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Content and Links: The Building Blocks of Subject Matter “Expertness”

At the end of the day, the goal of SEO is to establish your website as an authoritative “subject matter expert” on the topics and keyphrases you want to target; at least in the eyes of the search engines.  To this end, I wanted to share an excellent analogy I heard to help crystalize this notion.

In the early days of the Internet, webpages were conceived of much like academic publications (such as dissertations or journal articles), with descriptive titles and abstracts, deeply informative body content, and references to other authoritative work on the subject.  Translated to a webpage, these correspond quite nicely to the <title>, meta description, <body>, and links to related content.  At a very fundamental level, sites and pages continue to be thought of in this fashion by search engines.

Using this analogy is helpful to understand how a website might be viewed by a search engine as an “expert” on the topic(s) it covers (and thus be rewarded with higher rankings).  Expressed in academic terms, subject matter “expertness” is derived from two basic elements: the size of the body of work on the topic (i.e. the number of pages your website contains dedicated to that topic), and the degree to which that body of work is cited by other relevant, authoritative sources (i.e. links from other high-quality webpages on the subject – both internal and external).

Pretty cool, huh?  Now get out there and act like an expert!  Start fueling your SEO campaign with some high-quality, link-worthy content!

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About Jeremy Lopatin

Jeremy was Director of Product Development and head of the SEO team at Pure Visibility until November 2013. You can find him on Google+, LinkedIn, and on Twitter as @jeremylopatin.

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