Why Topic Authority? The Topic Authority system allows Google to serve more local news results. Despite not having its own listing in Google’s official guide to ranking systems, the company’s Search Liaison says Topic Authority has been used for several years. Unpacking How Topic Authority WorksThe Topic Authority system utilizes a range of signals to gauge a publication’s level of expertise in specific fields. As Topic Authority influences search results, seeing the changes to the news discovery and distribution dynamic has been interesting.