Google Authority Boost: Google’s Algorithm To Determine Which Site Is A Subject Authority

google-knowledge-mortar-board-graduationYesterday, we covered and summarized the ten future Google SEO changes coming to Google’s search results by the end of this summer. But today, I wanted to pull out one point where Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said Google is working on an algorithm to give authorities in a particular subject a ranking boost for being that authority.

Google has long done this within Google News, but this seems to be the first time it’s talking about trying to determine subject authorities within Web search.

The portion of the video of when Matt Cutts talks about authority boost starts at 4 minutes and 37 seconds into the video and ends at 5 minutes and 3 seconds. Here is the video followed by my best effort at transcribing that portion:

We have also been working on a lot of ways to help regular webmasters.

We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users.

For more on these upcoming changes, see our post from yesterday.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Features: Analysis | Google: SEO | Google: Web Search | Top News


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Roger Dooley

    Interesting. It seems like Wikipedia might suffer a bit, while authorities on a topic might gain.

  • Martin Oxby

    Unless you can be an authority on most things…a ‘general knowledge authority’ per se. The frustrating thing is that a site like Wikipedia is often a great result for a query due to the volume of (relatively) accurate information. Wikipedia is an authoritative site, whether we like to think of it as such or not.

    Be nice to see some individuals ranking over crowd-sourced info though.

  • Alan

    Author rank anyone? although he does cryptically say someone and then later says those sites. So is he talking author authority or site authority? I am pretty sure niche authority has been part of Google’s ranking system. Search for anything SEO and SEL turns up.

    Is this just a way of saying we are going to be giving brands even more power? Hope not.

  • Mike Grant

    Basically, screw the little guy.

  • Sammie Kiogora

    The user experience will be positively affected by the ranking system.

  • Lisa Agostoni

    A Firefox TShirt?

  • Faiz Alam

    Now the time to go with authority site with positive and clear result…..

  • FreePress India

    As Long as they have high priority for the Stupid Refresh Factor, it is difficult to get Quality Sites Rank Higher as Quality Content Seldom gets produced in Quantity.

  • Alan Smith

    Need to wait for few months and lets see how businesses will be effected

  • Kamal Kishore Pathik

    Exactly….Even panda is just a post caffeine solution to cover up the mess done by Refresh & Caffeine…

  • sleepd

    That’s pretty much what their SERPs show now.

  • RizzoMB

    My first question is how does Google do this with Google News?

    Will they (likely) use the same determiners for Google Search?

  • steve blackburn

    In my recent experience I noticed that linking your google plus account to your website/blog/youtube and using the rel=author when possible have made a big difference in search results for our website. Just hoping our competition doesn’t catch on! :)

  •ücahit-Güner/100003339168229 Mücahit Güner

    Woow.Beatiful article Seo

  • OneEyedJack

    Thanks Barry. My question is; if your site has a bunch of great unique content for a niche market and that content was scrapped and is now on hundreds of sites, how will Google determine authority? Would Rel_Publisher help to safeguard content going forward?

  • Joanna McDonald

    Question for the crowd: do you think an authoritative site (DA 80+) and known brand that’s under a keyword-specific manual penalty could still benefit from this? Or would Google say, you’re under manual penalty, so no soup for you?

  • credit_geeks

    Seems like this ‘could’ be positive for smaller webmasters as long as they meet the criteria of being an authority site, whatever that means

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