How Google Author Rank Impacts your SEO Efforts

Team Bonafide
by Team Bonafide on March 4, 2013 in Visibility
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Google is adding a new wrinkle to its search algorithms in 2013, and it is a change that maySearch engine have a big impact on SEO and content marketing.The new system is called AuthorRank (or "Agent Rank," if you go off the name used in Google's original patent for the idea). And though it is not replacing Google's PageRank system, it will influence how high each page ranks in search results.

What is AuthorRank?
Search engines are always trying to determine how relevant or influential different web pages or sites are for a particular search query or topic. AuthorRank attempts to do something similar for the people who write online content: determine how influential or important they are for the topics they write about. Someone who authors a lot of high-quality, popular content on a specific subject will rank highly as an author on the subject. The content they create, in turn, will rank higher in search results because it comes from an important author.

Because AuthorRank is topic-specific, it would be common (or even expected) that an author might rank very highly on one subject and low on other subjects. A popular sportswriter, for instance, might have a high AuthorRank for basketball, and have their basketball articles come up first in search results. If that same person suddenly decided to write an article on women's fashion, their high basketball AuthorRank would not help that article's search rankings nearly as much. 

What AuthorRank means for you
When it comes to your own SEO efforts, there are a few things you can do to ensure that AuthorRank is a blessing, not a curse.

  • Establish authorship of your content. This is the big one. If Google does not know who wrote a piece of content, AuthorRank will have nothing to go on. Likewise, your own AuthorRank will needlessly suffer if high-quality content you have written is not recognized as your work. You can establish authorship of any new or past content you have written by linking it to your Google+ page.
  • Focus on your areas of expertise. It is generally better to have a high ranking on one or two specific topics than to have a mediocre rating on a wide range of subjects. 
  • Produce high-quality content. The good news is, you can keep any past low-quality content from affecting your AuthorRank by not putting your name on it.
  • Encourage sharing and commenting on your authored content. Having a high level of engagement with your content is one of the factors that establishes you as an influential author. Make your content easy to share on social media, and try to engage others who have a high AuthorRank--their shares and comments count more towards your own rankings.
  • Use guest blogging wisely. AuthorRank means that authors carry their credibility with them to different sites. So, having a highly-ranked author publish on your company's site could improve that page's Google ranking. And guest blogging on a more influential site yourself might help improve your credibility in Google's eyes.
  • Use Google+. It does appear that Google+ will have a signifcant influence on AuthorRank, because it is Google's native social network. So, utilize Google+ for content marketing, and strive to expand your presence and connections there. 

Take these steps now, and you can be ahead of the game when AuthorRank becomes a bigger piece of the SEO puzzle.

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Team Bonafide

Team Bonafide

Not your father's digital agency. Wicked-smart, straight-shooting, modern-day marketers who are hell-bent on growing businesses and relationships.