How Important are Authority Links for Successful Content Marketing?

| October 2, 2021

Traditional, outbound marketing methods are slowly moving away to leave room for the more subtle solutions, such as Content Marketing. The advantage of this method is that it is less invasive, as the customers essentially discover the product or service on their own by consuming the content they are interested in. That is why businesses can benefit largely from this form of marketing, as it is a good way of attracting customers instead of driving them away. In this article, the role of authority links will be discussed and to what degree they play into a successful content marketing strategy.

The Connection between SEO and Successful Content Marketing

In order to do establish how relevant authority links are for creating a successful content marketing campaign, first, we need to define successful content marketing and explain its connection with SEO. When executed correctly, content marketing can help a business bloom. On the other hand, a poor content marketing job means that all the effort and investment was to no avail.

While there is no one-size-fits-all content marketing plan, there are certain strategies that can aid in achieving success. One of the strategies involves Search Engine Optimization (SEO), an important technique in the world ofessential technique in digital marketing. It aims to help the desired page rank as high as possible within the results pages of a search engine, most commonly Google or Bing. What determines that ranking highly depends on how the particular search engine’s algorithm is designed. The rest of this article will mainly focus on Google, due to it being the most popular search engine and the one that is most secretive about their algorithm.

One factor that can improve the ranking are backlinks, which are often described as “votes” which signal to Google that the content that is being linked to contains valuable information. However, not all of these votes count as equal. These links vary in the degree of authority, which, in theory, means that the higher the authority is, the more merit that vote carries.

What is an Authority Link?

An authority link can be defined in broad terms as a backlink that leads to an authority website. Such sites are those that were deemed as trustworthy by users, and subsequently Google. For a website to get the attribute of being authoritative, it needs to deliver quality content. According to Google’s Webmaster quality guidelines, a quality website is the one that does not use tricks to attract an audience and contains content that is not generic, but “unique, valuable, and engagingwhich makes it “stand out from others” in the same field. If this sounds vague to you – that’s because it is. While more detail can be found in Search Quality Rating Guidelines, under the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) section, the truth is, there are no set parameters that determine that a site is “an authority.”

The Correlation between Link Authority and Page Ranking

When it comes to authority links in content marketing, there are two ways they are can be employed:

  1. the website owner uses the authority link in their content,
  2. the owner’s website is used as a backlink by an authority website.

Linking to authority websites subsequently gives some authority to the page that is doing this. It signals to the audience that the information produced on the site may be trustworthy because it uses credible sources. Thus, if the content is of good quality, this will most likely lead to more backlinks, possibly from some authority sites as well.

While using authority links is doable most of the time, getting authority sites to link to your pages continuously is a much more significant challenge. Even though there are techniques that can improve your chances of scoring an authority backlink, usually, the pages that get the most authority links are the ones that have high authority themselves, which means that lower authority websites are less likely to earn them.

Research studies conducted by Moz and Bachlinko both showed a high correlation between authority and ranking. On the other hand, Google’s analyst, John Mueller, stated that Google “doesn’t evaluate a site’s authority.” Thus, getting a lot of authority links, while valuable, is not crucial for a page to get a high ranking.


The consensus is that while authority links can help a page gain more authority and credibility, they are not a determining factor when it comes to ranking high on the search results pages. Earning links from authority websites improves credibility. At the same time, being endorsed this way by a trusted website can directly lead to users being more likely to buy the offered service or product. Nevertheless, the importance of other links should not be undermined, as they can still immensely boost page ranking.