Why AuthorRank is the Future of SEO (Mixwest 2013)

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If you've followed SEO and Internet marketing news over the past year or so, you've no doubt come across the concept of AuthorRank, which AJ Kohn says could be more disruptive than all of the Panda updates combined. Google has stated that the identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings. In other words, Google will begin (or has begun) to consider not only content quality as the basis of search results, but also their authors. Many believe that AuthorRank will be the definitive SEO ranking factor for all content on the web. Steven Shattuck will get you up to speed on what AuthorRank is and why you need to start preparing for this up-and-coming search engine ranking factor.

Key Takeaways:

* Overview of the history of AuthorRank / Agent Rank.
* Gain an understanding of how AuthorRank can affect search engine rankings and click-through rates.
* Learn how to set up Google Authorship to begin establishing your AuthorRank today.
* Learn how to optimize author rich snippets to increase CTR.

More in: Technology , Business
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  • 1. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Why AuthorRank is the future of SEO and what you need to do about it today.
  • 2. About Steven: ✤ VP Marketing, Bloomerang ✤ Published in: Search Engine Journal, Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Today, Business2Community, ExactTarget, Inside INdiana Business, Raven Internet Marketing Tools @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 3. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank What we’ll be covering: ✤ State of SEO ✤ What is AuthorRank? ✤ What is Google Authorship? ✤ Benefits of Google Authorship ✤ How to prepare for AuthorRank
  • 4. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Before we begin:
  • 5. ✤ There is no such thing as AuthorRank. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Before we begin:
  • 6. ✤ There is no such thing as AuthorRank. ✤ You cannot (currently) “build AuthorRank.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Before we begin:
  • 7. ✤ There is no such thing as AuthorRank. ✤ You cannot (currently) “build AuthorRank.” ✤ “AuthorRank” is a term invented by marketers. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Before we begin:
  • 8. ✤ There is no such thing as AuthorRank. ✤ You cannot (currently) “build AuthorRank.” ✤ “AuthorRank” is a term invented by marketers. ✤ Google Authorship and AuthorRank are not the same thing. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Before we begin:
  • 9. What is AuthorRank? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 10. Then: Keyword Stuffing | Exact Match Domain | Link Spam | Directories @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 11. Then: Keyword Stuffing | Exact Match Domain | Link Spam | Directories Now: Good Content | Social Signals | Relevant Links @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 12. Then: Keyword Stuffing | Exact Match Domain | Link Spam | Directories Now: Good Content | Social Signals | Relevant Links Tomorrow: + AuthorRank @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 13. How is content currently ranked? ✤ Social ✤ Backlinks ✤ Onpage (Technical) ✤ Onpage (Content) @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 14. How is content currently ranked? ✤ Social ✤ Backlinks ✤ Onpage (Technical) ✤ Onpage (Content) @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 15. Then: Keyword Stuffing | Exact Match Domain | Link Spam | Directories Now: Good Content | Social Signals | Relevant Links Tomorrow: + AuthorRank @StevenShattuck | #MixRank ? ? ?
  • 16. How does Google know if content is good? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 17. 2005 Google Patent - “Agent Rank” “The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings.” “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 18. Digging in to “Agent Rank” “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 19. Digging in to “Agent Rank” “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank 1. established reputation 2. high reputational score 3. valuable content
  • 20. Digging in to “Agent Rank” “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank 1. established reputation (identity) 2. high reputational score (active social graph) 3. valuable content (credible expertise)
  • 21. GoogleWants AuthorRank “We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.” - Othar Hansson (Software Engineer, Google) @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 22. AuthorRank defined: Expert content, written by established (non-anonymous) authors will rank higher than anonymous content. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank ✤ One (desired) ranking factor out of many (PageRank, Domain Authority, etc.) ✤ Content quality + author quality (reputation) ✤ Anonymous / ghost-written / outsourced / plagiarized content will suffer ✤ No one outside of Google knows the timetable / how this will manifest
  • 23. Anonymity / Identity “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.” - Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman, Google) @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 24. Identity: Google Authorship @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 25. 2005 Google Patent - “Agent Rank” “The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings.” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Google Authorship (exists) AuthorRank (does not exist)
  • 26. What is Google Authorship? ✤ Google Authorship ties authors to their content ✤ Established Google Authorship is a requisite to building AuthorRank ✤ Implements goals of “Agent Rank” patent through one mechanism 1. established reputation (identity) 2. high reputational score (active social graph) 3. valuable content (credible expertise) @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 27. @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Meanwhile, on Google+...
  • 28. Google Authorship begins on Google+ rel=”author” contributor to @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 29. Establishing Google Authorship has immediate value @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 30. Authorship Rich Snippets @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 31. Authorship Rich Snippets @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Google+ Profile Author Photo Other Posts
  • 32. Trust Factor @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 33. Trust Factor @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Which would you click first? Which caught your eye first?
  • 34. Authorship Rich Snippets @StevenShattuck | #MixRank ✤ Increased visibility in the SERPs ✤ Instant credibility ✤ Link to other posts by that author ✤ Link to their social profile (G+) ✤ Higher CTR ✤ #1 ranking not as important?
  • 35. Google Authorship: Instructions @StevenShattuck | #MixRank 1. Add blog / author URL to Google+ “Contributor to” field 2. Add rel=”author” markup that points to author G+ URL ✤ Easy in Wordpress: use Yoast Wordpress SEO plugin ✤ Non-Wordpress: have G+ profile URL somewhere in author bio Detailed instructions: http://searchengineland.com/the-definitive-guide-to-google-authorship-markup-123218
  • 36. “Contributor to” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 37. Structured DataTestingTool http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 38. Authorship Stats @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 39. Authorship is catching on @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 40. Not just webpages @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 41. When authorship is a bad idea @StevenShattuck | #MixRank http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2286728/Can-Google-Authorship-Really-Cause-a-Huge-Traffic-Drop-Case-Study
  • 42. Authorship creates content champions @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 43. Authorship creates content champions ✤ Encourages internal/external content production ✤ Helps build author’s personal brand and authority ✤ Employers get ongoing benefits from former employees’ content @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 44. R.I.P.Anonymous Content @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 45. R.I.P.Anonymous Content ✤ No more “by ‘Guest Blogger’” or “by (company name)” ✤ Tough days ahead for ghost-written, outsourced content ✤ http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/06/wmw-arvind-narayanan/ @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 46. IdentityVerification Across All Google Platforms @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 47. Google Authorship will keep Google+ relevant @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 48. Just use Google+ ✤ Fill out your profile ✤ Share articles daily ✤ Post comments ✤ Add people to Circles ✤ +1 your articles ✤ Join communities @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 49. What about Brands? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 50. What about Brands? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank rel=”publisher” verified URL
  • 51. rel=”publisher” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 52. rel=”publisher” + rel=”author” @StevenShattuck | #MixRank http://www.swellpath.com/2013/01/authorrank-for-brands/ http://www.virante.org/blog/2013/06/14/relauthor-or-relpublisher-which-should-i-use/
  • 53. What about AuthorRank? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank
  • 54. What about AuthorRank? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Watch your rankings closely. Pay attention to Google announcements.
  • 55. Grain of salt: Matt Cutts @StevenShattuck | #MixRank “Just because a patent issues...doesn’t necessarily mean we are using that patent at the moment. It just means that mechanism is patented.” - Matt Cutts (Head of Search Spam, Google)
  • 56. How to prepare for AuthorRank @StevenShattuck | #MixRank ✤ Establish Google Authorship (ask for rel=”author”) ✤ Build your authority ✤ Publish regularly ✤ Specialize! ✤ Use Google+ ✤ Watch your Authorship Stats
  • 57. Further Reading: ✤ http://raventools.com/blog/ultimate-list-of-relauthor-resources/ ✤ http://moz.com/blog/how-to-prepare-for-authorrank-and-get-the- jump-on-google ✤ http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/11/agent-rank-or-google-plus- as-an-identity-service-or-digital-signature/ ✤ http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/author-rank @StevenShattuck | #MixRank img via http://www.flickr.com/photos/rankingfuuta img via http://www.flickr.com/photos/philliecasablanca
  • 58. Questions? @StevenShattuck | #MixRank Slides: http://bit.ly/mix_rank