If you are a newbie in the SEO world, you may think authority websites are the top-ranked sites in a search engine or always found on the first page. But depending on the latest algorithm metric changes and time of the day, they do not appear on the first page often. Do not confuse authority sites with any website you find at the top result in Google. Some sites may be at the top but are junkier niche or trashy content.

Authority sites are like a trustworthy person you are looking for to give you something. You might get lucky at times with your search and the first results to be of authority websites. But you should never use placement to define the authority of a website. You will end up frustrated, especially if SERPs have a lot of volatility.

There are several places to locate websites to find their authority score and know whether they are authority websites. They include MozBar, Open Site Explorer, and Keyword Explorer. The total score of an authority website is 100; by placing your website on either MozBar or Keyword Explorer, you will find its authority on a scale of 100.

It is impossible to tell what element Google uses to rank top sites in the search results. But what is certain is the ultimate results will always have the best and high-quality content. Here are other ways to determine if a website is an authority site:

Engaging content

One of the first things that determine the authority of a website is content. The content you offer your readers needs to be engaging. It is not rocket science, but it is the rule of writing that you should not publish an article that you cannot read yourself happily. The content should also focus on your target audience. Authority site content is not about anything, but one chooses a specific niche they have an interest in and inspires them.

The content should also be detailed. Whatever niche you are basing your content, it should be easy to read, not wordy. The format should be well, and in case you have to use images, they need to be of high quality to give your readers pleasure to consume your content.

If the content has high engagements and shares, then that is a good sign. It means your content is relevant. The health of your content is essential. Check it paramount, ensure it is active and make sure you publish content often.

Site Quality Inbound Links

Inbound links of authority websites are not payable. Check your website backlink profile to know the types of links it got. If the backlinks are from paid links, they can be affected during a Google algorithm update.

Website Traffic

A website with high traffic is termed an authority website. Check your blog analytics and sociability levels to have an idea of its traffic quality.

Website Outbound Links

You can also check the authority of your website with its outbound links. The website should have an external link related to its niche. The website should not link to other niches. For instance, if your niche is food, you should not have links that promote pills or sports. Associating your website with different websites will make Google think you are junky and open up possible penalties.

Value Factors

The value factors of a website are essential to know whether it provides value to its visitors. If a website is for affiliate marketing or AdSense, it does not offer its users real value. For a website to be an authority site, it has to provide some value to its visitors. It needs to be educating, informing, and entertaining to engage the visitors.

Type of Publication

While checking outbound links of a website are the leading metrics of knowing if it is authoritative, you should also examine its size and publication type. Authority sites tend to have great website publishers like CNN, TIMES, or Huffington Post. They also create better results for your content marketing as they have a wider reach.