Themes in Content: Hub And Authority Sites

It is almost universally agreed by search engine optimization (SEO) professionals that Google and probably the other search engines are using themeing to evaluate the relevance of incoming and outgoing links. Many also agree that themeing is used to measure the relevance of both on and off page content as part of the search algorithm. The question for most SEO experts is to what degree that themeing is indeed being employed by the search engines.

Themes are thought to be used by the search engines to determine search engine rankings. With that in mind, website owners should be conscious of maintaining the theme relevance on their sites. With the rise of hub sites and authority sites to prominence in Google, the need to maintain relevance of theme became much more important.

In order to properly evaluate hub and authority sites, both on page and off page content factors have become much more important than ever before. Incoming links gain more value if they arrive from similarly themed web pages. Sending pages containing entirely irrelevant content will be awarded less weight.

The methods used in the search algorithms to determine relevance of theme are not publicly known, but the implications of the theme basis in the algorithms are obvious in the search results.

More than ever before, search engines are developing techniques to determine the themes and topics of websites, and their individual pages. Failure of a webmaster to pay attention to the changes will cause the site in question to drop far down in the search results.

Web pages that are relevant to the search are what a web searcher wants displayed in any search engine results. The search engine algorithm designers understand that desire on the part of their users. Failure to provide good search results will send users to another search engine. The search engines take themes and relevance seriously. So should you.

If you want to turn your site into the very important hub and authority sites, attention to page and site wide themes is a must.

{mospagebreak title=Why Themes Hit the High Notes}

As search engine algorithms are modified and changed, for better or worse, the requirements for achieving high rankings are altered. While that is a given, in the minds of most SEO professionals, the subtle differences in the algorithm can mean major changes in the search placements.

One of those rather innocuous sounding algorithm alterations involves content themes. In fact, it’s not a small change, and it can definitely cause some tectonic plate level shifts in the rankings, for your most important keywords.

Avoiding an earthquake type disaster swallowing up your non-themed content is essential for any website owner. Fortunately, an understanding of what makes the Earth move can go far in preventing your site from falling into a bottomless pit.

Two important developments in the Google algorithm signalled the arrival of theme-based calculations. One is the propelling to the top of the rankings of authority sites, along with their cousin, the hub site. The other major change was in the addition of Topic Sensitive PageRank (TSPR) to the Google PageRank tabulation.

Hub sites and authority sites are the very definition of strongly themed content. Google ranks both types of sites very highly, as they are considered by the search engine giant, as the most important for their respective themes. In fact, hub and authority sites are perhaps the best evidence that topics and themes are taken very seriously in search algorithms.

An authority site for any keyword theme is considered by Google to be especially important for that keyword or keyword phrase. A hub site has multiple incoming and outgoing links, to similarly themed websites and web pages. The common denominator, with both classifications of sites, is their heavily concentrated theme based content. That themed content can be both on and off site.

While authority and hub sites are largely a Google creation, the same sites tend to also rank highly in Yahoo! and MSN Search, making the phenomenon of themeing sites and pages valuable for all search engines.

Topic Sensitive PageRank is also part of the trend towards themes. PageRank is Google’s numerical measurement of the importance of a web page on the Internet. That measure is a tabulation of the number and quality of incoming links to a web page. In the past, all incoming links were apparently weighted in the same manner, regardless of relevance to the receiving page. Over time, that has changed drastically.

While all web pages still transfer PageRank, in accordance to the original formula, those pages sharing a similar theme pass along more RageRank. In essence, pages sharing a common theme, share Topic Sensitive PageRank. That common themed page passes along PageRank at a higher level than non-themed page.

{mospagebreak title=Making the Themes Play Beautiful Music for You}

By understanding the importance of theme based content to your website, you can make its principles work for you in the search rankings. The place for any website owner to begin the examination of site themes is taking an overall view of the site’s subject matter.

Looking closely at the topics under discussion at the site is the first step. Start by determining what areas of business and information are the site’s principle subjects. For most business websites, the main theme area is the company and its products and services. Often, sites will provide additional information on related topics, as a service for visitor traffic. Those subjects are also themes for the site.

A large site might have many interlocking, and mutually supporting themes and topics. By means of adding more relevant web pages and links to the site, the important authority site status can be achieved. Note that the many topics and themes are related to one another in some way.

For example, a section on flowers, one on local churches and other houses of worship, and one on limousines, would collectively add relevant theme support to a wedding site. Links to and from other sites, covering the same topics would also add theme related value to the site.

When adding incoming links from theme related websites, be sure to ask for keyword rich link anchor text. Link anchor text is the wording that appears on a clickable link to another website. Anchor text is one of the most important components of the search algorithms and easily the most important off site content consideration.

Often, the sending web page will only use the business name, but many will use your requested keywords instead. Don’t hesitate to ask for it. You can even offer to supply the copy and paste html script. You might be pleasantly surprised with some powerful keyword anchor text that will provide a powerful boost in the search rankings.

Along with the upward bounce in the search rankings, a relevant web page will pass your site some extra Google PageRank. That extra influx of PageRank will score well, as part of the Topic Sensitive PageRank alterations to the Google PageRank formula.

The new calculation method makes theme related links even more valuable than ever before. Along with the link popularity boost in all of the search algorithms, Google provides an additional jolt to the site’s rankings with the PageRank portion of its algorithm.

{mospagebreak title=Towards the Sweet Sounds of Authority and Hub Sites}

For many website owners, the ultimate goal is to develop a hub or authority site. Some webmasters hope to achieve both levels. The importance of the hubs and authorities is based on themes. Because of that dependence upon a site wide theme relationship, it’s important for your site to concentrate on its themes.

While a site can be an authority for many different themes, the common link is the fact that the website owner created that theme orientation in the first place. It’s entirely possible for many sites to move to the exalted status of hub or authority. It will take some work on the part of the webmaster though.

Hub sites tend to be larger sites with many pages. Most, if not all, authority sites are large sites, often encompassing thousands of pages, and sporting thousands of incoming links. Well, no one said it was going to be an easy job. Constantly adding theme related and keyword rich content will start a site on the right road.

As more fresh keyword laden content is added, then more incoming links will be pointed toward the information provided on the various new and enhanced web pages. More links mean better search engine rankings, as does the additional fresh content. The additional incoming links will pass along more Google PageRank to the receiving pages in particular, and indirectly to the site itself in general. There are many incremental benefits accruing to the site, even as they work their way toward hub and authority status.

To develop theme-based sites worthy of authority or hub status, the place to begin is with the most important keywords and keyword phrases for the site. Domination in those search terms results in authority status for those themes, following an increase in links to the site and total number of content pages.

By continually adding more keywords phrase pages and by proper site map navigation and internal linkage, the first important steps toward higher authority status are initiated. Larger sites, with several dominant themes, should find ways to make the various themes related to one another. Building bridge type pages, that incorporate both themes and effectively fusing them together, might be one possible solution.

Over time, the additional theme-based incoming links, and their accompanying keyword employing link text will develop a hub site. The incoming links must be part of an outgoing linking arrangement to similarly themed sites as well. It is a slow and ongoing process that must be continually improved. By making linking to and from theme related sites, the road to a hub site stature will be well on the way.


The common theme for creating both hub sites and authority sites is the development of a powerfully theme oriented website.

Constant attention to a site’s most important keywords and keyword phrases is important. The very concept of creating hub and authority sites depends upon it. All of the content and linking strategies must relate to the site’s theme or themes.

Combining all of those keywords and search terms into fully integrated themes is essential to elevating a site higher in the search rankings. This concentration of themes is vital to successful rankings in very highly competitive searches.

By keeping themes first and foremost in your mind, they will result in the sweet symphonic sounds of the hub site and the authority site.

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