What Is An Authority Site?

Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by andrewtk

what is an authority site?

What is an authority site?

Well the simple answer is that it's any website that has earned the loyalty and trust of it's readers due to the consistently high-quality, useful content that it produces.

And in Google's eye's…

…an authority site is one that regularly delivers the exact content that is being searched for, when an internet user types their niche specific query into the search bar.

But if you're after a bit more insight than this pretty brief answer to ‘what is an authority site'…

…let's take five minutes to add a little bit of flesh to the bones.

What Are Authority Sites Used For?

Authority sites are used by their owners to create top-quality content around their chosen niche.

And they are used by their readers as information hubs. 

The plan is, that the content goes on to attract ever increasing numbers of online traffic.

And guess what?

Internet traffic can often be monetised!

That is, if you have chosen your niche well. 

If you didn't choose your niche well, you can find yourself floundering around, knocking out great content for years, without making a dime.

The owner of an authority site is looking to make it so dominant in its niche, that they will have little trouble getting new content onto the first page of Google.

Authority Sites As Information Hubs

massive cube sign with information i logo in white on blue

Let's take a closer look at the value a genuine authority site provides to its readers.

A good authority site is looking to provide super-in-depth answers to questions around the niche that people have.

They're going all out to add more value, through providing better, deeper content that and big players that might already be creating content around the niche.

As an authority site owner, if you can become the most authoritative source of information on your niche…

…and, deliver that content in a way that sees your target audience turn into loyal followers who return time and time again…

…well, you've just about cracked it!

The History of Authority Sites

Authority sites!

Where did they even come from?

The truth is that they mostly evolved out of pretty crappy little micro-niche sites.

The kind of sites that were originally set up to make their owners as much dough as possible, for as little work as possible.

But that little ruse came to an end because Google got wise to it and built better algorithms to weed out this dross.

So most owners of these crappy little sites, that offered almost no value to anyone, packed up and went in search of other ways to scam people.

But not everyone.

Some site owners saw the light and got onboard with turning their sites into great content hubs that provided real genuine value to internet users. 

And now, thankfully, people set out to build new sites with the intention of them becoming value-adding authority sites…

…with never a thought of trying to get away with creating thin useless content.

It's a good thing for everyone. Site owners and internet users alike.

It's just a shame that Google has gone too far the other way now, preferring to offer up content from massive sites, simply because it's on a massive site…

…not because it's any good!

How Many Pages Or Posts Are Needed For An Authority Website?

Fifty pages?

One hundred pages?

A thousand?

Truth is, that there really is no definitive answer.

It just depends on way too many variables.

What is the niche? How broad is it? How technical is it?…etc.

Is a site with ten, five thousand word articles, better than a site with fifty, one thousand word articles?

It depends.

Some people seem convinced that for a site to be considered an authority site, it has to have some minimum number of pages.

But that's not the case.

Just concentrate on creating great, useful content, that you put across in your own voice.

How to Start an Authority Website

There are a few steps to getting an authority site up and running.

But I would say that the four below are far-and-away the most important ones.

#1. Find Your Niche

The most important step in getting a successful authority site off the ground is the very first one…

…finding your niche!

There is a lot to selecting a good niche to move into:

You should know about it, or at the very least be interested in it enough that you will learn about it;

There should be a level of competition already in the niche…not too much…not too little;

There should be plenty of niche related keywords that you can go after;

There should be opportunities to monetise (related products, courses etc.).

Those are your starters.

Do not cut corners when choosing your niche.

Time spent here will pay you back further down the road.

#2. Create Compelling Content

Once you’ve got your niche nailed down to the floor, it's time to figure out exactly who your target market is, and what kind of content they're looking for.

Get into the world of your target market.

Research competitor sites heavily.

Really try to figure out what is going through someone's mind when they are searching around your niche.

Once you have get some primary keywords selected, around which you are going to write your first content…

…get into researching your content so that what you produce is right up there with the best.

Do not even think of outsourcing content production at this stage.

Don't even think about it until you've got at least ten to twenty well written (by you) pieces of content on your site.

#3. Attract Organic Traffic

Here is where you are probably going to have to learn some SEO skills.

Because you want your outstanding content to get found by your target audience, or else it's all been for nothing.

And we all know that unless your content makes it onto the first page of Google, it might as well not be anywhere at all.

Sad but true!

But once your content does make it onto the first page of Google, you should be getting a fair amount of organic traffic.

You definitely don't want to go down the paid-traffic route. That's a recipe for disaster when you're starting out.

Take my word for it. I've been thoroughly rinsed running PPC campaigns before I really knew what I was doing.

#4. Monetise

Maybe you want to run an authority site for the pure love of it and your fellow man!

Which is extremely commendable, and makes you very noble.

But most of us want to earn an income from it.

And why not?

You're putting your time and effort into producing helpful, useful value-added content…

…why shouldn't you make some money out of it? 

All of which leads us on to this question…

How Does An Authority Site Make Money?

Authority sites can make money a whole bunch of different ways.

Here are a few of the most common monetisation strategies:

  • Selling affiliate products to earn affiliate commissions.
  • Selling your own products.
  • Running advertisements for ad-networks.
  • Direct-placement ads.

These four are by no means exhaustive, but they are the most popular methods.

How To Maximise Your Chances Of Authority Site Success

Quite frankly, the way you massively increase your chances of authority site success, is to buy into a great authority site building course.

The problem is that every man and his dog are on the internet trying to sell you some totally gash course.

But that's not to say there aren't some absolute gems out there as well.

Of course there are! 

See if either of these thoroughly battle-tested, proven courses look like they could be a good fit for you.

They will show you:

  • How to select a great profitable niche;
  • How to set your site up so Google can find it, crawl it, and rank it;
  • The steps to producing winning content;
  • How to monetise;
  • How to establish your site for long-term success. 

Wrapping It Up!

Well that was. quick read wasn't it?

I hope you enjoyed those few minutes.

And I hope you have got something from the article.

Feel free to contact me through the comments section below if you have something on your mind. 

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