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What Makes a Link Authoritative?

Authority is one of the key factors that is used to rank your website in Google search results.

Google tries to offer users the best answers to their queries. As a result, they choose authoritative sites to rank high in the search results.

But what makes a link authoritative?

That is what this article aims to answer by taking a look at what an authoritative website needs to have.

Why is Authority Important?

How authoritative Google considers your website to be will affect how well you rank in search results. Google wants to offer reliable information to users, which implies that the more authoritative your site is, the more customers you will attract via organic search.

If Google does not feel that your link is authoritative.

You will find it hard to rank at the top of SERPs for your target keywords. This will affect your site’s ability to attract prospects to your business or brand.

Thus,

Your link’s authority has a huge impact on how you reach customers on the internet.

This means that your SEO strategy should be aimed at improving your reputation and making the search engines trust you.

How Google Determines a Link’s Authority

The process Google uses to determine a link’s authority is a long-standing debate.

Authority, in the context of search engines, entails how credible your site is online. This is not limited to Google picking and choosing a credible website.

According to Moz, 21% of the ranking algorithm of Google is determined by ‘link authority features,’ the number and quality of links to a domain, while 19% is determined by the number of links to a particular web page.

Features of an Authoritative Link

Here are features that help to determine that a link is authoritative:

The website must provide value

A site with an authoritative link must provide value.

When you are evaluating a website that you intend to secure a link from, it is crucial to ensure that the site offers value to its users.

Getting links from a site that is made for Adsense or an affiliate site will not give you the kind of value that you need.

Although it is still a link,

It could end up affecting your link as the algorithms of search engines change.

The website must have quality inbound links

An authoritative site must have quality inbound links.

Before you go after a site for links, ensure you take a look into the site’s backlink portfolio.

Although the site may have great domain authority but is the authority from paid links or other link-building tactics?

Don’t secure links from a site that will be badly affected by an algorithm update.

The site must have quality outbound links

In addition to the site’s inbound links, you also need to consider the outbound links.

If the site links to other websites, ensure that they are related to their site.

Be mindful of outbound links that point to low-quality sites. Getting involved with sites that have shady links can make you be penalized by Google.

The website must be healthy

The next feature of a site with an authoritative link is that the site is healthy. So if you want to secure links from a site that you believe is healthy, you need to consider:

  • The last time the site was crawled
  • The last piece of content that was published
  • Whether the site has an active blog
  • If the site is completely indexed in major search engines
  • If the site has a page rank

These factors need to be considered and analyzed to determine how healthy the site is.

The website must get traffic

This is one of the most important features of an authoritative link. Your aim should be to acquire links that will drive qualified and targeted traffic that will generate leads and sales.

To know if a site gets traffic, simply audit with a third-party tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush.

Users must engage with the content of the website

Users engage with the content of websites with authoritative links.

Such websites get comments on their blog posts. If real people are engaging with the content of the website that you want to acquire links from, there is a chance that the website is quality with quality content, and the link will thus be authoritative.

How to Improve a Link’s Authority

There is no shortcut to the process of making a link authoritative. It is not an overnight process and may take some months to achieve your desired results.

However,

Here are a few things that you can do to improve your link’s authority.

Acquire links from authoritative websites

Links are the most important factor for determining how authoritative a site is.

You can build links from quality sites in different ways.

There are different successful strategies that you can use to build useful links to your website. Although it does not happen overnight and it requires some work, authoritative link building also contributes to improving your link’s authority.

We have considered how you can determine authoritative links (or sites) in the previous section.

In addition to that, you can start by building relationships with leaders in your niche.

When reaching out to bloggers, news editors, and other influencers in your industry, you can propose to write unique articles or submit research or infographics.

If the influencers publish the content on their websites, they will link back to your site as the source, thereby boosting your link’s authority.

Offer great user experience

If your website is hard to navigate, it will be difficult for Google to consider it as being authoritative since it does not provide a good user experience.

Ensure you use a straightforward navigation bar and sitemap to assist users in getting around your site easily.

Also, your page load speed is important; it should be an important factor that you focus on in your website goals.

We live in a world where most of the requests of internet users are instantaneous. If it takes more than 2 seconds for your web pages to load, you need to improve the speed so that users don’t end up bouncing off your page.

Link to credible websites

Since you will not be able to explain every topic on your site in detail, it is crucial to link to other credible websites that your users can visit for more information.

Linking to a moderate number of links will direct your users to other useful resources that will help them.

However,

Do not stuff your page with too many links so that your copy will not be difficult to read.

Also,

Avoid linking to another website if you have a page internally on your site that you could link to. You should also avoid linking to the same web page twice on a single page.

Ensure you link to credible websites because the sites you link to will influence how authoritative your link will be.

What you are trying to say when you link to a page is that the page has some great content on the content you are sharing. If you link to a site with low authority, you may be penalized by Google since you are also vouching for such a site.

Drive traffic and establish your brand through social media

Just like many marketers, you probably think that the more pages on your site that are shared on social media, the more Google would consider your link as being authoritative.

However, this is not the case.

According to Matt Cutts, a member of Google’s web spam team, social media is not used as a ranking factor mainly because there is no way Google can crawl all tweets or Facebook posts.

Relying on this incomplete data can harm rankings, and Google does not want this.

This implies that social media is not a key factor in making your link authoritative.

However,

It can help you attain your other authority-related targets.

Social media can be used to build relationships with leaders in your industry. You can later use the relationships to build links that will have a direct impact on your link’s authority.

Also, social media is a great platform to boost brand awareness and credibility.

By connecting with leaders in your industry and promoting your brand, you will be able to attract high authority websites to link to your website.

How Long Does it Take to Improve Your Link’s Authority?

As stated earlier, it is not possible to increase your link’s authority overnight. After considering the criteria stated earlier, you can have an idea of how long it takes to boost a link’s authority.

It can take time to build relationships with leaders in your industry, especially if it is the type of valuable relationship that will earn you links from their websites.

Also, it takes time for you to create valuable and accurate content that others will want to link to.

High authority websites do not give out links without carefully thinking about it and considering who they are handing the links to. So be prepared to spend a good amount of time getting in touch with editors and bloggers before you find the ones that will be willing to link to your website.