Can You Outrank Authority Sites


Outrank Authority Sites - computer mouse and globe pictureThere are several reasons why your tiny site can easily outrank authority sites. Some of them I shall point out in this text.

If you follow some basic SEO rules, you can be ahead of any authority site. See more about it below, with a few examples from one of my sites.

To prove the point I would like to start with some examples of my own. So here are a few.

[La Pobrecita]


Example 1. On the right below is what I get from Google when I search incognito about one of pages from my site about mountains.

Outrank Authority Sites - one page from my site on mountains ranked above WikipediaIt shows my page ‘Climbing Breithorn at Simplon’ on the position 1 on Google. On the second position is a huge authority site about mountains, and on the position 3 is nobody else but Wikipedia itself.

So both of these two sites are authority sites with thousands of pages, but more importantly for this story with hundreds, or thousands of contributors.

Outrank Authority Sites -my page on Monte Breva ranked above WikipediaExample 2. One more example, again my site about mountains, and my page on Monte Breva in the Italian Alps. This is again on position 1 on Google. On position 2 is yet another authority site about  mountains, and as you see Wikipedia is on position 3.


In fact I have many more examples of this sort. In the moment when I am writing this text I have 36 pages (out of around 70) from this site on mountains on Google page 1.

Now, a few words about the example 1 above, and why I stressed that these authority sites have many contributors. The irony is, in that same example the second-ranked page from the authority site Peakware is in fact my own page! Yes you are reading correctly, I am one of top 5 contributors to that authority site, but I also have my own site about mountains.

So the point is, there are hundreds of contributors to Peakware. Texts are added individually by everybody though following some rules of the site, but those rules are not strict SEO rules. The same situation is with the site which you see in the second example.

I am sure everybody knows what Wikipedia is, the best known example of an authority site. But it works on a similar principle as those sites about mountains, this is a collective site with thousands of contributors, and with no SEO rules used.


Picture showing my page on Google page 1.Example 3. But this is not only about authority sites with many contributors. Here is yet another example of a real authority site with a single  contributor.

This is about my text which got ranked on Google page 1 within 48 hours after it was published. And believe it or not it was in front of the 3 years old post of Neil Patel.

Do not believe? See the picture on the right. My text is ‘How to stay on Google first page’ and Patel’s text is below my page. Some more details you may see in my blog at Wealthy Affiliate.


Why you have advantage with respect to an authority site?

  • One big reason I have already pointed out above: some  of them have many users and contributors. No SEO rules are used. You may say that not all authority sites are of that type and that these examples do not apply to you. Indeed, this is dependent on a specific niche, and in the case of my site it works for me very well.
  • Another important reason which beginners perhaps do not understand is: ranking is always on the level of a single post or page, regardless of the size of the site.
    OK, I know you will now say this is not completely correct, and I agree. There are more than 200 factors that determine ranking. Nevertheless, many of them, and perhaps the most important ones, are those that apply to a single post or page. This cannot be denied.
  • As an administrator of a small site you are more flexible and you can be more dynamic than big sites. You can respond much more quickly and this is your advantage.

On the other hand, starting with such an initially small site, but built on good foundations and following SEO rules, your brain-child will grow up in time and you will build an authority site of your own. But this will be a different type of an authority site because it is built on strict rules. No other site will be able to compete with you.

Please leave some comments in the box below. I shall be happy to read them and to answer any question.

If you would like to know how to start an online business and how to build a site, please visit this page where I have described my own first steps.

Back to the subject of this text: here is a great and short YouTube video of Matt Cutts from Google (at that time), who discusses the issue of small sites and the authority sites. Have a look he surely describes this issue better than me. Besides, he is a representative of the most important Internet search company:




  1. Derek Marshall says:

    Hi there,

    Brilliant and well done. I can testify personally also that smaller, newer sites can rank very well in google due to my own experience, and I am not all that savy on the SEO side of things, Just goes to show creating quality content a great user experience and the sky or number one slot in google is very possible and indeed probable.

    1. Hi Derek, thank you. I could not agree more with you, and I also show this in the text. All the best to you.

  2. Jovo
    Great post, I understand about getting to the number one spot. I have been there.
    I do have one question when you speak of contributors are you referring to comments or something like backlinks?
    I would think that one thing helps is the fact that you are focusing on climbing a certain mountain instead of just climbing mountains.
    Not many sites can get my attention but I did read this one completely. I found it to be very interesting

    1. Hi Jim, thank you for the comment. About contributors: I mean people who actually add texts to those sites. Wikipedia does not have its own authors adding texts; those texts are by visitors. The same is with all other examples I gave in the text. As for ‘certain mountain’ and ‘mountains’, not necessarily so. I do write about many mountain, but I do follow SEO rules. This makes difference between my site and those authority sites.

  3. LakanDula says:

    This post is helpful. My luck online has been anything but good, and I’ve gone really desperate in the past in getting all my sites known – it’s been a huge seering pain in the butt lately. I guess the point of it is, if one is that passionate and enough to be a King David and take on the giants, he or she can succeed.

    1. Hi Lakan, it is indeed doable, you can outrank authority sites. I gave some good examples of my own. Perhaps this is no equally easy in every niche but it is definitely possible. Best luck to you.

  4. G.C.Horton says:

    Thanks for a very helpful post. The Matt Cutts video really cut to the chase and was encouraging as well. I like how Mr. Cutts explained how a small, agile website can beat a much larger site.

    Ultimately, it comes down to creating superior content. And to do that, it’s helpful to focus on a smaller niche or topic. Just like Wealthy Affiliate teaches.

    1. Hi Gary, thank you for the comment. You nicely summarized the idea, I agree completely with what you write. Best wishes.

  5. Robert Allan says:

    Hello Jovo
    A good explanation on ranking protocols with regard to search engines procedures.
    I have written many articles and blogs about Best Practice SEO because it is a subject I know a lot about gained over many years in internet marketing.
    I also have several dozen of these articles/blogs on the top 3 search engines and why is this?
    It is because as you say site pages are ranked separately and can take over the top spots in Google, Bing and Yahoo no matter what the subject is or the niche you have chosen to market in.
    Robert Allan

    1. Hi Robert, thank you for the comments. Clearly you understand the issue very well, and I can only agree with what you say. Thanks for the input.

  6. Good job.

    Usually it’s difficult to outrank the sites with high authority.

    They have a big domain authority and whenever they publish something, even if it’s not so good content, they usually rank very highly in Google.

    On the other hand, I don’t care that much whether I’m on top of the 1st page, but whether I drive a lot of traffic to my site. You can be on top, but don’t drive much traffic.

    1. Hi Luke, thank you for the comment. I have outranked authority sites many times. As for the traffic and rank, if we are speaking about the usual SEO business then you are unlikely to have traffic if you are not ranked on top page in Google. If you are on position 1 you will have more than 32 percents of traffic. if you are on position 15 you will have only 0.4%. More details you may find on my page or in my blog at Wealthy Affiliate. This might be compensated if you have goo social media networks. So, you might reconsider your point of view.

  7. john waldie says:

    Hi my names John from nutritional needs for kids and this is my comment to your site… I like your use of media images and the fact that you don’t have links everywhere on your site. Your content is straight and to the point easy to follow and very interesting. I will visit your site again. Best of luck to you in the future and keep on writing

    1. Hi John, thank you for kind words, this is something that means a lot to me. Best luck to you too.

  8. Dear Jovo,

    Wow, I must say you have indeed made splendid progress with being Number 1 on Google for your Topic on Climbing Mountains. 🙂 Claps. Bravo! Well done!

    I am a bit confused on the Pros behind being part of a Contributors Website versus one that you are the sole Admin of. Would you say that creating quality Content in a Website that is surrounded by many Contributors tend to rank higher on Google versus the sites that are run by perhaps a single person? How about Keyword Research, is it not that important to be considered in both when writing new Content?

    Thanks in advance for answering my questions. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best with your online accomplishments above and beyond the horizon,


    1. Hi Angel. In the examples given in the text the Authority sites have many contributors but they do not apply SEO rules and this is the point. Applying these rules is not possible for these particular sites. But when you start as a small site and apply SEO from the beginning, your site will indeed become an authority site but based on SEO rules, and nobody can compete with you.

      Regarding the issue of many contributors, it does not have to be that such sites automatically rank higher. But in these particular examples this is indeed the case, we all know what Wikipedia is, and similar is with the other which I mentioned.

  9. Jovo,
    On the video, one of the last things Matt said was Superior Content will always outrank the big guys. I think that writing content that is informative on the subject and posting as often as you can will help you out rank any authoritative site.
    When you state that ranking is on the level of a single page or post, are you stating that keywords and content will rank a single page towards the top if correctly done?

    1. Hi John, thank you. Great that you have watched the video, it is very useful. Regarding your question, yes you understood it correctly. It is always the matter of the specific page/post and the proper SEO used there. Of course, proper internal linking with other successful pages can help and further contribute to the ranking of the given text, but the main factors are in-page.

  10. Robin Sawyer says:

    Very, very interesting… I never even considered outranking an authority site. But you have shown it is possible!

    That is a good point about the fact that many of those authority sites are built by many people. And why would they follow SEO rules? That isn’t their aim.

    Could I ask which SEO rules you consider to be the most basic and most important?


    1. Hi Robin. Thank you for the comment. It is not so difficult to outrank some of very strong authority sites, as you can see from my examples. I have many more pages that are in the same situation. Regarding your question, I use what i have learned at Wealthy Affiliate and some basics rules used here you can see in some of my texts like this about page ranking, and the other one on keyword technique.

        1. You can always contact me if you need help.

  11. Very interesting read. I am wondering how long it took to start recieving a good amount of organic traffic. I have heard it takes about three months. I have a site of my own which just turned three months old and I am only receiving about 25 organic visits a week. I am wondering if thats a good number or if it is a bit low.

    1. Hi RK, thank you. Regarding your question, it depends on the niche. In the examples given in my text this is not the issue of traffic but a good SEO, something I got through training obtained at Wealthy Affiliate.

  12. Hi Jovo,

    This was a very eye opening article for me to read. I’ve seen others get #1 rankings in google and always wonder what their ‘secret’ was. Reading this gives me hope. How long would you say, on average, it takes for smaller niche sites to get better rankings than larger authority sites?

    1. Hi Matt, thank you for visiting my site and for the comment. Regarding your question, it is difficult to give a proper answer. It depends on the niche and on specific post/page. In my examples given here it was practically instant. I used proper SEO and those sites are far from this. I guess in some other niche it could be more difficult, but I do believe in the power of SEO and strict application of rules which we learn at Wealthy Affiliate.

  13. Well first off congratulations for outranking the mighty wikipedia – great result!
    This article is full of great advice because watching the big boys continually outrank you is soul destroying at times!
    Do you feel comment play a big part in where you eventually end up ranking in the SERPS?

    1. Hi Chris, thank you for the comment. Having comments is good for many reasons, but in those particular cases described in the text they did not play any role. It is all about SEO.

  14. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when you finally manage to outrank an authority site – no matter how low competition the keyword you target is!
    When I first started out I sucked at it – sad but true I’m afraid. One thing I’ve learned and learned well – only content will get you through. Sure keywords help but the more content your site contains the more clout Google will give you. I’ve recently ranked a health site on the first page of google within three and a half weeks. My secret – I already had 40 articles ready to go….
    I published them like a maniac and had organic traffic within 3 days of going live.
    It’s all about the content now guys – all about the content…

    1. Hi Chris, surely it is about content, but there are also some technical issues involved as well as I describe in the text. SEO is crucial. Thank you for visiting my site and for the comment.

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