An Authority Site can be defined as a website that sets out to be a leading online source of information for a niche subject.
Authority sites tend to be content websites which are frequently updated with the latest news, features, reviews, case studies and interviews. Some are run by individuals, whilst others have groups of contributors. Some are completely free, with advertising, while others have paid membership.
Authority sites can be compared to offline specialist information newsletters and niche trade magazines.
The subjects covered can be anything from endangered mammals in Africa to helium extraction techniques; from bee keeping to space exploration; from collecting dolls houses to online marketing.
The term Authority Site was coined by Jack Humphrey. Jack runs a website called AuthoritySiteCenter.com
Some of these sites are published using simple blogging software, while others are sophisticated, custom built sites. Companies like SubHub specialise in helping individual experts, publishers and small companies to design, build and grow authority sites without having to incur the costs of custom development.
Some Example Authority Sites
Jancis Robinson is a world renowned wine expert who runs a very successful wine website.