Author Rank has been banded about over the last couple of week and it looks set to become a reality. It makes logical sense to Google’s progression to weaning Google’s reliance on links.
What is Author Rank?
Over seven years ago (in August of 2005), Google filed a patent for “Agent Rank” which was later masterfully decoded by Bill Slawski. In the patent, Googler David Minogue references ranking “agents” and using the reception of the content they create and their interactions as a factor in determining their rank. The patent suggests that more well-received and popular “agents” could have their associated content rank higher than unsigned content or the content of other less-authoritative “agents”
(September 2011), Google filed a continuation patent referencing a “portable identity platform” which sounds a whole lot like Google+. Profiles on Google+ make an infinitely easier digital signature system than anything that’s come before and, with the rollout of Google Authorship (tying a Google+ profile to pieces of content), it really sounds like that’s what we’re looking at here.
So now Google can start attributing content to specific “agents” and doing just what they set out to do in 2005: rank them.
See article by : Mike Arnesen
How will Author Rank Work?
We obviously have no specifics on how Author Rank will work, we can only surmise based upon, Googles PageRank, what we understand about Google Plus Author Markup and how Google Plus Social Signals are working.
Google is intent on looking at other ways to measure a website / pages based on social metrics, one of these being AuthorRank. Google is focused on quality search results and what better way to measure that content by the Author of that content.
We have already seen impressive results based on content that has Authorship attached (rel=author tag) versus content without Authorship attached.
Google’s +1 button is playing a part in the ranking of a page, which will be boosted when a high AuthorRanked person +1’s a page. In effect it will be like a PageRank 1 link versus a PageRank 6 link.
Factors Influencing Author Rank
- Plus 1’s that you receive when you post on Goolge+
- Plus 1’s that an article you Author receives
- Shares that your Goolge+ posts and Authored articles receive
- Comments on your Google+ posts and you on other posts
- People in your circles and their average AuthorRank in turn
Autho Rank and SEO
When Larry Page says, ” Google+ is Google” you had better sit up and pay attention!
With the onslaught of Google Penguin, Google has links as a ranking factor firmly in its sights. These will not disappear overnight, but Google is building up its Social Ranking Metrics.
How heavily AuthorRank will be implemented into an algorithm remains to be seen. Playing catch up at this stage will be too late for you and your clients sites, the time is now.
Another element is that once AuthoRank has been implemented, will Google launch a PublisherRank. this stems from the fact that we can add rel=publisher attributes on a website to the Google Plus Business Page. This has yet to be used by Google (ie showing the publishers Logo next to sites pages) I believe that Google is holding this back in reserve.
So the moral here is whilst using your personal Author Profile, do not ignore the Business Page / Brand Page profiles that you establish.
Author Rank Winners and Losers
I personally see this as a massive opportunity for small business sites to jump above the Big Brand sites. In my experience Big Brands do not want a person within the organisation attributed to content on their site. Brand managers are notoriously protective of their Brands and cannot see past the Brand. They will use the Google Plus Business Pages but do not want to have individual authors attributed.
On the flip side, small businesses have jumped at the opportunity to use Google Plus for their site. Using author attributes on new content to increase visibility in the SERPS and in my experience seeing increased traffic. They use the author profiles to create a human face to their business together with the main Google Plus Business Page.
They also love seeing their faces in Lights, well in the search results at least. I admit so do I.
Author Rank Conclusion
Create your Google Plus Page
Add your rel=author tag to all the content you have created. You can take this with you to any new employment and in fact it may also be used in your favour, future employers will be able to visible see your work and what you can offer their business.
Engage with others on Google+, I personally find it more engaging then FB, but that is a personal preference.
Personal profile verification (vanity URL’s) is happening, it takes on average 1000 people in your circles to be offered this by Google, less if you have some heavy hitters circle you.
Don’t end up playing catch up, work on your Author Rank every day.