, Google started to prioritise knowledge, authority and reliability in content and its authors on all types of pages.
The Medic and YMYL (Your Money Your Life) updates are, in reality, variants in which the EAT guidelines are applied in a more demanding and more specific way to websites in the medical sector (Medic Update) and in sectors with sensitive topics that can affect people’s lives: health, finance, social welfare… (YMYL).
This is specified by Google in its guidelines on the score that websites receive and which determines their positioning:
Pages on the World Wide Web are about a vast variety of topics. Some topics require different standards for quality than others. For example, some topics could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society. We call such topics “Your Money or Your Life”, or YMYL. Raters apply very high PQ* standards for pages on YMYL topics because low quality pages could potentially negatively impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.
*Page QualityGoogle Services
Today Google prioritises useful, quality, people-centred content created by expert authors on authoritative websites. The proof is the existence of a content guidelines document, which shows that the era of topical authority is here to stay.
Finally, with BERT Google has further refined its understanding of search and its meaning, because it has incorporated artificial intelligence through natural language processing to understand each and every user query; no matter the length, order, misspellings, jargons, language mixes… In the words of Pandu Nayak:
It’s our job to figure out what you’re searching for and surface helpful information from the web, no matter how you spell or combine the words in your query […]. BERT models can therefore consider the full context of a word by looking at the words that come before and after it—particularly useful for understanding the intent behind search queries […]. Particularly for longer, more conversational queries, or searches where prepositions like “for” and “to” matter a lot to the meaning, Search will be able to understand the context of the words in your query. You can search in a way that feels natural for you.Pandu Nayak
Google’s MUM (2021) or Multitask United Model
But undoubtedly the update to Google’s algorithm that has best refined search and results display has been MUM, an improved artificial intelligence system that owes its efficiency to multitasking and multimodality.
What does this mean? Well, MUM understands content across different formats (text, image, audio, video) and has been trained in 75 languages to perform multiple tasks at the same time. It uses the T5 text-to-text framework and is 1,000 times more powerful than its predecessor BERT, to the point of not only understanding the language but (according to Pandu Nayak) being able to generate it.
In practice, this translates into greater knowledge of the world, of information and of the search intent, so users need to do less searching to get the answers they need. In addition, our answer can be displayed in another language if it considers it to be the most useful for us: “It can learn from sources that aren’t written in the language you wrote your search in, and help bring that information to you”.
To help us understand this, Pandu himself gives the example of a query in which we are comparing two mountains to find out which is more difficult and how we need to prepare to climb it. Before, we would have needed many searches to get all the details.
Today, MUM understands all the information needs that a query can hide and displays the results that best solve each of them: “MUM could understand you’re comparing two mountains, so elevation and trail information may be relevant. It could also understand that, in the context of hiking, to “prepare” could include things like fitness training as well as finding the right gear”.
In short, is the same as asking an expert, who has all the knowledge necessary to avoid having to ask us again and give us complete information. As you can see, this Google update is also focused on prioritising reliable and authoritative sites and topical authority is becoming more and more essential.
Google’s Helpful Content Update System (2022)
The Helpful Content Update is Google’s so-called helpful content system and was launched to prioritise content in the SERPs that has been written for people in order to be useful and helpful and not just to rank.
It does this with a mix of signals it receives from both the content and the user, and the aim is to “better reward content that offers a satisfying experience for visitors, while content that doesn’t meet visitors’ expectations will not perform as well”.
Topical authority at its best! User interaction with the content comes to the forefront and adds to the other guidelines that Google has been incorporating over the years with respect to content: created based on search intent, by expert authors, including references to authority sources, well written and providing value or a unique point of view on a topic and not a copy of others.
Again, working on topical authority will help us to be perceived as useful, reliable and providing a good experience.
Google’s Product Reviews Update (2022)
This update transfers all the guidelines we have mentioned to a specific type of content, product reviews. This update was very much focused on removing poor quality comparisons or reviews that were not really helpful to the user.
The goal, according to Google itself, was to “make sure users find product reviews with comprehensive information, rather than worthless content that just summarises a bunch of products”.
Many websites of this type rely on copying the manufacturer’s features or even content produced by other sites without citation. With this update, visibility was taken away from such websites and given to those that offer “enlightening analysis and original research, and which are written by experts or enthusiasts who know the subject well”.
And so it is that after more than 20 years of algorithm changes we now enjoy Google’s most advanced algorithm in terms of language and semantic understanding, and results that increasingly give us a better answer to our question.
How to work on topical authority in 6 steps
First of all, it is important to know that there are two types of topical authority, internal and external. The first has to do with the internal improvements and optimisations that can be made to favour it, and which have to do with content. The second is related to external factors such as backlinks and brand mentions in various channels. At Keytrends we are experts in content, so we are going to explain how to optimise it to achieve thematic authority on a site.
1. Conduct research based on pillar themes, clusters and keywords
The beginning of any content strategy is keyword research, but to work on topical authority this is not enough, because most likely we will focus only on the main theme of our business and not on its sub-themes. In other words, we will leave aside semantically related topics.
For this reason, it is important to differentiate between topic research and keyword research for each topic. The purpose of the former is to detect all those main topics and their secondary or related ones, while the latter is to detect questions or queries around the topic we are going to develop.
To facilitate this task in Keytrends we have developed the keyword clustering function that groups all the keywords by topic, making it easier to detect main and secondary topics:
The best thing to do is to see it live by registering or, even better, scheduling a demonstration with us so that we can show you how you could use it in your day-to-day life and ask us all the questions you need.
Let’s see what role issues play in topical authority.
Research on pillar topics: topic breath and topic depth
In order to work on semantics in our project through content, we need to have a broader view of the general and interrelated topics that we can deal with. This is what is known as topic breath or horizontal topical authority.
If, for example, we are an E-mail Marketing software, we will have to look for those topics that provide a broader context for our speciality: Marketing, Sales, Customers, Analytics…
This will allow us to touch several subtopics in our contents to work, above all, the TOFU part of the funnel, and will allow us to reach many more people. How? By defining for each of these subtopics semantically related to our business, pillar content pages and their respective clusters or related contents. This is known as topic depth or vertical topical authority.
In schematic form, the topic pillars and topic clusters would look like this:
For example, for the related sub-theme Marketing we could address content about: Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Content strategies, Marketing funnel stages, Marketing plan, Marketing KPIs… These deeper and more concrete topics are the pillar contents and for each of them we will create a very detailed, guide-like individual article covering all the keywords and user questions.
Keyword research: definition of secondary clusters
And where are the shorter articles that answer more specific queries? These contents are topic clusters and cover those related queries, common user questions and other searches.
We can even find micro-topics or micro-clusters that derive from topic clusters, an idea that Koray Tugberg (Holistic SEO) develops when talking about the Topical Graph. In a very simplified form (we recommend you read his article on Topical Authority), this is the representation of the whole set of topics to be addressed, which, in the form of a knowledge graph, would look like this:
We can identify these topics using several tools or a single one that encompasses all of them. In our guide on how to do keyword & entities research we presented some of them (Google Ads Keyword Planner, Also Asked, Answer the Public and Google’s own SERPs) and we told you about their drawbacks: many of them not only lack volume data or have inaccurate data, but they do not take into account the new searches that occur daily on Google and that we know as trends (more than 15%!).
Nor do they take into account what has been in play for years in the new semantic SEO: entities, which we must include in our content so that Google can relate us to a topic and consider us relevant.
Not to mention the inconvenience of having to jump from one tool to another, open several tabs and do dozens of searches to find out what users are looking for (you know that Google gives you a limited number of these search suggestions and that you have to go through the pages or refine the keyword you have searched for).
To solve these 3 problems (the absence of trends or new searches, as well as entities, the lack of data and the need and inconvenience of having to go to several tools) we created the Keytrends keyword and entity search tool, which allows you to get all these results in one place:
- Keyword results with all the volume, competitiveness and bidding data provided by Google Ads.
- Google Suggested Search Results
- Google related questions results (PAA)
- Results of related Google queries
- Results of the questions of interest
- Entity results
- Trend results
An all-in-one tool that is in line with our entire platform, automating and streamlining each of the content creation processes. And this means centralising tasks and efforts to invest less time and resources, but gaining in speed of publication and in the number of contents created. In this video you can see it in action:
2. Organise your pillar themes, clusters and their keywords:
When we create a content strategy based on pillars and clusters, we should have several aspects in mind, especially the search intent we want to cover with each pillar topic and each cluster and the user journey we want to favour with that selection of topics (which directly impacts the UX or user experience).
Again, for this it will be extremely useful to have a clustering tool like ours, because we will avoid including clusters in the pillar topic that are not focused on a related search intention.
If we know what are the doubts or specific information needs of users when purchasing a product, we will create articles or topic clusters around them and that are linked to the main pillar page. For example, a comparison of different brands or products.
Having this planned will benefit us on the other hand, in avoiding cannibalisation. This means that several of our contents will appear in Google for the same keyword and that the traffic will be distributed among them. By not being able to channel it into a single URL, we are talking about traffic dilution, and it can cause the most important URL for that main keyword not to give the expected results.
This is one of the main problems of content strategies and we at Keytrends wanted to help prevent it. We do it in 2 ways:
- Clearly marking the URL created, if any, for each keyword. You will see it from your general topics list.
- Do you see that symbol that reminds you of Pac-Man? That’s where you have to click to see the list of URLs that share the same keyword and how much of the traffic pie they get.
You can complement this information with the content planning that is stored in the Content and Writer Manager, which allows you to see which content is already created and published, which is planned, which is in the process of being written… As you can see, we show this data in a very visual way and it is not necessary for you to identify the URLs manually or use complex data tools.
3. Create a topical map to keep everything under control in a more visual way
Although this step is optional, it is highly recommended to create a topic map where all these pillar contents and their clusters are reflected. In the future you will be able to do it with our tool, but for the moment you have programmes such as Xmind, MindMeister o Whimsical.
This is an example of what you can do with the first one, for the Information Architecture theme. In it we have collected keywords and user queries and sorted them into thematic categories:
We have given them a descriptive name to make it easier for us to know at a glance what types of content we need to generate. Each category acts as a pillar topic and the clusters are all those offshoots.
As you can see, in these we have included the exact keyword or search so it’s easier to control what we cover and avoid duplication or cannibalisation. Now we just need to get cracking and create all that content! (on that note, we have some good news below…)
4. Incorporate trends into your content to increase your visibility.
The previous steps have served us, in fact, to create the basis of a content strategy based on pillar topics and their clusters, choosing the most relevant keywords and user queries by doing keyword research.
If you do it with Keytrends, you already know that you can obtain data that would not be possible with other tools, including search trends. If you don’t know them, you may be wondering what differentiates them from keywords.
- The first fundamental difference is that trends do not have search volume data, as do topic-related questions and Google suggested queries. But they are also not the same, and here is the second difference.
- Trends are part of the 15% of new searches that occur every day on Google that reflect new interests of people that have not yet been answered through content. The other types of keywords and queries, whether or not they have volume, are not new and have already been covered.
Surely you have already deduced what this means: it is much easier to position for all those new queries than for keywords with medium or high volume and very competitive.
Even if they don’t have volume, they do arouse interest and can reach a very high level of popularity. That is why they are known as trends. And they can revolve around any topic, including that of your sector.
Therefore, covering them is sending a very powerful signal to Google that we know all the news in our sector and that we are even more expert if possible. In the eyes of the user, we will become a reference brand, because we will appear in all kinds of searches and queries.
So yes: trends are another way of working on topical authority.
How to spot Google trends quickly and automatically
Trend spotting has always been done with Google Trends. We tell you how to do it and make the most of it in our guide to Google Trends, but what we also warn you about is how cumbersome and time-consuming the process can be.
Why? Because it is a 100% manual process in which it is necessary to search for each topic individually and dive into the main topics and related queries that the tool extracts in order to go deeper into them.
To solve this, at Keytrends we decided to create an automatic search engine that, based on the general topics you enter in the tool, would extract a list of related trends and update it daily. In fact, we have also implemented real time and you, manually by clicking a button, can update this list whenever you want.
What do we mean by real time? To understand it, you need to know that with Keytrends you can detect trends over two different time periods:
- Trends over time: you can define a broad time range of one month, several months or years.
- Real-time trends: detects trends over the last hour, the last day or the last week.
The more recent the trends, the more visibility we will gain because there will be no competition for that query. And remember: they don’t have volume but they are trends because interest in them is taking off!
This is what one of those lists that Keytrends offers you daily looks like (one for each season), where you won’t have to filter either because we order those new searches by growth (from highest to lowest):
The best thing to do is to see it live by registering or, even better, scheduling a demonstration with us so that we can show you how you could use it in your day-to-day life and ask us all the questions you need.
5. Write useful and expert content for your user that boosts your authority
We already have everything we need to start doing the most important thing: writing content. We’re not going to tell you everything that’s involved, but as we said above, we’ve got something really good!
At Keytrends we have also automated this step. And we haven’t just done it with AI (which we have too), we’ve created a content assistant that helps you write your SEO briefings.
By allowing you to research all that important user and competitor data to create your copywriting scheme in just a few clicks. You can drag any data you see that might be useful to you onto your blank sheet of paper, and when you’re done, you can review, edit and complete the brief if you feel like it.
Just make sure that the content is written by an expert in the field or reviewed afterwards. The Assistant is a help in researching and writing with AI, but not an authority on your topic 😉
This is all that our content assistant allows you to do and it will help you to comply with Google’s quality standards, and with the new practices derived from the semantic web:
Don’t lose sight of search intent
The first fundamental rule of all content for Google is to solve a real user need. And for that, we have to identify it. With the Keytrends content assistant you can do this automatically without having to use the keyword tool. You will be able to extract the data and pass it to the sheet at the same time you are researching, among them:
- The Google PAA
- Related searches
- Suggested queries for each letter
- Competitors headings
With the information they provide you with, you will easily see in which direction your article should go and what you should include in it.
Research your competitors
This has a lot to do with the above, and there is no better way to confirm the search intention that hides a keyword than by keeping an eye on the SERPs. And as all the time we save is little, you won’t need to open your browser to do so, you can continue to Keytrends.
In the competitors tab you will have the first 10 URLs that appear in Google and their table of contents, with all their headers. This helps you to see how they have approached the content, what topics and entities they cover… and compare it with what you have to know what you are missing.
You can add to your sheet the titles that may be useful to inspire you when covering the search intent of your keywords.
Enrich the content with the entities
We have already seen how important entities are since the implementation of the semantic web and how necessary they are for Google to crawl and understand content very well.
Well, in the same way that you have been able to include user research data and headings from your competitors, Keytrends extracts the entities related to the topic you are going to deal with and that your competitors also use.
In this case, we have conceived this function so that you can add them to the text once you have written it, as Keytrends will read it and will indicate in green those that you have included (and the number of times) and those that you have not, it will not mark.
Don’t forget to reference sources to work on E-E-A-T
For Google, expert content is essential and a sign of this is references to reliable and specialised sources. Such resources are difficult to locate and require a lot of online searching and academic databases. To save you the search, the AI briefs generator includes a specific function to search these sources for you.
Once you have them, select the ones that best fit your content and include them in the briefing so that you don’t forget to publish them at the end of the article.
Write faster and publish more thanks to AI
So far, you have been able to cover the whole process of researching and generating your brief with the Keytrends content assistant. Now, you can either assign a copywriter and leave the planned content in the tool, or continue the work by writing the content yourself. Whichever option you choose, thanks to AI we can also automate this task.
The advantage of doing it in Keytrends is that you will know exactly what information to ask the AI for, because you have already done the research process and you know what search intent you need to cover. Therefore, the content you generate automatically will not have been made blindly, it will follow a structure and with your final touches, it will be a 100% original publication and optimised for SEO.
This is our differential point. As for the rest, you should know that we have activated a button to create a full publication in seconds (maximum 2 minutos
) with artificial intelligence based on your research. This is the modal you’ll see while our assistant is working on your content:
6. Generate relevant backlinks to give your topical authority a further boost
Yes, we have said that at Keytrends we specialise in content, but the truth is that backlinks should not be neglected because they are still an important signal of authority for Google. Just a few tips:
- Prioritise relationships with sites that are related to your topic, even if they do not have a very high domain authority.
- Some tricks to generate backlinks: practice guest blogging; generate content about your competitors and contact them to reference the post; quote others in your articles, and try to get them to quote you as well.
3 advanced technical SEO tips to improve your topical authority
With the semantic web came some good practices that favour the crawling, indexing and ranking of content. Some of them are already known, and others may be a little less familiar to you:
1. Include a sitemap to communicate any changes to Google
This is a basic and very good way to communicate any changes to your website to Google. Why?
Because a sitemap is a list of the URLS that make up a website and that we have to update when publishing new pages (if you use SEO plugins, this is done automatically) so that Google spiders know that there are new developments and that they have to go through our website again.
It is one more tool to promote the crawlability of a page, in the same way that we apply the internal linking so that the search engine bots can follow them and discover the pages (with the advantage that with the sitemap we directly communicate the existence of these URLS).
But be careful! This does not mean that it will rank well, as Google’s developer resources point out:
A Sitemap does not affect the actual ranking of your pages. However, if it helps get more of your site crawled (by notifying us of URLs we didn’t previously didn’t know about, and/or by helping us prioritize the URLs on your site), that can lead to increased presence and visibility of your site in our index.Google Developers
Once you are aware of the existence of your URLS, the algorithm and competitors for the keyword you are trying to rank for come into play.
2. Use structured data to work on your visibility and authority at the same time
Do you want your content to appear in the carousels that Google sometimes throws at us in the SERPs? You may have seen them with information about films, books, actors, recipes, news highlights, step-by-step instructions on how to do something, and much more.
They are called knowledge panels and are closely related to entities, because they provide all the information that is available for them. This is how Google documents it:
Knowledge panels are information boxes that appear on Google when you search for entities (people, places, organizations, things) that are in the Knowledge Graph. They are meant to help you get a quick snapshot of information on a topic based on Google’s understanding of available content on the web.Google Support
One way to help us appear in these panels is to include entities in our content, but ideally we should use structured data in the code of our pages to indicate to Google the type of post we have created when it has an ideal format to appear in the carousels. For example, in the recipe carousel.
So, we will have to introduce in the HTML code of the page a script like this, in which we are giving Google all the necessary data: type of content (“Recipe”), the title and its author, the preparation time of the recipe (“prepTime”), the date of publication, a brief description…
This makes it easier for users to find the recipe by searching for each of the elements we report, such as the ingredient when we include it in the title, or the preparation time indicated in the code of the structured data.
In addition, there are specific structured data or rich snippets that work with E-E-A-T and you should include them as a rule:
- Fact checking: these are used to indicate where the statements we use in the content come from, either to validate or refute them. Claim Review, Claim and Rating snippets are implemented.
- Articles or news items: these are essential for the E-E-A-T because they allow you to add the author, their personal web page, their profession or position within the organisation and the name of the organisation. They also indicate the date of publication and/or modification of the article.
But be careful! Google only selects information sources that it considers authoritative to appear in its panels, so you will have to have done the rest before you have achieved sufficient topical authority. The good news is that domain authority and link profile have no influence.
You can read more in Google’s guide to structured data or watch this explanatory video:
3. Monitor the results of your content to identify areas for improvement
Every content strategy starts with measurable objectives. It can be getting more organic traffic and positioning for more keywords in the top ranking, getting more leads from that traffic and even increasing sales. We will not know if they have been met if we do not monitor the results. Doing so will allow us to:
- To know the positioning of each of our contents.
- Identify opportunities for improvement and re-optimise publications that are less visible.
- Dispose of those that are not working or have become obsolete.
- Update old articles that give high visibility with the latest user concerns and recent information.
- Identifying cannibalisation problems
The ideal? To be able to do everything with a single tool that is very focused on the management of the content strategy. In this way, we will have the most important indicators to make our analysis and make decisions. At Keytrends we have incorporated the perfect functions for this.
Measure positioning and monitor cannibalisation
With Keytrends we decided to solve all these aspects at the same time by allowing:
- Plan the contents within the tool: by scheduling the topics detected by the search engine at the time, we keep under control all the articles that are created and greatly reduce the likelihood of repeating content or cannibalising.
Within this management section you will also be able to see when each content was published and locate those that need updating (we recommend keeping an eye on those that have been published for 1 year or more).
You will also be able to see the traffic and who wrote the content to see with which writer you get better results (very useful if you outsource the tasks).
- See if there are URLS created for a keyword from the search engine itself or from the Search Console Data section: why study your website or blog or go to another tool to check if you have already published something for a topic when you can see it right away?
- Check your positioning and its evolution every day by bringing Google Search Console data to your Keytrends project (this is what you see behind the cannibalisation window in the screenshot). From our tool, in the My Search Console Dara function, you can consult the most important KPIs of your content (position, clicks, impressions, CTR), see the URL covered next to each word, and know at a glance which URLs have the best chances of improving positioning thanks to our SCORE.
You will be able to access the dashboard we have seen before of all the URLs published for that word and control the cannibalisation also from here. You can also filter your data by keywords and, in turn, by metrics. You can indicate, for example, to see words with a higher number of impressions than the number of impressions you choose.
You can learn all about it in this video:
The best thing to do is to see it live by registering or, even better, scheduling a demonstration with us so that we can show you how you could use it in your day-to-day life and ask us all the questions you need.
Detect potential keywords to improve your publications
With My Search Console Data you can make content decisions based on data, not intuition. One of the signals that should make you consider modifying a piece of content is, for example, a high number of impressions or appearances but few clicks. The same applies when you detect that your rankings are not what you expected.
This means that your competitors are providing information that you are missing, that you have not optimised the content correctly, or that you are not covering the search intent in the right line. The data that will confirm this will be the position for the URL that you see indicated in our tool (and that Search Console does not give you).
And at this point we have some good news: although you can look at the data on your own and draw conclusions, we have preferred to automate it (like everything else!) to save you the trouble. We have done this by creating a Score for each keyword for which we appear, which we obtain by weighting all the available data.
This way you’ll know where to start looking at or finish concluding which keywords you should optimise your content for.
Check the indexation of your content in seconds
Did you know that Google often crawls but does not index a page, or that it finds errors or bad redirects? Other times it doesn’t even discover the URLs. This can be the reason why a content does not rank, so it is essential to check the indexation of all pages.
In the Keytrends Index Status Checker we show you the status of the URL and the last time Google bots went through them:
Also, as we extract the URLs from your Sitemap, you can use this function to consult them as a content inventory. Our advice is to log in every time you make a new publication and confirm immediately if it has been indexed in order to solve possible problems as soon as possible.
Keep your content updated and optimised
Once you have detected possible improvements to make to your content, you can re-optimise it using the Keytrends AI Content Assistant. To improve your article for SEO, you can:
- Refine your response to the user’s search intent: review what we have already seen earlier in this guide to include what you don’t cover; the Google PAA, related searches and suggested queries for each letter.
- Complete your table of contents according to the top 10 competitors: visualise the structure of their articles and add what you consider relevant to your content.
- Check if you cover the most important entities and add them: pass your text through the entity detector and incorporate the ones you don’t mention.
- Check the internal linking and/or establish it: in the linking section of the Content Wizard you will see if you have included any links and, if not, we will suggest other posts of yours for you to do so.
- Write your title and meta-description, paragraphs and sections of the article with ChatGPT: you already know that there is a suitable template for each type of text!
Finally, don’t forget to update the information you give with new data, refer to new sources and contrasted studies, include images, videos or infographics that better accompany the text and are more relevant… Everything you need to continue promoting that topical authority that if you follow all the steps in this guide, you are more than assured.
How do you know if a site has worked on its topical authority?
Nowadays it is not possible to measure thematic authority, but as you can see, there are many signs that can indicate that a website has good topical authority and that we can look at to evaluate both our project and our competitors. As a summary of everything we have seen, this would be the most important:
- A well-crafted internal link structure that reflects the creation of several contents around a theme. A good tool to visualise this is Sitechecker o Screaming Frog.
- The topics and entities worked on, not so much in quantity but in quality: the better and in greater depth they have been covered, the higher the topical authority and visibility in SERPs.
- Well-written content, with relevant information, referenced and created by experts.
- The E-E-A-T worked on, especially in terms of reliability, which implies having authors who are experts in the subject and whose authority can be traced online. The availability of an author profile on the website is a good indicator of the efforts made in this area.
- Profile of quality external links from related sites.
- Implementation of structured data or rich snippets to help identify the type of content to Google.
- Inclusion of SEO entities and user research data (queries, questions, related searches…) to work on semantics.
You see? Here’s your checklist 😉
But it doesn’t end here and for those of you who are less familiar with topical authority and its importance in business and for SEO, we are going to list the reasons why it should be worked on and that will have a direct impact on positioning.
Why it is important to work on thematic authority for SEO
You will have already deduced how important topical authority is for the SEO of any project, as it has a direct impact on 5 essential aspects that, together, help to improve the global positioning of each of the pages of a website.
1. Promotes internal linking and traceability
It is just as important to create content to inform and help users as it is for search engines to know what our site is about and that, when they read it, they realise how relevant we are and rank us.
Google is the best example of this, because it works through semantic associations. This means that in order to associate a web page with a specific subject, it needs to find the keywords associated with that subject and relevant content for each one.
And how does it do this? By tracking each of these published pieces through the links that connect one with another. That is, through internal linking. This means that working on topical authority allows us to optimise the structure of our entire site and favour its traceability, two aspects that are often forgotten and which also form part of content optimisation.
All this means that creating articles based on high volumes no longer works. This neither allows us to link content to each other, nor does it work for our thematic authority: “When you create content pieces around the same subject and interlink them, your topical authority in the eyes of Google increases. This helps to show it that you’re knowledgeable, aka an authority on the topic and a trusted source” (Ahrefs).
And this, in the long run, will lead us to the ultimate goal: to stand out above our competitors both in the SERPs and in the minds of users.
2. Enhance the navigability of the site and a better user experience
Users are a very important asset, because our positioning also depends on their interaction.
Are you familiar with user experience? It is all those actions that we implement on our websites so that people can move around and find what they are looking for with as few difficulties as possible, because if something prevents them from doing so, they will leave.
Google receives signals of how long users spend on our site. For example, how long they stay on each page or if they start browsing when they enter for the first time or if, on the contrary, they leave after a few seconds.
Having contents relevant to a topic linked to each other will favour the latter, the navigability, because people are finding all the information they need and they jump from one content to another to obtain it.
But for this it is essential to work on findability, so that users can easily find the pages and contents of the site and reach them thanks to an ordered and labelled structure. In turn, this will help Google’s bots to have a clear understanding of the structure of our site and to be able to crawl each link.
This works with information architecture and is something in which Daniel Pinillos, our CPO and CMO, is an expert. You can watch this video of his talk at SEO Plus 2019 to learn about this discipline and fundamental technique in SEO that also helps us in thematic authority:
This translates into a satisfactory user experience and increases our authority over other sites in the eyes of Google, which will raise our position in the SERPs.
3. Increases the user’s trust in the brand and the chances of a sale
And what is the most immediate consequence of the user soaking up our content and perceiving our expertise in a subject? That they trust us and move through the conversion funnel until they make a purchase.
Let’s take the example of probiotics: wouldn’t you trust someone who tells you about all the advantages and disadvantages of taking probiotics, how to use them and much more than someone who doesn’t offer you all this information and just sells you the product?
We can deal with all the questions that the user has in articles or complete guides when it is very specialised content, but the key to success is to combine this informative content with transactional content, that which has to do with the characteristics of the product.
A good example of this is the PcComponentes site, which uses Keytrends to detect the most frequent doubts, needs and problems of users about a product and uses them to enrich product descriptions. How? By responding to these pain points with content that informs and resolves how a product can be the solution they are looking for.
4. Work the E-E-A-T, attract backlinks and build brand reputation
By improving our topical authority on a topic, we will also be working on another very important concept: the E-E-A-T. In fact, the two actually feed back on each other and one leads to the other. E-E-A-A-T means:
- (E) Experience
- (E) Expertise
- (A) Authoritativeness
- (T) Trustworthiness
The first two apply especially to the author of the content, while the other two also have to do with the content and the website in general. Thanks to the topical authority, we will be working on at least the last 3, while the first one requires us to provide comments that cannot be found in any other source because they come from our own experiences:
Now to better assess our results, E-A-T is gaining an E: experience. Does content also demonstrate that it was produced with some degree of experience, such as with actual use of a product, having actually visited a place or communicating what a person experienced? There are some situations where really what you value most is content produced by someone who has first-hand, life experience on the topic at hand.Google Deevelopers
The best thing? By working on both topical authority and EEAT, our brand reputation will increase and the natural backlinks, those that come from other pages, will come on their own.
5. Increases organic traffic and improves SERPs ranking positions
All this that we have seen contributes to the final and most desired objective: to improve visibility in search engines thanks to obtaining better positions in the SERPs ranking and for our organic traffic to increase.
Moreover, it is thanks to a chain that starts with relevant content, linked to each other and that meets the requirements of E-E-A-T, and that will lead us to be experts and reliable both for the user and for Google. In short, and as they say in Robot Zebra: “If people are searching for the topics that you cover, if your site practises good topical authority, then it means that your content is more likely to be in the top three search engine results on Google”.
With all the improvements that Google has applied to its algorithm in recent years, there is no doubt that topical authority is more important than ever. We have already given you all the tips to work on it and you can do it with our all-in-one tool.
But if you still have any doubts, ask anything you want here below or, if you prefer to see Keytrends in action but applying it to your project, write to us at this address: email@example.com
You can also request a date and time directly below ⬇️
- Ahrefs. (2020). How to Build Topical Authority for SEO: A 5-Step Guide. Ahrefs Blog. https://ahrefs.com/blog/topical-authority/
- Fishkin, R. (2018). How to Earn Topical Authority in Google’s Eyes. Moz. https://moz.com/blog/how-to-earn-topical-authority
- Google Developers. (2021). Creating helpful content for Search users. https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content?hl=en
- Google Developers. (2021). Actualización sobre contenido útil para usuarios. https://developers.google.com/search/updates/helpful-content-update?hl=en
- Google Developers. (2021). Actualización sobre reseñas detalladas y originales. https://developers.google.com/search/updates/product-reviews-update?hl=en
- Google Services Team & Quality Raters Team at Google Inc… (2019). General Guidelines [en español]. https://services.google.com/fh/files/misc/hsw-sqrg.pdf?hl=en
- Holistic SEO & Digital. (2020). Topical Authority: Definition, Importance and How to Build It?. https://www.holisticseo.digital/theoretical-seo/topical-authority/
- Nayak, P. (2019). Understanding searches better than ever before. https://blog.google/products/search/search-language-understanding-bert/
- Raghavan, P. (2021). Introducing MUM: A new AI milestone for understanding information. https://blog.google/products/search/introducing-mum/