What Is SEO: Relevance And Authority Optimization – Tony Nguyen

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On November 5, 2012
Last modified:November 26, 2012


What-is-SEO?What Is SEO?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Art is beauty, of which the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
SEO is the art of thinking like search engine bots thinking like human beings.
Also, SEO is art, and it’s in the eye of the beholder.
However, in fact, Google is the only eye that’s beholding SEO.

So, how communistic of them.
 The rest of us look like amateur pedants with our tutorials, analyses, case studies, and predictions.
In fact, when it comes down to what is SEO, all we are left with is to keep up and react.
In order to build traffic sources, search engine traffic is one of the most coveted, yet the hardest.
And, it’s naturally that the less obtainable it is, the more we want it.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Hitting Google is definitely in vogue, especially when we get caught doing something we should’ve been doing.
Such as buying links or littering the web with poorly spun content.
Or, inundating other blogs with spam trackbacks in order to get links back.
Then, when Google shuts our web down, we readily take arms against it. (You can check out common causes and solutions of drop-in Google pagerank)
But let me tell you that Google is not to blame.
The main objective of Google is to cater to its consumers, shareholders, and bottom line.
Google is a business, and obviously they are in business to make money.
Can we blame Google for it?
Even though, we can continue to make fun of Google and SEO throughout this post, but keep in mind that our ultimate goals are the same:
• Our goal is to craft the most relevant, comprehensive, up-to-date content that we can.
• Google’s goal is to serve their searchers with the most relevant, up-to-date, and comprehensive content as they can.
Let’s see how we can help both sides to live happily ever after in perfect harmony.
Forget about On-page optimization and Off-page optimization.
Let’s start with relevance optimization and authority optimization.

What Relevance Optimization Is

It is a full-time task to get to the top 5 organic search results and maintain the position for competitive keywords.
Google’s bots are more and more sophisticated at discerning intentions of the searchers and serving them the most relevant results.
So, what exactly Google defines as “relevant results”? Here’s an insight into this:
Ranking above the fold requires more than just links. It acquires search engine relevance and requiring a high relevance optimization score. This score is tabulated when a search is conducted and ultimately assesses your on-page factors, your content, the keywords, the site and pages link popularity, user’s engagement and also the competition for related phrases to come to a conclusion.
The higher your on-page relevance scores, the higher your site is positioned across a number of related queries. Search engine relevance starts with impeccable on-page factors (includes writing great content), which shapes the aggregate theme of your pages synonymy or the conclusion of topics presented on your pages and your website.


In general, Google tries to find pages that are both reputable and relevant as a rule.
If two pages appear to have the same amount of information that match a given query, we’ll usually try to pick the page that more trusted sites have chosen to link to.
Let’s take an example, a web page dedicated entirely to the civil war might be often more useful than an article that mentions the civil war in passing, even if the article is part of a reputable site.
If your website has nothing but reprinted articles, search engines might list your site as a follower or secondary source. That shows search engines that your site is not a good place to direct people at the top of SERPs. So, why would they and what have you done for them lately?
Excerpt from How Google Works: Reasons for Crappy Website Rank Higher Than Mine?
Anyway, relevance optimization is not a new concept by any means.

Then, take a look at these sources that just about sum up what SEO was, what SEO is, and most likely, will be:
• LinkMoses Linking Commandments – by Eric Ward, EricWard.com, originally published in 2003
• Quality Score, Relevance Score and Search Engine Optimization – by Jeffrey Smith, SEODesignSolutions.com, 2008
• Contrarian Perspectives On Link Building – by Eric Ward, SearchEngineLand.com, 2011
• How search engine optimization works – by Michael Martinez, SEO-Theory.com, 2006
Moreover, search relevance is a moving target. This means what is hot and ranks in the top 10 search results today and what is hot next month could shift at any time.
However, if other signals suggest that a page is relevant, we still often elevate the page with fewer links or lower PageRank.

 Be More Relevant

1. Focus on website theme to target a specific niche

In other words, don’t target “travel”, “finances”, or “internet marketing” as your hot niche, but narrow it down to: “Asian’s Hot Spots”, or “Smart Living on a Small Budget”, or “How to Write the Best Content on Earth”.
Don’t dilute your theme by adding another unrelated topic just because you are passionate about it.
Can you believe that I’ve seen sites combining “cooking” and “dating”.
The key is that do not stray too far off topic from the core theme of your site.

2. Link to and from relevant sources

Do you want to be regarded as a relevant authority source? Then, you need to associate your site with other relevant sites on the subject.
With Incoming links:
You can’t control who links to you and how relevant those are to your niche. When you do have control (like guest posting), make sure to pick the right sites.
Outgoing links:
Here, you do have full control, so keep in mind that you link out to the relevant authority sites.

3. Internal linking

Support your relevancy by internal deep linking your own posts.


What Authority Optimization Is

Which is the website you always think of when you need an answer to a specific need?
Do you go to Google every time you need to find something?
Do you go to Amazon if you need to buy something?
Do you go to Twitter or Facebook when you just have to let the entire world know what you had for lunch? (Check out if you would like to know how Facebook and Twitter affect SEO)
Do you come to Business Review Center when you search for an informative review or have any question related to business? That’s my goal, sure.
The more authority your website gains, the easier it would be to acquire and maintain search engine rankings for competitive keywords.
All in all, the ultimate goal of SEO should be to build authority. If your new on-page optimization is building relevance, then building authority is your new off-page optimization.

How to Build Authority

Writing epic content is the first crucial step to build online authority, and is such a huge understatement.
Epic content is what gets clicks, gets shared and quoted, and gets links.

If you’re trying to build your online authority, like most smart marketers, these are more than ten ways you can use content to get the job done.

1. Create and Optimize for Informational SEO Keywords

One of the great ways to gain authority status is teaching someone how to do something. Then, when your advice works, you can also find that you start getting repeat visitors. If you optimize for long-tail, informational and relevant seo keyword phrases,  you can also gain prominent placement in search engines to help solidify your authoritative status.

2. Create Niche Content

If you don’t have a huge content creation staff with a wide range of subject matter expertise, then focus your content creation efforts on a few topics about which you have much knowledge in. It’s better to take a deep dive into a small handful of topics than speak generally about everything under the sun. Your audience may be small, but they may reap far more benefits from your content if you take this route rightly. Once you have built a firm foundation with your content, you can extend the subjects you’d like to cover as your audience grows.

3. Write About Timely Updates

An authority stays up to date on what happens in their industry and is someone that people can turn to learn the latest information. Consider yourself as a journalist; research primary sources, update the important changes taking place in your industry, and show your audience what news and changes mean for them. By filtering out the junk and reporting the news that matters for your audience, you become the trusted source which your audience flocks when they need to learn about critical information. And keep in mind that search engines favor the online content creators, who report on timely information first.

4. Use Palatable Language

The smartest content creators don’t care about sounding smart, but all about clarity. Sometimes, people think authority is achieved by using confusing language, but often, it comes off as business babble or, even just makes no sense. Keep in mind that authorities are resources, so that your usefulness might be short-lived if readers don’t understand you.

5. Long-Form Content

Bring the audiences the opportunity to read more advanced content like ebooks, how-to guides, whitepapers, and use cases. These all let themselves more in-depth analyses than a blog post or a social media update. Furthermore, in-depth analysis gives you a greater opportunity to establish your thought leadership position. In addition, this downloadable content format not only helps you generate more leads, but also is shareable easily on social networks, helping you extend your reach.

(Check out my free SEO e-book at the bottom of this webpage, if you are interested)


6. Publish Case Studies

Let the audiences do some of the work for you. Publish case studies explain how your company helped solve a specific problem. Use stories, data, and concrete results to speak to the problems your audience faces.

7. Being a Guest Blog Contributor

Contributting as a guest blogger to other blogs brings many opportunities for solidifying your status as an online authority. You can expand your reach, and align yourself with other influential industry thought leaders. You can also expose yourself to new audiences that may not know about you. Moreover, you can generate inbound links to your site, giving your website more online authority. One more thing, as a content creator, you know how great it is to have a little relief from other thoughtful writers out there. (If you would like to be a guest blogger with our blog site, you can check out to know more about guidelines and suggestions for guest posts)

8. Generate Inbound Links

Inbound links are a crucial part to establish the online authority of your site. The more inbound links to your website from other authoritative sites, the more search engines consider your site an authority. If other great content creators think you’re writing content that’s so awesome they just have to link to it, search engines might consider your content some of the best to deliver to the SERPs.

9. Host Webinars

Put a real, live voice together with your content by hosting a webinar. Not everyone grasps content in the same way. For those who prefer audio learning to text learning, it’s a great way to present your expertise and can also get leads. Or, consider hosting a Twitter Chat instead, if you’re not comfortable with live presentations. Behind the safety of your computer screen, they let you have real-time conversations with audiences in a new format.

10. Stay Active in Social Media

People are alerted to your content in many ways, such as visitting your website, subscribing to your email updates and RSS feeds, being in your lead nurturing campaigns, or finding you in social media. It’s crucial for you to stay active in social media, share the content you create on the social media networks your audience frequents, and engage in discussions around important topics in the industry. (Checking out to subscribe sign-up newsletter with us, and get email updates.)

11. Be a Credible Resource

You may be a marketer by trade, but keep in mind that never stop thinking of yourself as a journalist. When researching content, you should filter out the junk your audiences don’t need to know or don’t care about. And, remember not to make back alley deals with other brands to promote products and services that are unhelpful. Just focus on providing the best information for your audience, and keeping your business on the up and up.


 After you get the epic content part down, the rest is easy just to promote and promote.
Read below, if you don’t know how to promote your epic content:
• How to Create a Popular Blog From Scratch
• 202 Bite-Sized Tips To Increase Your Blog Traffic
• 101 Ways to Promote a New Blog – DailyBlogTips.com
• How to Promote Your Blog With Social Media– SocialMediaExaminer.com
• 13 Ways to Promote Your Next Blog Post– Problogger.net
(Especially, the 3 blogs above are excellent examples for building the kind of authority that gets you nearly de facto rankings in the blogging niche.)

So What Is SEO?

The acronym of SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, but the definition of SEO is a more difficult question.
The problem is that I see references to outdated definitions of SEO on a regular basis.
 Now, if things above don’t make any sense to you, let’s see if Wikipedia can have a better explaining for what SEO is:
Search engine optimization (or also SEO) is the process of improving the visibility of a website/ webpage in a search engine’s natural, or un-paid (organic or algorithmic) search results.
Then, the earlier or higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently your site appears in the search results list, the more visitors your site might receive from the search engine’s users.
And there what you have.
Building your relevance optimization and authority optimization, giving Google what Google wants, then actually showing up in the search results might be the icing on the cake.
If you want to understand deeper into the “how” of it, may I suggest you simply get my free SEO e-book The Ultimate Guide to SEO for Affiliates.

SEO Marketing Takeaway

In every niche, there’s one site that inevitably pops up in hundreds of niche-related searches.
Obviously, it always makes you wonder how they were able to pull it off.
Simply, chances are they started writing epic content before others realized this wondrous and imaginative way to achieve relevance, authority, and also high rankings existed.
The takeaway to ranking higher in search engines is simple: Just write your epic content, build relevance and authority in your niche, and give it time. 

About Tony Nguyen

Tony Nguyen is the founder of Business Review Center. Since 2011, he has managed a team that has collected customer feedback and complaints on digital products, then tested products, and written product reviews. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, at Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

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