Google’s new Author Rank system is set to explode over the SEO scene. Author Rank has now been determined to combine synergistically with PageRank to determine where sites are placed in SERPs. The key change with Author Rank is not in the quality of the content. All that has to change content-wise is the addition of the author tag. Instead, it is the social aspect. Content marketers won’t just have to know a lot about their topics, but how to make their content interesting enough that people will share it on Google+. Here are some tips to maximize your Author Rank early and get a jump on this new field.
1. Get signed up and your content tagged
To even begin taking advantage of this, you must first sign up for the service and have your website approved by Google. This can be done by going to https://plus.google.com/authorship.
2. Understand what Google is trying to do with this
Google is taking a gamble with their Authorship program and Author Rank. It used to be that people would use a search engine to connect with a web page. The boom in social media shows that people are actually more interested in connecting to people. They want to see a face behind their content that they can interact with. Google is hoping to leverage Authorship with Google+ and their search engine to both improve the quality of their search results and reward people who generate quality content that people are looking for.
The advantage from an author’s standpoint is that they can get credit for content wherever they place it on the web. However, it is still untested just how far website owners will permit people to tag content they produce for them with their own author tag. A ghostwriter on a blog may be asked not to include their author tag. This has potential major repercussions for the content marketing field, but it’s too soon to see how this will affect things.
Still, it is better to get on the ball now. If Google expands this program, then you can get a jump start on building your ranking by beginning to tag everything that you create now.
3. Start using Google+ regularly.
Like an underdog just biding its time, Google has been waiting for the right opportunities to come along to really draw attention to Google+. Authorship may be the “killer app” that brings people over. Studies have shown that Author Rank improves the more you interact with Google+ and share content through it. As Facebook continues to transfer to a more image/video based medium for base content, Google+ is positioning itself for quality text-based content.
4. Learn to network with circles.
Author Rank is going to have a heavy “who you know” component. You’ll need to interact with people who have high Author Rank and authority in your niche. This makes it more likely that they will share your content out. Having your content shared in this manner will have a larger boost to your ranking.
5. Share and share alike, but be selective with guest posts.
Guest posting is going to take a whole new level of skill to do successfully. Authorship and Author Rank are going to intimately connect guest posters with blog owners in ways that a simple bio field with a backlink never did in the past. You will need to gauge the reputation of people who want to guest post on your site and see if their content really is worthy enough to be linked with your own. The exact mechanics of this are still a mystery, as most of Google’s inner processes are. Time will tell to see how this falls out.
However, sharing interesting content and handing out +1s are still going to be the bedrock for determining what is good and what isn’t, at least through the Google+ platform. Examining what weighs heaviest across all variables for Author Rank and how it starts to really affect SEO over time is going to be a major question for all SEO companies over the next couple of years.