What’s the difference between an expert and an authority?

If we’re talking semantics, we could consult the Oxford English Dictionary. But we’re not.

Sod the OED, we want the real answers and for that, we need to consult our multinational conglomerate overlords, Google (you might have heard of them.)

A Hilltop: Just a nicer picture than an algorithm

A Hilltop: Just a nicer picture than an algorithm

In 2003, Google introduced an algorithm update called Hilltop, an algorithm which still has a detrimental effect on SEO, an algorithm which can get people’s delicious eyes all over your blog.

Hilltop assesses each of your posts to ascertain whether it has relevant information on a given topic. Is what you’re posting a helpful source of information for the reader? Do you know what you’re on about?

As far as we know, Google can’t read so it makes this assessment based on links, both in and out. And blog posts with strong links out are defined and ‘expert’ in the eyes of Google.google-76522_640

A Google search will look for a page on a topic with links out to many non-affiliated sites. By assessing the hyperlinks on a blog, our masters can ascertain the value of your post.

They/it can see which site is going to be most useful for the person searching. The better the links out, the more of an expert you’re considered.

When writing a post, think of the page you’re writing as a hub of information. The phrase we like is ‘hubadised.’ Is your content hubadised?

Put yourself in the shoes of your reader, hell put their trousers on as well. Read your article and really think about what information would be helpful and link out.

Don’t just talk about funding, as an example – link to sites, link to the application pages, provide as much information and relevant linkage as possible.

Things to check when linking out:

  • Is the page relevant to the article?
  • Is the link out to a high ranking page? For the science behind page rank, look here.
  • Does the URL feature keywords relevant to your piece?
  • Does the article you’re linking to have appropriate headlines and sub-headings?

So, what’s the difference between an expert and an authority?

An expert page has strong links out to well ranked, relevant pages. An authority page has links coming in: a post or page which has been referenced by numerous other pages.

To establish yourself as an authority takes a huge amount of time and resource. To make yourself an expert takes just a few good links.

Now go forth and hubadise.


Photo Credit:

Hilltop: © Copyright Marion Dutcher and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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I’m the Head of Content for Future Content and the man in charge of words. As a former journalist for a number of publications, from Chat to MailOnline to that’s Shanghai, I have a wealth of editorial experience and a way of making words do good.