Google Authorship has been around for a while. It has helped many bloggers and journalists stand out by having their images appear directly in search results next to the articles they publish. It highlights the number of people that have them in their Google+ circles and gives a link to other writings by the author. This is nothing new.
Google AuthorRank has been given much speculation for about a year now. The idea is simple – Google will give higher rankings to those who have demonstrated expertise in a particular field. If someone is prolific at writing about a subject and their writing is well received by the community, the content itself and the domain on which the content appears can be ranked higher than competitors. Nobody knows exactly what criteria Google will consider when determining AuthorRank, but much of the speculation makes too much sense to be completely off.
They want quality. They want content that can be shared. They want resources and value. They believe that there are people who tend to be more influential about one topic or another because they have demonstrated a proficiency at writing about the topic and their content gets the type of activity that one would expect from something of importance. Here are some of the speculations about what may influence AuthorRank:
- Shares, particularly on Google+, but also on Twitter, Facebook, and possibly others such as Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tumblr
- Comments – is anyone reacting to the content?
- Google+ circle authority. It should be noted that I said “authority” and not “count” as I’m sure Google will look at quality of followers over quantity
- Authority level of the sources will still have an affect but not in the traditional PageRank way they once did (seen this first hand already)
What does all of this mean for businesses? For larger companies, it’s easy. Get better at blogging. Do more than just promote your products and services. Be informative. Bring value. Hire top-notch journalists rather than marketing copywriters and press release agencies to fill your website will strong content in an engaging format.
For localized businesses, it’s a little more challenging. The rise of outsourced social media tells us that there is already a clear shortage of time when it comes to search and social. Content marketing is the
future present and it centers around a word that has been used too many times already in this post, value. It continues to be used because it cannot be stated enough. You have to bring value through quality content if you want to advance well beyond the competition. The good news – very few at the local level will participate. The bad news – it isn’t easy. It isn’t cheap. This isn’t the type of content that you can pay $5 for on an offshore content spinning service and expect to get results. The content has to ring true. The author has to get out there and become an expert, a trust adviser on the topics you need them to dominate. The path isn’t an easy one, but take note: if you do it successfully, you increase your ability to rank well on Google and be amazing on social media by leaps and bounds.
This isn’t a quick tip. It’s not a trick. Bring value to the table and do it the right way and you’ll be rewarded by Google. Why? Because that’s exactly what they want you to do.