Google Author Rank


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  1. 1. t raf f icgenerat ioncaf Author Rank: Are You Too Late?The Hof f mans are a typical f amily leaving large in our age of instantgratif ication, which means my 6 year-old daughter Emma has a veryslim chance of ever benef itting f inancially af ter my husband and Iare gone.Luckily, not all is lost f or Emma.Her internet-savvy mom discovered a brilliant way to pave Emma’sway to her own f uture internet stardom.Author Rank.Sounds laughable, but think about it. By the time she’s ready tostart a blog of her own, whether it’s a couple of years f rom now oraf ter she graduates f rom college just to f ind out that she can’t geta “normal” job, if I start working on her Author Rank NOW, she’ll behard to beat.Instead of giving her a f ish, I’ll be teaching her how to f ish, right?Allow me to delight in my own brilliancy f or a moment… and then get down to business: Author Rank.It’s not like it’s the f irst post written on the topic, so why am I writing one here at Traf f ic Generation Caf é?TL;DR You should def initely read this post because:1. This post is the place to get the skinny on Author Rank: what it is, why we need it, etc – without havingto read dozens of articles to get the gist.2. We’ll also talk about Google Authorship vs Author Rank , plus where PageRank f its in – somethingmany bloggers (including me until I wrote this post) are still a bit f uzzy about.3. I’ll do my best to give you a kick in the rear to start building your Author Rank today and explain howto do it.4. If you stick around, I’ll tell you what my new f avorite abbreviation TL;DR stands f or.What Is Google Authorship?Google Authorship makes you eligible to get the Authorship Rich Snippet in search results:your prof ile photo next to the result;the number of Google+ circles you are in;and a link to more search results f or your related content.
  2. 2. Here’s how to set up your content to be eligible f or Google Authorship.Why You HAVE TO Set Up Google AuthorshipThe immediate advantages of claiming Google Authorship:Higher visibility – stand out in the search results with your prof ile photo.Higher click-through rates (CTR) – people are more likely to click on your result if you have your photoattached, even if your result is more toward the bottom of the page. In some cases, your CTR canincrease as much as 150% per marketing research company Catalyst.The f uture advantage of claiming Google Authorship:Start building your Author Rank NOW.Matt Cutts onAuthorshipGoogle’s Matt Cutts put out a new Webmaster Help video discussing Authorship.Specif ically, he responds to the user-submitted question:Will Google be evaluating the use of rel=”author” moving forward as more sites use the feature ongeneric, non-article/news pages, such as the home page or an about page?Google Authorship vs Author Rank?
  3. 3. What’s the difference between Google Authorship and Author Rank ?Google Authorship ties a Google+ prof ile to pieces of content.Author Rank is a numeric score, similar to PageRank, assigned to authors based on their content on aparticular topic.What Is Author Rank?(image credit)Author Rank doesn’t actually exist (yet); it’s a user-generated term.The idea behind Author Rank is that your reputation as a content creator will inf luence search enginerankings.Author Rank BackgroundThe concept of Author Rank as it pertains to Google comes f rom a series of patents Google published.
  4. 4. These patents go back as f ar as 2005 and the original set of patents is known as the “agent rank patents“.They all f ocus on identif ying agents online.“Agents” could be a lot of dif f erent things, like an author, or a brand, or dif f erent bits of data. Once thoseagents are identif ied, Google then can measure their trustworthiness, authority, and determine their inf luenceon search engine rankings accordingly.Algorithms can’t measure trustworthiness, authority, and relevancy, but they can f ollow the way peoplemeasure them.So the core idea behind this ranking system is identif ying individual agents, watching their interactions witheach other and inf ormation, and ranking that inf ormation according to the interaction observed.How would Google go about identif ying those authority agents?For a f ew years af ter the original f iling in 2005, Agent Rank patents remained just an idea.In 2011, Eric Schmidt stated that it was still Google’s goal to identif y agents in order to improve search quality,stating “it would be usef ul if we had strong identity so we could weed (spammers) out.”The f ollowing month (September 2011), Google f iled a continuation patent ref erencing a “portable identityplatf orm”, which sounds a whole lot like Google+ – prof iles that f orm a digital signature system of sorts.Google+ allows Google to do what they set out to do in 2005: attribute content to specif ic “agents” and rankthem.Additional Reading onAuthor RankAuthor Rank - AJ Kohn, BlindFiveYearOld.comGoogle Authorship, Author Rank and Social SEO with Mark Traphagen - Martin Shervingtonat martinshervington.comHow to Prepare f or Author Rank and Get the Jump on Google - Mike Arnesen at Moz.comWhen Is Author Rank Coming?It doesn’t matter when it’s coming because once it does, it’ll be too late.Sites that have been caref ully craf ting their inf luence as powerf ul content creators, building their f uture AuthorRank will undoubtedly have an upper hand and will f loat to the top of search engine rankings as a result.If you’ve done nothing, you’ll be lef t behind. That simple.It won’t be a penalty like Panda or Penguin, but it might as well f eel like one.As AJ Kohn said:“Author Rank could be more disruptive than all of the Panda updates combined…
  5. 5. Panda will feel like a speedbump if Google can implement a fully realized version of AuthorRank.”Author Rank and PageRankGoogle+ prof iles are web pages, and as such, they can be ranked on Google just like any other web page ANDthey have/pass PageRank like any other web page.Yes, your Google+ prof ile can be (and should be) optimized just like any other site.Yes, it can gain authority and pass that authority in the f orm of PageRank to other sites you link out to f romyour Google+ prof ile – your main site, f or instance.Yes, it can be a powerf ul tool in your SEO toolbox.Yes, it will help you to increase your f uture Author Rank.What’s Your Google+ Profile PR?You used to be able to easily see your Google+ prof ile PageRank in the Google toolbar, but it’s not the caseany longer.Now, in order f or you to check your PR, you’ll need to copy your Google+ prof ile URL (it would look somethinglike this:, and check it through a site like to give you a point of ref erence, my current Google+ prof ile PR is 3. Most SEOs will tell you that pageswith PR between 3 and 6 are generally doing pretty well and show a lot of authority.What’s your Google+ PR? Let me know in comments.How to Increase Your Google+ Profile PRIt stands to reason that there are two main ways that Google+ prof iles and pages gain their PageRank:1. through links f rom authority pages around the web – the “old f ashioned” way.2. other Google+ prof iles - Google can obviously easily track any interaction between Google+ prof ilesand any mention would be considered a “link”.Here are some practical ways to increase your Google+ prof ile PR and visibility:1. Make it your only social media connection on your main site.As I said in my post on how to get more Facebook f ans, DON’T do this:Too many choices lead to making NO choice.Instead, choose ONE social media network you want
  6. 6. to build and stick with it.Do you want to get more Twitter f ollowers? Thenmake it all about Twitter.Are you working on getting more Facebook f ans?Then Facebook it is.Do you want to build Google+ presence? Yep, you gotit.2. Link to your Google+ profile from othersocial media accounts.Most social media platf orms allow you to interlinkyour social media accounts. Make sure your interlinkyour Google+ prof ile with as many as you can.3. Link to your Google+ profile from guestpostsMost bloggers allow their guest bloggers to use 2 links in their author bio.I’d recommend that one of them should go to your optin landing page (like this one f or Traf f ic GenerationCaf é) and the second one – to your Google+ prof ile.4. Ask bloggers currently linking to youIf you are writing killer content, other bloggers are bound to link to it. Why not ask them to add a link toyour Google+ prof ile in their mentions?As a matter of f act, that’s what I am planning on doing f rom now on. It takes a bit of leg work, but might bewell-worth it at the end.5. Install Google+ commentsNow that it’s possible to add Google+ comments to many blogging platf orms, including WordPress, I highlyrecommend you do it.You don’t have to sacrif ice the native WordPress comment system; you can simply add Google+ commentsystem as an alternative, like you see in my comment section below.For instructions on how to add Google+ comments, check out Kim Castleberry’s How To Add Google+Comments To WordPress Easily.I use Google+ Comments by Alex Moss here at Traf f ic Generation Caf é.6. Publish mini blog posts to your Google+ profileThis is one thing that I love about Google+ – no one is looking f or 140-character long updates.
  7. 7. It’s OK to publish more. It’s OK to express your thoughts. It’s OK to rant. It’s OK to use Google+ as a miniblogging platf orm.It’s not only OK, but it’s good f or engagement, brand visibility, Author Rank, etc.People will link to those updates just like they would link to a blog post.Additional ReadingGoogle Plus SEO: Everybody’s Talks About It – How Do You DO It? - Mark Traphagen
  8. 8. 10 Dead Simple Tips to Take Advantage of Google+ f or SEO - Cyrus Shepard at Moz.comWhere Google+ Fits inWhy You Need Google+ RantGoogle+ is not yet another f eeble attempt f or Google to break into social media market.According to Google’s Senior Vice President of Social Vic Gundotra:“You have to understand what Google+ is. It’s really the unification of all of Google’s services, with acommon social layer.”Why Google+ is so important to Google?Data mining.the more people create Google+ accounts, the more of them surf internet logged into Google.this allows Google to track their interests very closely.the data collected allows Google to better tailor and personalized both organic and paid search results.the more on-target the search results are, the more responsive the search engine users will a result, the user satisf action is up, causing those users to come back to Google again and again.In Guy Kawasaki’s book, “What the Plus“, he writes:“…Google+ is to Facebook and Twitter what Macintosh is to Windows: better, but fewer people useit…”I also love how +Mike Elgan described the dif f erence between Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ in his How Iview Twitter, Facebook and Google+ post on Google+ (great example of mini blogging on Google+):“Twitter is Penn Station.…Yes, there is some content on Twitter, just as there is “content” at Penn Station (restaurants,Madison Square Garden, etc.), but it’s lightweight content designed for people in a hurry.Like Penn Station, Twitter is useful, valuable and necessary, but mostly as a conveyer of minds fromone place that isn’t Twitter to another place that isn’t Twitter.Facebook is Long Island.Like Long Island, Facebook is a great place to live if you want to spend your time with family andfriends.
  9. 9. And like Long Island, Facebook is an island.Google+ is New York City.Like New York City, Google+ is a huge, beautiful, vibrant, multi-cultural engine of ideas.Like New York City, Google+ is a great destination and a great place to live for people who want tomeet interesting new people all the time, create and publish content and be intellectuallystimulated…”Google+ has also outgrown Twitter as the second largest social media platf orm.Twitter Kaepernicked by Google Plus? from Ana HoffmanGoogle+ and Author RankNow that we (hopef ully) understand the dif f erence and correlation between Google Authorship, Author Rank,and PageRank, it’s impossible to ignore Google+ and its role in the f uture of SEO.As I mentioned above, Google+ became the perf ect platf orm f or Google to develop their digital signaturesystem that they can use to track authors (“agents”) and their content, watch the interaction between authorsand content, and rank those authors accordingly (i.e. assign Author Rank).If Author Rank is the brain, then Google+ is the muscle that will transf orm SEO in the (near) f uture.TL;DR You need to be there. You need to be on Google+.The State of My Google+ ProfileJust to level the playing f ield here, I have, f or all intents and purposes, abandoned my Google+ prof ile.I created it back when Google+ f irst started, but haven’t given it much attention since then.I’ve been using all the f amiliar excuses of …I don’t have enough time f or yet another social media platf orm;not as many people are using Google+;etc, etc, etc.However, as a big f an of search engine traf f ic and af ter doing extensive research on Author Rank and what itmeans f or the f uture of SEO, I see no choice, but to do what I should’ve done a long time ago – start activelybuilding my Google+ presence.Here are my starting stats:
  10. 10. I haven’t customized my prof ile to keep up with any Google+ changes;I haven’t done much SEO f or my prof ile (yes, you can optimize your Google+ prof ile to show up onGoogle f or your desired search terms);roughly 12,000 have me in their circles;I post randomly and mostly links to my own posts;I don’t track engagement in any way, although I’ve become better since installing Google+ commentsat Traf f ic Generation Caf é;my ref erral traf f ic f rom Google+ is abysmal - most other social media networks are way ahead of it.I can def initely do better than that.As +Bruce Bates said this morning:
  11. 11. Too bad “deserving” doesn’t automatically translate to “getting it”…Oh well, I guess I’ll have to do it the old-f ashioned way – by giving it all I’ve got.Today, I am starting to f ollow my own advice and dive into Google+.YOU?Here’s some additional reading to help you.How to Start Using Google+… or kick it up a notch.Google Plus Bite-Sized Tutorial f or the Busy Marketer - Ana Hoffman at Traffic Generation CaféThe Ultimate Google+ Quickstarter Guide (VIDEO) - Martin Shervington at martinshervington.comThe Ultimate Guide to Google Plus Posts - Martin Shervington at martinshervington.comThe Ultimate List of Google+ Tips - Amy Lynn Andrews at bloggingwithamy.comThe Of f icial Google Plus Translation Guide - Rand Wilson on Google+Google+ Help SectionHow to Build Your Author Rank: Checklist
  12. 12. Let’s get back to Author Rank bef ore I let you go and take a look at some things you can do today toincrease your Author Rank.1. Establish Google AuthorshipMake sure you create that tie between your online identity and your content.Once again, here’s how to set up your content to be eligible f or Google Authorship.2. Write Killer ContentCreate memorable content in your niche – the kind of stuf f you want to be known f or.You won’t be recognized as an authority in something you are actually not an authority in. Makes perf ectsense, yet somehow it hasn’t sunk in f or many online business owners.Actually becoming an expert in your f ield is the f irst huge leap to being recognized as such by others.TL;DR Don’t write anything that’s not worth reading.3. SpecializeAuthor Rank is a very topic-centered concept.As an author, you can earn dif f erent Author Rank in dif f erent topic areas.Def ine your area of expertise and stick with it.If you try to develop your Author Rank in one too many areas, it might end up being f airly weak in a lot ofdif f erent topics instead of strong in one.That’s how Google relevancy works: the more specif ic to a topic you are, the better chances are that Google(and your readers) will recognize you as one as well.4. Promote your Google+ ProfileOnce again, your Google+ prof ile is your author hub and Google uses it to tie your content together.It only makes sense to promote it like you would your website itself .Optimize it.
  13. 13. Mention it.Build links to it.5. Find/connect with Google+ influencers in your nicheTo make this step easier, here’s your f irst inf luencer to add to your circles:Author Rank: Marketing TakeawayIs Author Rank a reality today?No. But it’s no longer about if it happens, but when.And when it happens, you want to be there; no question about it.TL;DR Start working on your Author Rank today or you could be too late tomorrow.PS TL;DR stands f or “too long; didn’t read”If you like this post and think it would be valuable to your f ollowers,share the ish out of it f or me, would you?