A Clear Definition of An Authority Site

Last Update: May 27, 2012
Based on some blog post and chat discussions in WA, I've noticed there are some thoughts on what exactly an authority site is and weather it is a reality of creating an authority site?

Well, let's start with my thoughts on what exactly an authority site is.
There are two types of authoritie sites:

1) Absolute Authority Sites
Sites like Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and Google’s blog would be considered Absolute Authority Sites.
These sites are also labeled "informational" authorities versus navigational authorities like DMOZ.

2) Relative Authority Sites
More geared toward internet businesses, you also have relative authority sites. These are sites run by bloggers or webmasters that are authorities in a niche. Basically Blog or Niche sites that are considered authorities in their markets.

So, Can you Really Build an Authority Site?
In my own opinion, any site has the ability to become an authority site.
Of course it takes work and a clear vision of what your site is all about. I have created a training resource to help you with this:

[Training] Authority Site Development Process

You may run into people who will doubt your vision and dream of building an authority site, but please don't let that stop your dream. Think about this..

Arianna Huffington started a small website in 2005 called Huffington Post and in 2011, she sold it to AOL for $315 Million Dollars.

Huffington Post was started by one person with a vision...

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Recent messages
sherbet penny Premium
Hi Jay, your timing is impeccable. I remember Brian Johnson talking about Authority sites last year when I was doing the Halloween Super Affiliate course and I should have taking that route then.

But, a couple of weeks ago, I have decided to move all the good content from my 20 something Halloween sites to one big site and incorporate recipes, news, and a how to section as-well as other related sections, and the timing of all your training will fit in perfect thank you.

I have way to many sites in to many non interesting niches I need to clear away (when I started here it was all about the mini sites, how quickly things change) and have decided to concentrate on 4 authority sites with my fitness site, my personal writing/literature site, my IM site and Halloween and that will be it and intend to soak in all your great wisdom before I leave WA.

Thanks Jay for all you do here.
Avecita Premium
Leave WA? Why would you leave? Aren't we here for life?
Carson Premium Plus
Great job on the explanation Jay. This was much needed as many people were starting to get a little confused about what exactly we're talking about when we're talking about building authority sites.

For the most part when we're talking "Authority Site" here in WA we're referring to what you've labelled as "Relative Authority Sites". These are sites where you become an authority in your particular niche. You may even be considered an "expert" in the topic purely based on the amount of quality and helpful content you offer to your audience.

Huffington post is a great example of an Absolute authority site that started out as a blog by one person. This is a rare case that it was bought out but it can definitely happen. Before Arianna Huffington was bought by AOL her authority site was making a lot of money from the traffic she was getting. She started small and worked her way up to being one of the best news sites out there!

For anyone wanting to work on an authority site, you can start small with your "niche" website. As you add helpful content to it your audience will naturally grow. Continue doing this over time and you will have 100's of pages that reach (and help) many people. Every site in my opinion has the potential to become an authority site.

Offering value and focusing on ONE website is the key.

I'd much rather see people with websites that are headed in the "Authority" site direction than see multiple mini-sites with only a handful of pages. These really offer little value to your visitors and are generally used to get ranked for specific keywords.

Thanks for the clarity Jay!
Sielke Premium
Jay, great post. Definitely something that was needed after your Wabinar to clearly layout what everyone was talking about in regards to an authority site. I like how you differentiated something that Google defined as authority vs. what we at WA define as authority.
jatdebeaune Premium
Excellent. Thank you.
BIS Premium
This is a comprehensive and useful resource which I have downloaded. Thanks