Authority Sites On The Rise By Nelson Tan (c) 2009 SiteProNews RSS Feed - Grab the SiteProNews RSS Feed As Web 2.0 becomes less of just a buzzword and more of a reality, the types of sites webmasters need to publish will increasingly become more important. In other words, mini-sites are slowly dying and cookie-cutter article sites are on the way out as well. Web surfers will become more value-focused and web companies will become larger. Over the next few years expect larger conglomerates to be buying up profitable websites in their chosen markets. Expect smaller sites to either be bought or driven out of business. My intention is not to scare you, but this outcome is inevitable. Large businesses have always taken two approaches to their desired markets. They either buy their competition or they push them out of business. You want to be prepared when this trend begins on the Internet. Improve Your Monthly Google AdSense.com Payment! Being a webmaster and online marketer, you should be preparing for one of two scenarios. To position yourself for a buyout to a larger company or to become the larger company that dominates your chosen market. Whichever route you choose is entirely up to you, but I would suggest that it would be in your best interest to begin focusing on authority sites. You can either start building them or turning your current sites into them. Whatever your approach may be, I assure you it will help you sleep better at night. What Is The Definition Of An Authority Site? A fairly comprehensible authority site definition was put forward by Jason Dowdell of Global Promoter. Jason defined it this way: "Authority sites are sites that have been linked to and referenced on other web sites covering the same subject matter and they also will have hundreds if not thousands of pages covering that subject matter and nearly every facet of it." That definition is one man's opinion, albeit a good one, but let us go directly to the source. Many search engine optimization and search engine marketing experts believe Google has derived their primary algorithm from a document titled, "Hilltop: A Search Engine based on Expert Documents". The PageRank formula as we know it today was derived from this paper, and the authors, Bharat and Mihaila, define an authority site in the text below: "We believe a page is an authority on the query topic if and only if some of the best experts on the query topic point to it. Of course in practice some expert pages may be experts on a broader or related topic. If so, only a subset of the hyperlinks on the expert page may be relevant." "In such cases the links being considered have to be carefully chosen to ensure that their qualifying text matches the query. By combining relevant out-links from many experts on the query topic we can find the pages that are most highly regarded by the community of pages related to the query topic. This is the basis of the high relevance that our algorithm delivers." LookSmart - Going the Extra Mile for Website Monetization! What we have reprinted above is the foundation of the PageRank system and the determination for deciding which sites will be authorities. I highly recommend you read and re-read the full document until you understand every aspect of it. What Are the Components of an Authority Site? Allow me to present you with a diagram (http://www.contentdesk.com/authoritymap) that dissects your typical authority site. As you can tell from the diagram, a considerable number of components and systems must be in place for the authority site to function profitably and reap the benefits of the "Authority Site Formula". The Authority Site Formula = Visitor Optimization (VO) + Content Optimization (CO) * Creative Marketing (CM) A simple question must be asked. What do 99.9% of authority sites provide? In a sentence, an incredible amount of original content and a superb visitor experience. The search engines want you to succeed and they want you to generate revenue, but you have to play by their rules. In the future, focus your efforts on visitor optimization and content optimization instead of search engine optimization. What Is The Anatomy Of An Authority Site? About.com is the definition and was the original authority site. Their site has a generic domain name and hundreds of subdomains on different topics. Your authority site should take the same approach, but not on such a general level. If you launch an authority site, it should be geared towards a well-defined and large market. After you launch the site and generate some traffic, you should create subdomains that cover specific areas inside that larger market. For example, Diabetic-Resources.Com is not an active site; but if it were, then a typical authority site setup would be something like: • http://supplies.diabetic-resources.com • http://diet.diabetic-resources.com • http://insurance.diabetic-resources.com • http://symptoms.diabetic-resources.com • http://treatment.diabetic-resources.com. Using this approach, you are able to target your general market while generating more targeted traffíc pertaining to related sub-markets. As a rule of thumb, the index pages on your domains and sub-domains should be more focused on content, but the article and commentary pages should be more focused on advertising. Just do not ever lose sight of the most important aspect of your site, which is visitor experience otherwise known as visitor optimization.