Google understands that great writers create create content. This notion, however, had not been factored into Googles infamous algorithm until the recent introduction of Author Rank.
What is Author Rank?
Author Rank is a new aspect of Googles search algorithm that will score online content creators. Similar to SEO rankings for sites and pages, authors will now have an associated ranking based on a few contributing factors, including, but not limited to:
- Social sharing of your Google+ posts
- Quality of backlinks to your content
- Interactions with your content (comments and shares)
- Timely and topical content
- Reputation and authority on other social networks
In short, Google will be assessing your reputation, authority, and the general reception of your content to determine just how valuable you are as an author. This ranking methodology provides writers with a greater incentive to not only build out their Google Plus profiles (smart move, Google), but also to ensure their online presence is streamlined and connected across all social networks and blogs to which they contribute.
A user who is well-connected, well-informed, produces great content, and is seen by the larger community as valuable, will without question reap the rewards of a high author ranking.
Serving as a robust online contributor and author will not impact your Google Author Rank until you claim your Google Authorship Markup. Not to be confused with Author Rank, the Authorship Markup displays rich snippets with your profile photo for all of your published content in search results.
As a writer, Authorship Markup is highly valuable in that it conveniently ties you to the numerous publications that have reaped the benefits of your stellar content. Instead of having to find your articles by searching for the site or page, your writing contributions are now tied to your Google Plus profile with Authorship Markup.
When your articles are accompanied by a profile photo and a description of the content in search results, your credibility as a trusted and verified author will increase. With the continued existence of content farms and bots out there, isnt it nice to know you can have a verified digital identity as an author? Furthermore, as content marketing becomes ubiquitous, the ability to demonstrate that you have a history of successful content creation and have a strong following will become increasingly valuable.
Authorship Markup doesnt just help you, it helps who youre writing for. Blogs and sites concerned with quality content are more inclined to work with trusted authors. Why? Because numerous reports have cited click-through rates increasing by 30% or even 150% for articles with Authorship Markup enabled.
Get Started with Authorship
Participation in Google Authorship requires a verified Google + profile. All of your published content needs to cite you as the author and link to your Google + profile. Some sites accomplish this by linking to an author biography page that satisfies these needs or with a byline on the article itself.
Google has set-up Authorship so that both the writer and the publication must confirm the relationship and the Google Plus profile must have a verified email address. Though set-up is simple, these extra verification measures help to ensure that were not being duped by a doppelganger. A small price to pay for the real thing, if you ask me.
+1s All Around
So youre all set up with Authorship Markup, and the publications to which you contribute have kindly linked to your Google Plus Profile. This will not result in magic. In fact, this is really just one part of the online credibility and popularity puzzle. Now, you have to keep doing what you were doing in the first place– writing stuff thats relevant and writing it well, writing it on reputable and trusted sites, and sharing it across your social networks.
Establishing your online authority is not an easy process, and now Google has found a way to reward writers who have put in the hard work. Ultimately, by caring about Author Rank, youre helping yourself…and your organization…and the publication….and Google. Dont you want to give back?