Google Authorship is a service provided by Google that credits an author for the content they have created. It assigns the author an Author Rank based on popularity of their content. Google+ is the main influencing factor to Author Rank. It is widely believed that this rank will slowly push into search results, as predicted by SEO industry leaders such as Search Engine Watch and SEOmoz.
This represents a potentially large shift in inbound marketing.
Why does Google care enough about content creators to start profiling them? There are two main reasons:
- To encourage high-quality content. Letting people decide who and what to share is the most effective way to reduce the visibility of bad content.
- To push people to Google+. Google’s own social media platform has the most influence over its search results. As content creators migrate over to the platform, others will follow. It is important to remember this when building Author Rank.
How Google Authorship Will Affect Content Creators
Author Rank is good for content creators because it gives them a way to better differentiate themselves by creating a stronger social brand. Higher-ranking authors will increase page rank.
This means that writers will be chosen for more than their writing ability and price range. Content creators with complete social profiles, a history of active social engagement especially on Google+, and a good portfolio of shared content will be more effective for inbound marketing.
What Contributes to Author Rank
SEOmoz has identified most of the qualities of the high-ranking author, including:
- The Pagerank and authority of the Web sites where the author contributes.
- The social shares the author receives, such as through Facebook and Twitter.
- Connections to other highly ranked authors.
Google+ signals are the primary contributors to Author Rank, and include:
- The number of +1’s the author’s content receives.
- The Google shares the content receives.
- The level of activity of the author on Google+.
How to Build Your Author Rank
- Create a Google Plus account if you haven’t already. If you’ve already got a profile, take the time to build it out completely and make it professional.
- Sign up for Google Authorship. In addition to building your Author Rank, this will display your picture and bio next to the SERP listing. Make sure to follow the directions carefully and input the sites that you contribute content to. Make sure your name and email address matches that of your site profile.
- Focus on getting +1’s and shares for your content. Blog readers still don’t +1 content as much as they Tweet or Facebook it, so you’ll have to be active in getting the social signals you need. Promote your content on Google+, and try to find ways to get readers to +1 you from the blog.