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Authority Websites

I thought I'd give a little air time to a theory that floats around from time to time.

Authority Websites

Search engines have become wiser and have put more scrutiny upon deciding page ranking and which websites are really important. Spending time on traditional on-page optimization and link building strategies will not get you that top ranking in Google. Don't get me wrong, you cannot stop doing these tasks, however, the marketing of your website will need to include a variety of other methods if you want to get top rankings. Search engines are looking for clean quality content to provide to their users and we will see the search engine market become more competitive.

Traditional search engine optimization will continue to be part of your efforts excepting for our methodology will change. You will continue to work on link exchanges, keywords, descriptions, titles, headlines, image alt descriptions, comments, and content. Now you will focus your keywords to be very specific and watch you density. Your descriptions will not be as long, but concentrate on more concise descriptions. You will want to watch your HTML coding to make the process easier for the search engine spiders. Try using fewer tables and consider Cascading Style Sheets. The link exchanges will have to be more specific to your industry and with websites that are authoritative in nature.

Authoritative websites is the direction to consider for 2006. Not only making your website an authority for your target market, but to exchange links with other websites that are authoritative for that same target market. What are authoritative websites to link with? Basically there are is a relatively small set of websites that can be trusted as authority, or expert websites. Government sites, university websites, well-recognized news sources, and recognized industry news sources are all examples of sites that can be considered as "“expert" websites. These sites, unlike the average website on the Internet, can be trusted to "link honestly".

Take the following example. I recently went to Google, MSN and Yahoo and searched on the term "internet marketing consultants" and the result on the first page for all three search engines were somewhat surprising. Instead of finding a page full of businesses that provide internet marketing services over 75% of the results were websites that were resources for internet marketing. A careful review of each of these websites revealed all of them to be content rich in their field of internet marketing. They did not provide any services other than information for others to use about internet marketing. For the purpose of this writing these results indicate (1) that making your site an authority for your field and industry is very important to achieve top ranking, and (2) you want to seek out these types of websites to create inbound links if possible and feasible. Otherwise engage a reciprocal link exchange.

Getting noticed by authority websites can be difficult, but with some creativity it can be done. If you make your business newsworthy, news outlets within your industry and without will pickup your news story and hopefully link over to your website. Traditional marketing and public relations requires you to make your company known as an authority within your industry. You should want your clients to know that you are the best source for whatever it is you sell, and that they should trust you. You gain this trust by being visible, not just through your website, but through the websites of other trusted sources such as news outlets. These types of marketing methods would include engaging in public relations, networking, attending trade shows, and talking to news sources both within your industry and outside of your industry.

Your website is a business. No different than a retail brick-and-mortar store you will spend as much time working your website as a regular any regular business. Do not believe that the comfort of your home or that you are working with computers and technology you are able to run your business any easier. The only thing that has changed is the venue, everything else is the same. You have to provide quality content, engage in activities that make your website known, and make your website the absolute best in your target market.

Melih Oztalay is the CEO of SmartFinds Internet Marketing. Internet marketing is not only about knowledge and experience, but also about imagination. Visit SmartFinds at

Most of this is unexceptional, but it does not properly acknowledge the rich variety of markets on the web and their different characteristics. Some like the consultancy areas are relatively cerebral and do generate the kind of authoritative sites referred to. In music for example there are a whloe series of authoritative sites on the life and works of specific composers - we know because we used them as part of the research for some of our pages. They are mostly pretty aloof from the hurly burly of commerce and I see no signs of them sharing links with download sites.

I would argue that we have set up authoritative pages on iPod and iTune use of standard MP3s because there was a gap in the market and this is the more common position in the music business with the vast bulk of the searches going on the most popular keywords to the sites with huge collections of material. We are still struggling to convert that into interest in our recordings.

We also seem to do pretty poorly in the article publication line - most of the articles we feature are about the business of running the site and attracting visitors rather than the music itself because we simply don't see that sort of material very often.

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