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Understanding Google’s News Topic Authority

News events are covered by numerous news sites, making it difficult for Google users to find publications with specialized expertise on a particular topic. For instance, someone looking for information on the latest advancements in AI may struggle to find a technology website amidst the general coverage. Similarly, a person searching for news on a breakthrough in cancer research may find it challenging to locate a health publication with expert knowledge.

To address this issue, Google has developed a system called Topic Authority, which helps Google identify expert sources that can provide relevant and knowledgeable content to users for their news-related queries in specialized topic areas like health, politics, or finance. In this article, we will delve into what news topic authority is, how it works, and why it is essential.

What is News Topic Authority?

News topic authority is a measure of how well a website or a news outlet covers a particular topic. Google’s algorithm uses a combination of machine learning and human editors to determine the authority of a news outlet on a particular topic.

This algorithm takes into account various factors, such as the quality & relevance of the content, frequency of publication, number of backlinks, and the credibility of the source.

How does News Topic Authority Work?

Content Quality

The quality of content is a critical factor in determining news topic authority. Google’s algorithm evaluates the relevance and accuracy of the content published and looks for in-depth analysis and expert opinions on a particular topic. News outlets or websites that produce high-quality content that is informative, engaging, and well-researched are more likely to have a higher news topic authority.


The frequency of publication is another crucial factor that Google’s algorithm considers. News outlets that publish articles frequently and consistently on a particular topic are more likely to have a higher news topic authority. Consistent publication shows that the news outlet is committed to covering the topic and staying up-to-date with the latest developments.


Backlinks are also an essential factor in determining news topic authority. Backlinks are links from other websites to a website’s article. Google sees backlinks as a sign of credibility and authority. The more backlinks a news outlet has, the higher its news topic authority will be. However, it is important to note that the quality of the backlinks is equally important. Backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites carry more weight than those from low-quality sites.

Influence and Original Reporting

In addition to the above, Google also considers the original reporting and how it is cited by other publishers to determine a publication’s influence and authority on a topic. This means that if a publisher is frequently cited by other news organizations, it is more likely to be considered authoritative and influential. To make it easier for people to identify frequently cited stories, Google introduced the Highly Cited label in 2022 which highlights stories that have been cited by multiple news organizations, making it easier for users to find and read the most influential and authoritative news articles on a particular topic.

Why Does News Topic Authority Matter?

News topic authority is essential because it helps Google provide users with the most relevant and credible news articles on a particular topic. Using news topic authority, Google can ensure that users get the most accurate and up-to-date information on a particular subject.

According to a study by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 51% of people get their news from online sources. This means that news outlets need to focus on building their news topic authority to ensure that users are seeing their articles.

How can news outlets improve their news topic authority?

To improve their news topic authority, news outlets need to focus on producing high-quality content on a particular topic. This means publishing articles that are well-written, informative, and credible.

News outlets should also focus on building backlinks to their articles. As explained above, Google sees backlinks as a sign of credibility and authority, so the more backlinks a news outlet has, the higher its news topic authority will be.


News topic authority is a critical factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. By understanding how news topic authority works, news outlets can improve their visibility in Google’s search results and reach a wider audience. By producing high-quality content and building backlinks, news outlets can establish themselves as authorities on a particular topic and increase their news topic authority.

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