Build Credibility, Engagement, and Sales with Authority Hubs – Part 1

As a writer, author or business owner, you’re probably familiar with search engine optimization and keywords. Have you ever wondered why neither of those is very effective in the long term?

Aside from the fact that Google often changes its algorithms, the reason is because they’re coming from a mostly unknown source – you and your website. Think of it as like someone giving you a piece of information.

You’re more likely to listen to it if it’s from someone you know and trust rather than a random stranger. The information is the same; it’s just the source that’s different. One is known and trusted. The other is unknown and therefore untested. It works the same online.

What are Authority Hubs?

There are specific sites Google seems to know and trust – partially because they own some of them. These are sites it’s determined more people go to for information, which makes them more trustworthy. As a result, they get ranked higher. I call these authority hubs.

You’re probably familiar with most of the main ones, although some you may not know:

  • Amazon (including your author page)
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • SlideShare
  • YouTube
  • Wikipedia
  • Huffington Post
  • Hub Spot
  • Google +
  • WordPress
  • E-zine Articles
  • Forbes.com
  • News sites
  • Scientific Journal sites
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
  • iTunes (apps, books or podcast)
  • Any websites you frequently visit

It’s important to note this doesn’t mean the information listed on authority hubs is always correct – just that it’s somewhere people go to find it.

Once you know how to use authority hubs, you don’t need to rely so much on traffic strategies like AdWords, because your listings will start to rank higher organically – especially if used in conjunction with relevant keywords.

This is how you increase your engagement, exposure and visibility, which will have a flow-on effect to your website traffic and product sales.

Run Your Own Experiment

Don’t take my word for it though. Test it out for yourself. Google your name, area of expertise, or a book topic/genre and see what comes up.

 

You’ll notice the first few entries will be paid ads, and say ad next to them. I’ve found these ads can also appear at the bottom of some searches, depending on the popularity of what you’re searching for. The rest will be made up of:

  1. Sites from the above authority hub list.
  2. Sites other people may have found useful based on the keywords used, frequency visited, or number of clicks from the search results.
  3. Sites Google believes you trust based on the number of times you visit them.

Remember, Google tracks all the sites you visit and keywords you search for. It then uses this information to customize the ads and information you see in an attempt to make them more relevant to you. Facebook and Amazon also do this based on what you like, share, click on, or buy.

This means the information displayed is slightly different for each person and will change from time to time. If you want unbiased results you can either use a different computer that you haven’t done this search on, or clear your cache, search history, and cookies.

In part 2 we’ll look at different ways to use these authority hubs to increase trust, engagement, credibility, and sales for your book or business without spending a small fortune.

 

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