Google Author Rank has been somewhat of a mystery to people since the exact function it plays is not so clean cut. However, Google continues to push the importance of individual Author Rank claiming that it plays an important role in content marketing. Many who are familiar with the inner workings of the web would definitely agree but not everyone has the experience and knowledge to truly understand its worth. Let’s all imagine something together…
A world where an author’s qualifications and expertise within a subject can determine a websites rankings. Imagine a mechanism that can memorize the author’s reputation and apply it right away to any content written by them immediately boosting the website within the SERP’s.
In the beginning, Google was trying to find a creative way to add this update to their algorithm however they lacked a way for people to credit an author for their work. When Google introduced their own social network, it opened up doors for them to implement such a system in place. The growth of Google + has been enormous and with it comes a new way to interact with content. Google ties much of the information gathered through their social network to other ranking factors to give not only the website a boost within the SERP’s but credit to the individual as well.
So, what will you learn…
- Introducing The Human Factor
- What Does Matt Cutt’s Say?
- Example of Author Rank In Action
- Factors That Impact Author Rank
- Building Your Google Author Rank
- Boosting Your Author Rank Quickly
- Wrapping Things Up
Introducing The Human Factor
Recently, user engagement is beginning to play an enormous role in how Google ranks content within the SERP’s. However, social signals still continue to take a backseat to other ranking factors like content quality, load time, domain age, page authority, etc. Since people are beginning to use Tweets, Shares and Likes much more while skimming through content, Google is trying to find a way to tie all this stuff together. Why? The answer is very simple…
When people share content, they are actually giving praise to the author who published it on a blog or website. Content has always been created by individuals and we`re in a time of information overload. Accessibility brings bright new ideas and people are publishing them so they get the proper acknowledgement. In 2005, when Google first filed the patent for Agent Rank (now Author Rank), it was trying to find a way to give the individual more credit when high quality content is published. This way, individuals can create new websites, add content and be rewarded for the work they’ve did in the past. An individual’s Author Rank will follow them everywhere and its great way to give a website more credit because of the author’s history and the work they’ve published previously.
Here`s an example where you’ll see the benefits of such a system…
You’ve previously owned a website and published awesome content for several years. The rank of your website has increased dramatically over the years building your reputation as an author. You decide to sell your blog for whatever reason and start a brand new blog. There are two ways that Google Author Rank can help in this scenario….
First, the owners of your old website begin to publish poor quality content which over several months decreases the ranking of your website. This can be due to several reasons i.e decrease user engagement, lower external links pointing to your pages, lower activity, etc.
Even though the quality of your older website has suffered, there should be a way for Google to remember your contribution to that website. There should be a way to understand that you’re not responsible for publishing the poor quality content, etc.
Google Author Rank will allow you to take your old reputation to your new blog because it’ll remember the social signals you received when publishing content on your old blog. When you insert the rel=”author” tag into your content while publishing on your new blog, Google reads this signal and connects it to a credible author who earned their reputation from previously publishing elsewhere. This can help boost the reputation of your new website more quickly in the SERP’s which is a perfect way for them to provide credible content to people searching online.
What Does Matt Cutt’s Say?
When writing content on the changes that Google is making, I always like to quote what Matt Cutt’s has to say about a given topic. He is currently the head of Google’s Webspam team. Someone has recently asked him if Google will be utilizing the rel=”author” feature much more over the years. He had this to say…
The short answer is “Yes!
He is excited about the idea of moving from an anonymous web to one where you have some notion of identity. It’s a great way to reduce web spam because you’re getting several benefits for free since using the rel=”author” automatically adds value to a page or answer. As time goes on, they’ll find new ways to use rel=”author” so that they can move to a richer search experience.
Example of Author Rank In Action
The struggle facing Google is how to tie all the important metrics together. How do you implement the human factor into content so that it makes sense and helps the end user? In the chart below, you’ll notice many factors which we are familiar with so Google is not introducing a completely foreign concept, they’ve just taken all the important metrics and tied them together in a way which benefits the author, user and search engines.
Image Provided by contentverve.com
Factors That Impact Author Rank
There are several factors that can have a direct influence on your Author Rank. In the above illustration, we outlined the mechanism behind Author Rank, but let’s look at the elements which are directly related to your profile. If you can optimize any of these elements, you’ll be able to boost your content within the SERP’s through utilizing Google Author Rank.
Let’s take a look at some of the important elements and how you can optimize each.
Image Provided by contentverve.com
Having valuable links pointing to your content has been a ranking factor since Google first went live. They continue to use “external” links as a mechanism to determine value of content published. How can you utilize inbound links to boost your Author Rank? Share your content on Google + so it generates a buzz. Instead of sharing the URL of the content on your blog, it’s time to shift the traffic by posting the URL of your Google + profile in high authority places.
Share the URL of the post on your Google + profile page and then copy & paste it into high authority places like social bookmarking websites, article directories, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This will drive traffic directly to your Google + account and people are more likely to engage on your profile by “Liking” or “Sharing” your content. When people share content directly posted under your Google + profile, it’s a signal to Google that your account is of value. It also increases the other elements which I’ll discuss below.
Increase user engagement by promoting your content on your Google + profile. Next, it’s important to make sure that people find your newly shared content so add people who have things in common. For example, visit the Google+ profiles of your competitor’s within your niche and add them to your circle. For added buzz, you can skim through their circle of friends and add them to your circle. In most cases, if people are interested in your competitor’s content, they’ll be interested in yours as well.
Here`s a quick example of how to utilize this strategy…we`ll be using Forbes.com and here is their Google + (https://plus.google.com/+Forbes/posts)
Head over to their profile and add them to your circle. You can see whose following them by looking at “In Their Circle“ and clicking on the # of people.
These are all people who find content on Forbes.com valuable so having them in your circle will be awesome. Add a few and see what type of response you get back.
What`s your objective?
You should increase user engagement on your Google+ profile so that it increases the power of your Author Rank. Again, here is the chart of the factors influencing your Author Rank directly so find ways to increase engagement on those factors.
Image Provided by contentverve.com
The concept of someone “Liking” or “Sharing” your content is not new because Facebook implemented this mechanism into their social network quite early. However, the power of someone “sharing” your content can make it go viral within minutes. Google+ has incorporated this system into their social network but with a little twist which can prove to be very value for you. Each time someone with a powerful Author Rank shares your content, it increases your Author Rank level enormously.
You have to remember that Author Rank is an indicator of someone`s reputation or expertise so having this person provide weight on someone else`s content is known as very credible. For those of you who have been blogging for years, it can be an easy task to get your content in front of top bloggers. However, those that are just getting started, try these cool tricks…
- After writing content, email top bloggers to read and share the content
- Setup advertising campaigns linking directly to your Google+ profile instead of alternative URL
- Purchase sponsored “Tweets“ or “Like`s“ which means promoting on others high powered social network profiles i.e BuySellAds.com
- Find and add experienced bloggers into your Google+ circle directly
This falls under engagement on Google+ because you`re able to leave comments on posts you find attractive. As mentioned before with shares, +1s, and links, the amount of impact will depend on the profile behind the comment. Do the same profiles comment on your content again and again? Are they influencers within your field? Do you they have a high level of authority?
Building Your Google Author Rank
If you haven`t setup your Google+ Author Rank profile, it`s time you do it right away. Author Rank will have a huge impact on content marketing because it`s a great way to distinguish between content which holds credibility and that which doesn`t. Imagine being able to type a question into the search bar and have answers appear from experts on the topic. This holds a lot of weight and solidifies Google`s reputation as the number 1 search engine providing people the best content.
Let`s get started…
I`ll outline the process step-by-step…
1. Claim Authorship WordPress
There are a few ways you can claim authorship for your content. All the ways will require you add the <rel=”author” link=”your-googlplus-url” /> tag into your page. If you are using WordPress, you can install some awesome plug-ins which will add the rel=”author” tag into your pages, blog, posts, etc.
Replace ”your-googlplus-url” with the actual URL of your Google+ i.e (https://plus.google.com/yourprofileIDnumber)
WordPress Plug-Ins which streamline the process…
I’ve been using All-In-One SEO and the process is very easy to incorporate the appropriate coding into the pages.
Go into the plugin settings within the WordPress backend and tweak a few settings…That’s It!
2. Claim Authorship Guest Posting
WordPress has made it very easy for Google to pick up on the author when guest posting. For example, when you log into the backend of the site you are guest posting on, simply add your Google+ URL under the profile section.
3. Add URL in Contributor Section
Log into your Google+ account and edit the “About“ then “Links“ section.
Add the URL to their website under the “Contributor To“ section within your Google+ profile.
Once this has been done, Google will automatically pickup the Google+ Authorship element by connecting both of them together when the content is published.
4. Write Enticing Content
In order for you to build your Author Rank, you`ll need to create content which creates an immediately buzz. The more valuable you`re content, the more it`ll get shared by people in social networks. This is a great way to get people to join your Google+ circle since awesome content attracts a following. Start by performing some research looking for “keywords“ which are popular. You can even visit social analytical websites to view what`s popular online.
Here are a few awesome sites you can leverage…
Topsy: A realtime search engine which indexes and ranks search results based upon the most influential conversations millions of people are having every day about each specific term, topic, page or domain queried.
Start by typing in a keyword then narrowing down the search filter to provide you with only the best results. You`ll get a better idea of the content which get`s shared a lot online. Start by visiting these links looking for segments or information which is missing. Create content which is better by adding the extra elements like videos, images and infographics.
QuickSprout: Founder Neil Patel has been a pioneer in online marketing for several years. His site is responsible for providing some of the best content marketing strategies ever. When you first arrive on QuickSprout.com, there is a cool tool you can use to get a breakdown of website statistics. It even provides you with a social media analysis where you`ll get a list of content and how many times it`s been shared on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
Start by writing down the URL`s of the top blogs within your niche. All you need is exact domains not separate pages so i.e example1.com, example2.com and example3.com.
Next, type each one into the box within QuickSprout.com then 5-10 minutes later you`ll have a report generated.
Click on Social Media Analysis and you`ll see a list of content which received the most social activity. Use this information to leverage your content writing by focusing on the same topics because you know from the social analysis that people within your industry like this specific types of content.
Don`t forget to share you content on Google+ once it`s been created so that people can re-share it with their followers building your Google Author Rank.
Google+: You`ll be surprised at the valuable information you can get by visiting the profiles of your competitors. You can find content which has received shares directly inside Google+ and even those people who have shared it. Start by visiting the Google+ profiles of top bloggers within your niche and skim through their content. Look for the content which has been shared several times and compile a list by visiting several profiles. Look for content which can be combined into a mega-post and when it`s been created share it on your Google+ profile. Here`s a cool trick…
When you visit your competitor`s profile, you can see who shared their content. Add these same people to your circle because the mega-post you`ve just created is something that they`ll find enticing as well.
Boosting Your Author Rank Quickly
We`ve discussed several ways to strategically boost your Google Author Rank however there is a way to leverage content marketing through guest posting. Guest posting on popular blogs has been in practice for several years and has produced awesome results for both the website and publisher. When bloggers get too busy to produce their own content, they will often rely on other bloggers to produce content for them. In return they provide the following benefits…
- Access to their content
- Access to their traffic
- Access to their social traffic
- Access to social followers
- Increased visibility in search engines
- Ability to add your URL in Google+ Authorship profile
If you choose the right blog for guest posting opportunities, it`ll help build your Google Author Rank quickly. Imagine posting content on a blog with 100,000 Twitter followers, 10,000 Google + followers, etc. As with many blogs, you have the ability to setup your own Google+ Authorship profile in the backend so you get credit for the work. Since this blog has enormous followers, you`ve just increased the chances of your content being shared.
Here are some great ways to find guest posting opportunities. Before you publish content on any of them, check out their social profiles for activity.
- submission guidelines
- guest post guidelines
- accepting guest posts
- contribute an article
- submit content
- guest post
- want to write
- write for us
- become a contributor
Add your niche keyword before any of these phrases. As an example, we’ll assume our blog is about “making money”. If you perform a search using the following: making money “write for us”, the search result will generate a list of guest posting opportunities relevant to your blog on “making money”.
Wrapping It Up
The full affect of Google Author Rank has not been updated into the search algorithm but continues to be tested. Personally, it`s better to be prepared going forward so that you can start building you`re Author Rank immediately. As Matt Cutt`s mentioned in a Tweet on March 11, 2014:
“We are also expecting Google to be releasing an update where their algorithm takes into account authority of an author and then gives higher rankings to the content written by a more respected and authoritative author.“
Google Author Rank is a great way to provide the best reliable content to people searching online. It`s a clever way to eliminate web spam from being circulated within the SERP`s. If you haven`t pay too much attention to the rel=”author” link=” tag, it`s time to add it to your pages. It`s a simply piece of code which only requires set up once but will have a long lasting impact on your content marketing.
Here is a quick way to check the strength of your current Google Author Rank if you`ve already added the coding to your website. http://beta.authorrank.org/