Note: This post is now considered to be outdated, as Authorship was not rolled out fully due to poor adoption. While Google still shows interests in pursuing some sort of authority ranking for content creators themselves, the specifics mentioned in this post are no longer relevant.
Ranking in search engines is so much different than it used to be. When search engines were new, you were able to rank highly in Google just for mentioning your target keywords multiple times on each of your pages. These days, it’s not that easy. In fact, it’s getting harder and harder to rank highly in Google, which is why you need to start building your Author Rank now.
We’ve talked about the past. Now it’s time to talk about the future, and how you can start preparing yourself now.
Back in 2009, Google’s patent for something now known as Author Rank was approved. This idea is pretty simple – all content you write on the web will have an author attached to it. Google will use this metric to help determine the quality of the pages you’re writing on, and use that information to help determine how they rank.
And although Author Rank has not been rolled out yet, you can start preparing yourself now. In fact, you should be. If you don’t start preparing now, it may be too late by the time it actually does roll out.
So How Do You Boost Author Rank Anyway?
It’s not completely known yet how Google will determine your Author Rank, but there are some things that are expected to help boost it.
First of all, the amount of people that have you in circles on Google+ will help show Google how much of an authority figure you are on the internet. Naturally, the more people that have you circles, the higher your authority will be.
Secondly, social signals will help boost your Author Rank. Nothing screams “this is quality content” like a human saying “I like or recommend this.” Google recognizes this better than any company in the world. Social signals are already helping out in terms of SEO, but expect them to have an even bigger impact within the next few years. You should make it easy for your viewers to share your content on all the major social networks. Free plugins such as Digg Digg (for WordPress) help with this, automatically adding social buttons to each post.
Next, be active on Google+, and consistently post quality content. We’re not just talking about sharing your own articles, share other interesting articles as well. Try to mix it up – posts, videos, links, pictures, all help build a natural profile. Network, and connect with other influential people on Google+.
Finally, you should add Authorship to every website you write on. The great thing about Author Rank is that it isn’t tied to any single domain – you can add Authorship to every post you’ve written (even if you don’t own the website). Not only will it expose your Google+ profile to more and more people, but it’ll help boost the ranking of the website in Google.
If you aren’t building your Authorship yet, you should be. Believe me – you’ll thank me later.
I disagree. The thing is, the majority of pages on the web do not make the author’s identity public. This doesn’t automatically mean the content is inferior, it just means he or she wants some damn privacy. I think it’s very unlikely that Google would demote a site for this, especially if the quality and relevance of its content is superior to its competitors. Although I do agree that an author rank could give you some momentum.
I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are.
That’s very true – most websites don’t. Authorship is still a relatively new concept, and most websites do not use it, although it has grown massively in popularity recently as people realize its importance.
Author Rank hasn’t been rolled out yet, so we don’t know for sure how big of an impact it will have. But the truth is, writers that do have good Author Rank will have a huge advantage over those that don’t. That’s a guarantee.
Whether we like it or not, Author Rank and social signals are the future of SEO. If you haven’t jumped on the Google Plus bandwagon yet, it’s time to start if you want to compete. It’s the sad reality.
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Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you misunderstood what I meant when I said most pages do not make the author’s identity public. I didn’t just mean that they don’t have Google+ authorship, but I meant that they actually aren’t branded as authored. Think company websites, government websites, wikis, the list goes on. Not all pages on the web are blog posts that are inextricably associated with their author.
So I don’t think you can make a sweeping statement like ‘Author Rank is the future of SEO’, because outside of the blogosphere, the identity of the author is irrelevant.
I know what you meant, but even less websites than that have applied authorship to their website.
The sad reality is that, Google owns both the Authorship patent and their search engine, so they can make whatever changes they want to Google Search’s ranking algorithms and we’re forced to deal with it. Authorship won’t be the sole thing websites are ranked upon of course, but you can be sure that it will play a HUGE part in how websites our ranked. That’s Google’s decision and it’s going to happen whether we like it or not.
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You are right James, Google+ can really help in increasing authorship and thus can increase your traffic as well as online presence.
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Looks like Businesses will have to be much more active on Google+ if they want to have a stronger online profile. It is the time factor that will make all the difference. May be they will have to hire people just to spend time on Google + eh?
I wonder how far people are willing to go when business is concerned.
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