An authority website is a site that is seen by both people and search engines as being an authority in its niche.
Having an authority website is a wonderful thing. People who write posts about your niche will link to you. Search engines will prefer your site over others. You can link from your authority website to other sites you own, giving them an instant boost in popularity.
The normal progression for a website is to start in relative obscurity, build up a terrific base of quality content, use great SEO tactics to rank highly in search engines, and over time to accumulate the reputation needed to be considered an authority website.
What if we could shortcut the time needed, and just start out with an authority website?
I’ll describe how in a moment, but first I’d like to analyze exactly what makes a site an authority. We have two audiences we’re looking to impress: people, and search engines.
People are impressed by the perception of quality content. Your content doesn’t have to be all that good, really, as long as it’s professionally presented and doesn’t have much in the way of spelling and grammar mistakes. And there should be a lot of content.
People are also impressed by sites that have been around for a while. The longevity of a site automatically adds to the perception of authority.
People will naturally link to sites that provide a perception of authority.
Search engines also like sites with a lot of regularly updated content. But backlinks are the key to search engines considering you to be an authority site. After all, if everyone is linking to your site as a reference, then it must be an authority.
So, the main steps to creating an authority website from scratch:
1) Write a lot of content before you launch your site. Do not launch it with a placeholder page and fill in content as you go.
2) Create the illusion of longevity by back dating your posts if you’re creating a blog, or your “what’s new” items if you’re creating a website. Make the casual visitor feel that they’ve stumbled onto a site that has been around for a while.
3) Promote your site in the usual ways
4) Keep your content updated and current. Strive for actually being an authority in your niche.
By creating the perception of authority from the start, you’re on your way to creating the reality of authority.
The benefits of this would be the ability to give powerful link love to other sites you own, and the eventual traffic that will come to the authority site.
Note that I haven’t used this technique yet, and would be interested to hear from anyone who does.