How to find the authority sites in your niche

Getting links is easy, but only if you don’t care where they come from. Unfortunately, most of the time links that come from unreliable sources won’t help you. As a matter of fact, they can even decrease your rankings. So, if you ever thought about going for those cheap offers that seem to be too good to be true – don’t. Because they are. The reason why these don’t work is that they aren’t authority links. These are the ones that are tough to get and that you should stream towards. So, how to find the authority sites in your niche in the first place, and how to get a link from them is what we’re dealing with today.

What is an authority website?

To get a clearer understanding of why these kinds of websites are so important, you first have to know what they are. And to explain it in the best possible way we’ll start with destroying some of the myths that you may hear about them. So, they’re not always the top search in Google. They may not even be on the first page of the search. Some niches are more specific while some are spammier, so the results on the first page may not be usable at all.

Authority sites are something like the friends you know you can trust. They’re the places you go when you need reliable and well-grounded information. That of course, doesn’t mean that these sites are never on the first page of your search. Just make sure not to use the placement as a definitive way to identify an authority website.

People shaking hands through the laptop screen.
The easiest way to find the authority sites in your niche is to go with the websites you trust.

Additionally, it’s important to know that there are some tips to achieve higher authority of your domain so don’t judge everything you see by the first look. The best way to determine if the site is something you’re looking for is to follow it for a while. Check on it regularly and see if it’s evolving, growing, or stagnating. If it seems to have more quality content and more members every time you visit it, you’re probably in the right place.

How it was done in the past vs. how it’s done today

Now, we didn’t mention considering the top listing for authorities without a reason. Back in the day, that pretty much was everything there is to how to find the authority sites in your niche. However, then we started manipulating the web in every way imaginable.

In the past, you could easily tell which site was trustable just by looking at it and checking how it performs at low internet speed (like we had fast internet back then). Nowadays, however, the internet is flooded so there are frequent algorithm changes and updates that are there to combat overused techniques. As how things usually go with life, these sometimes accidentally push down decent quality sites on the search list.

So, even Google metrics aren’t the way to determine the site authority. And that’s where you should turn to social signals. Although these also can be manipulated, genuine social media user engagement always comes through. It’s not a difficult thing to check out and it can save lots of your time and money. So, if someone genuinely has 30,000 followers on Twitter, there shouldn’t be any posts that don’t have any comments on them. Also, make sure to check retweets. If they all come from generic spam accounts you can easily forget about the site you were considering.

Therefore, you do have to work more and dig deeper to determine these things in modern times and that’s just how things are. You can shorten the time of checking into socials simply by learning the difference between high quality and a poor quality backlink. If all the backlinks on the website are good, you probably are on the right path.

Analytics on the laptop screen
Even the analytics aren’t the right way to determine if the site is high-authority these days.

Major types of authority websites

We, at Link Department, have been exploring the internet and the way it behaves for quite some time now. And what we can tell you is that in today’s world, you have to use all possible methods to get to the information you are seeking. The same goes if you want to find the authority sites in your niche. Mainly, there are a few types of authority sites you may be interested in and those are:

  • Bloggers/Authors
  • Local sites
  • Industry websites
  • News

We’ll dedicate a little bit of space to how to recognize each and every of these.

Bloggers and Authors

People in the industry that creates lots of online content usually already know who their authority writers are. Visit a few conferences and you’ll quickly pick up who the true speakers are. However, not everyone has this kind of luxury.

Try using some social media tools and discover who are the people you should follow and engage with based on their influence levels. Definitely make sure to check who your influential followers are as well as who’s retweeting you the most. Usually, with quality social media comes the authority website.

Local sites

If you want to build traffic to landing pages in your local area, these are the ones you’re looking for. Think of your local Chamber of Commerce, education sites, local news sites, charities, etc. Think about which site you trust when it comes to sourcing information locally and go for it.

Social written on the phone screen.
Remember that social media is your most reliable indicator of authority.

Industry websites

Whichever industry you’re in, you already know a few websites that offer relevant information. The umbrella organizations, certification agencies, government bodies, anything works here. You can search for ”my industry” and check out what comes out, but be careful as you may run into lots of spam.

The trick here is to know that authority bloggers usually write about these companies, so if you see a familiar name it’s a win-win.

News

And the news is the final addition to how to find the authority sites in your niche. If you don’t know whom you should trust for online content from the start, it’s a good idea to search for keyword news. These will bring up all out typical sites like CNN, BBC, and the New York Times are, but you can find some new sites you didn’t know exist.

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