The Google’s Author Rank
One of the major significant shifts in the SEO world last year which was also eyed as bigger than Panda and Penguin algorithms update is the Author Rank, a new added challenge for web marketers and SEO experts to prove their content quality and authority in their respective niche online. Author Rank is not only designed to provide search results transparency and page ranking influencing factor but also a way to combat plagiarism in the web.
What is Author Rank?
Surface in the blogosphere last 2011, though not a replacement of PageRank, experts believed that Author Rank provides radar on Google to rank high-quality content from real authors that could enhance web trust.
Author Rank concepts were primarily based on the so-called Agent Rank in 2005. Here’s what Google had to say in their patent filing circa 2005 for their “Agent Rank” idea:
“The name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results by indicating the writer responsible for a particular content piece … Assuming that a given writer has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that writer will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable writers in search results.”
Author Rank is also regarded as means to create shareable quality content in the web thru social media. The Google Senior Engineer, Matt Cutts cite his keynotes in 2011 Pubcon:
“Social is a good way to create a reputation for authors. If the reputation of content authors is transparent, it will make the whole web better.”
How’s its related to rel author mark up? Since then, Google has been using the rel author markup to signify blog authorship but it has no effect to SEO however, this time it becomes an attribute in establishing Author Rank as a new SEO feature.
Cutting the story short, Author rank is new element to highlight content creators within their search results and it allows authors to positions themselves the way Google can favor them in page rankings.
What are the benefits of Author Rank?
1. Google will be able to identify genuine content.
If you have an Author Rank enabled in your blog then, you found out someone copied your content without your permission Google / DMCA will favor you as the real source and will penalize the spammer accordingly. In case the spammer is clever (also has the Author Rank), then, it’s a case to case basis but expect, Google is always smart decision of penalizing blogs and authors that violate their policy.
2. New quality Author has the chance to rank even with less technical skills
3. Users may get the most quality search results in Google
A detailed explanation of Authorship / Author Rank BENEFITS is well discussed on this slideshare presentation by: Flaunt Digital.co.za
How to Implement Author Rank in your Blog?
In setting up your Author Rank you need to get first the Authorship! Begin with signing up a Google+ account, implementing the rel author mark in your blog and verifying it thru Google, this process is called Authorship. Once success you can test how your page may look like in Google using Rich Snippet in Webmaster Tool which will be discuss also later.
Setting up your Google+ Profile:
First, create your Google plus account here, if you didn’t have yet. Fill-up the usual profile information — name, education, where you live, and upload a high quality image. In the Contributor section of your Google+ profile, click the Add Custom Link – fill-in the label (your bog name) and the URL (domain name) you are contributing to.
Next, you’ll need to setup the rel author mark up to link your blog to your Google+ profile. Get your Google + profile link like these:” “, that will useful in nest steps.
For WordPress, there’s a free plug-in now that could help bloggers to setup Authorship in very easy way. Download and install the Author Mark plug-in, specify your account details and let it go. Proceed to the verification and testing process when done.
If you’re a Blogspot / Blogger user you need to add the rel author code manually in your html / xml template, add the Google+ button in your author box and also in the about page.
This article provides the most comprehensive tutorial on how to implement Authorship on Blogger.
For Other CMS:
If the author bylines an individual author bio page, we’re going to use a variation of the rel=”author” tag. This variation is known as the rel=”me” attribute.
Authorship Verification & Testing
After setting up your Authorship, you need to verify and test how it looks like in the search result. Access the links below and just follow the instructions provided.
Boosting your Author Rank
Once successfully setup the Authorship, you’ll need to optimize Google+ profile and implemented the authorship markup attribute, start proving your worth by producing great shareable content. Here’s the checklist that you should consider to boost your Author Rank.
- Produce more genuine content to your blog and others where you are a contributor
- Get more +1s + Google+ shares
- Get more people in your Google+ circles
- Reciprocate connections to other high Author Rank authors.
- Watch for the number of authority of sites that you could collaborate with
- Increase your engagement in your Google+ content –post more shareable contents!
- YouTube video subscribers (also speculated to add influence)
- Major social network signals
The key is always providing shareable genuine content in the web as what Matt Cutts mentioned earlier. If you are a Journalist, a serious writer, a famous star then, having Author Rank incorporate in your marketing plan could be a great advantage if well optimized. Google very serious in the overall to utilize Google+ profile to scale reputation as it will decrease spam authors and purge the web contents into the most appropriate and quality search results for users.
You might be also interested to check out the Author Rank Infographics by WordTracker here.
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