Google’s AuthorRank is one of the biggest changes to affect content marketing and search engine optimization since the introduction of the Google’s notorious Panda and Penguin updates. In fact, according to some marketers, like those at ContentVerve, AuthorRank is even bigger than those massive algorithmic overhauls, and understanding AuthorRank is cruicial to content marketing success. With this introduction of the “author factor”, Google has once again changed the dynamics of SEO.
So, what Is AuthorRank?
If you take the time to search for the phrase “Southern Cooking Tips,” you’ll notice the top result on the results page looks like this:
Simply put, Amy Brantley has a very strong AuthorRank. She has been recognized by Google as an authority on the Southern Cooking, and as such, her blog post in ranking higher than a book on Barnes&Noble and a web page on SouthernLiving.com.
With the introduction of AuthorRank into the ever-changing Google algorithm, the metrics that were once tied only to individual web pages are now also tied to the individual author.
When an established, authoritative author writes something new, it has a better chance of ranking well in search engines simply because it has that author’s name on it and a photograph to make it more personal.
Establishing Yourself as the Author of Content
When an author who Google has recognized as an expert takes his work somewhere other than his highly ranked site, that authority moves with him. This means that industry experts can have more success with their marketing endeavors, without remaining tied to one website they have worked hard to achieve a high rank with. By taking the time to build your rank as an author, you can keep your high rank wherever you write.
How Can You Tell Google What You Authored?
Here are the basic steps:
- Set up a Google+ profile with a professional image. Filling out your profile with as much detail as possible will improve your efforts.
- Link your profile to your content. The easiest way is to begin linking all of your blog posts to your Google+ profile using this tag: <rel=”author” link=”your-googleplus-url” />. You can do this in an “About the Author” section, and be certain to use your first and last name as the anchor text. WordPress and similar content management programs offer plugins for this, or you may need your webmaster’s help.
- List the places where you write in a “contributor to” section on your Google+ profile. This prepares your posts to be recognized by the search engine. If you do this correctly, Swell Path states you may notice Author Rich Snippets next to your links on the SERPs.
By connecting all of your content to your Google+ profile and then listing the sites where you write in the “contributor to” section, you will be signaling to the search engine that you, in fact, were the author of that work. As the piece gets shares and likes through social media, Google’s new algorithm will start viewing you as an expert. The end result is higher ranking and better overall SEO for the pieces you author.
AuthorRank is just one factor in the new focus on the importance of authorship for SEO. Bing has recently announced a similar feature, which will connect to an author’s work and Twitter profile. This shows that, regardless of the search platform used, owning your work and producing quality content for your content marketing efforts is going to improve your search engine results.
So start writing and claiming what you write, and the results will follow!