We've talked about the idea of topic authority a lot at Prodo (including an excellent recent Passle by my esteemed colleague Rob) and it's an idea that's gathering momentum as the only viable long-term strategy in the world of Hummingbird x RankBrain if you want to continue driving organic traffic from search.
The focus is shifting away from the idea of ranking for a select number of 'money' keywords and towards wider coverage across a spectrum of phrases that align with your brand and your audience's needs.
The role of trusted advisor is being embraced and to be a trusted advisor, you need content that has depth and breadth. Becoming a topic authority leads open brands up to a greater ability to rank across a spectrum of keywords rather than a handful of terms.
Building topic authority not only yields trust and advocacy, but it also yields visibility in the SERPs.
Topics > keywords, people.
If you are in the brush industry, you should be less worried about ranking number one for “brushes” and more worried about the fact that Gordon Brush is dominating the share of voice. They are ranking for tons of keywords, some of which overlap with keywords that the other major players are ranking for. However, they are also ranking for a lot of keywords that competitors are missing.