Google Topic Authority: Are We Back To Talking About E-A-T And Topic Clusters?

google topic authority

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Well… Google Topic Authority is not a new subject. Therefore, I’ll use this space to reinforce the importance of E-A-T and the tactics of Topic Clusters.

This is an old classification system which Google is talking about again, with a recent post on its official blog. Maybe because the market still didn’t know how to put it into practice or because that wasn’t the focus when I needed to talk about written content for the buyer persona or about the various algorithm updates.

So, I’ve put together a brief introduction to Google Topic Authority here and then we’ll talk a little more about how brands and SEO professionals can take advantage of this system.

What is Google Topic Authority?

As previously mentioned, this is a system already used by Google that seeks to address user needs when looking for information or a specific idea on a subject.

Shall we give an example different from those cited by Google? Imagine you’re a marketer looking for more information or expert opinion on HubSpot’s report, The State of Marketing 2023.

The algorithm is smart enough to understand who the authorities on the subject are to show good content options to its user. Searching for “The State of Marketing 2023 report” on Google, you will find the report itself in first place and then three pages of other options of reports and events, in case your intention was different.

In fifth place, serving your search intent, for example, is a Rock Content post with an expert opinion highlighting key insights from the report (by the way, congratulations on the good work, Erick).

This is because the Rock Content blog meets the requirements of Google Topic Authority.

According to Google, “the topic authority system looks at a variety of signals to understand a publication’s degree of expertise in specific areas. Some of the most prominent signs are” the following:

  1. How outstanding a source is for a topic or location
  2. Influence and original reports
  3. source reputation

Continue reading to understand how Rock Content “attacks” E-A-T and the first steps towards a Topic Clusters strategy.

E-A-T for Google Topic Authority

Now that we finally have a name for the topic authority system, perhaps the market will start to embrace E-A-T best practices.

E-A-T (which is now E-E-A-T, right?) is well described and clear in the Google Search fundamentals:

“E-E-A-T itself is not a specific ranking factor, but it is helpful to use a combination of factors that identifies content with appropriate E-E-A-T. For example, our systems give even more weight to content that aligns with an appropriate E-E-A-T on topics that could significantly affect people’s health, financial stability or security, or societal well-being. We call these themes “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL).”

And some of the methods Rock uses to put E-A-T into practice are:

  • Author: we use our experts to write, we make it clear to the reader who created the content and we even flag the author’s page so that the reader can check other texts and how much knowledge they have. Like this post, you can check the author at the beginning and end of the article and click on my name to check my other publications.
  • Trust: in addition to using reliable sources, we link to or cite the authors of these sources. Not to mention that all information published here is fact-checked by editors and passes through a plagiarism detector.
  • Motivation: if the reason for this article is not described in the introduction, throughout the text the reader will understand its usefulness and that this is not just another content to “stuff stuff”. Note that right off the bat I already warn you that this content is not about a new Google system, but rather a highlight of what Google is talking about.

The importance of Topic Clusters

While E-A-T is wide open in Google publications, the Topic Clusters tactic is not even mentioned by the company. After all, the search engine is interested in good and useful content, period.

But HubSpot has already tested and said a lot about how the strategy shows the Google bot that the brand understands the subject.

What works really well for Rock Content’s clients and blog is for us to focus our efforts on one subject on one page. And as the conversation spills over into other posts, linking to that pillar page reinforces its importance.

A Rock Content copywriting pillar page is an excellent example. Without a good link building strategy, with weak content and without authority in the content marketing market, we would not get the section “People Also Ask” for searches for the keyword “copywriting” (86% KD).

Become an expert on a topic!

Okay, shall we clean up the information in this post?

Although not exactly new, the Google Topic Authority now has a name and is essential for you to highlight your brand on the internet. This system is like a smart detective that identifies the best sources of information on a given topic and presents them to users.

E-A-T is an acronym that stands for expertise, authority and trust, essential features to gain your persona’s trust.

I hope that the way Rock Content produces content will also inspire SEO professionals to apply blogging practices, with expert authors, reliable sources and rigorous fact-checking.

Oh, and I can’t forget the Topic Clusters, a strategy that shows Google that you master a subject and brings useful information, concentrating efforts on a main page and creating links with related content.

Ultimately, understanding and applying these strategies is essential to stand out in search results and deliver amazing content.

Do you want to continue to be updated with Marketing best practices? I strongly suggest that you subscribe to The Beat, Rock Content’s interactive newsletter. We cover all the trends that matter in the Digital Marketing landscape. See you there!


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