What is Author Rank, and why should I care?
Imagine a system where you can be identified as the author of a piece of content on the internet. That content is then graded, and that grade will directly impact the page position of that content on Google’s search. This is what Author Rank will do, by tying your Google Plus profile to content you have created on the web. The idea is that the reputation of the author will influence the ranking of search results. This hopefully will weed out more of the spammers and bring quality content to the top of your search.
This will be very important to businesses or individuals that have a blog or who regularly guest blog for others. Your Author Rank and the quality of your content could help you extend your reach to new readers that may have never seen your blog otherwise. If at this point you still do not care about Author Rank, you may want to check out this amazing frowning cat.
Getting Set Up for Author Rank
If you do not have a Google + account yet, make sure to take the time to fill out a complete profile. This alone will be the most time consuming task, but think of it as an SEO investment for your website.
- Create a public Google Plus profile: Make sure to use a decent photo of yourself. Google will display this image alongside your page in the search results. (See image below)
- Make sure the name on your blog profile matches the name on your Google+ profile exactly: Help Google match you up as the author of your blogs.
- Edit your Google Plus profile “Contributor To” section: Add the site(s) you write for so Google will know that you are an author that contributes to that website. (Click here to edit your author rank contributor section)
- Head over to Google Authorship: All you have to do here is enter in your email address from the same domain as the website you write content for. Google will send you a verification email, so make sure the address you provided is correct.
That is it– you’re all set up. Google Plus will now review your Plus profile and your website profile and blog posts to ensure they have the right person before they approve authorship. Once approved your image will be displayed next to your blog posts in Google search.
Even though Author Rank is only partially activated at the moment, you can still set yourself up to have a decent rank when it does fully launch, which presumably will happen this year.
Improve your Author Rank
Building your author rank is important and it will be very beneficial for your site if you start on it now. Sharing your posts and interacting with others on Google Plus gets you more exposure now, and in the near future it will play a part in the way you are ranked as an author, directly affecting your page rank.
- Start by logging into your Google Plus twice a day (with an eventual goal of checking it three to five times a day). Interact with others on their posts, and share posts relevant to your topics.
- Find a few interesting people on Google Plus. Circle them and interact with their posts to build quality relationships with those that you follow.
- Set 30 minutes aside each day to work on your blog. (You blog, right? If not, now is the time to start– not after Author Rank is released.) Make sure your posts are both helpful and informative, but do not forget to have fun.
- Look for guest blogging opportunities to help spread your authorship across the web.
How to Destroy Your Author Rank
Under no circumstances should you be attempting to destroy your author rank. These practices should be avoided if you want to stand out as a web author. Google’s vision is to make it difficult to gain rank, but losing it will be quite easy.
- Press releases without news – While it’s a good idea to have press releases, you should not submit them without a real newsworthy story. Achieving basic operating goals is not newsworthy. Think of press releases as crying wolf– you want there to actually be a wolf, or no one will be listening when there is.
- Create bad content – We know that great content will drive traffic and links, but bad content can increase your page’s bounce rate. This would result in loss of both Page and Author Rank.
- Comment spamming – Adding a comment to a blog post or forum, just to place a link back to your site is another great way to reduce both your Page and Author Rank. This tactic should be avoided. You should still comment on other blogs or forums, just be sure your comment adds to the conversation. This way you will eventually be considered a valuable member of the group.
Making sure you are prepared with the best practices for building Author Rank will put you ahead of the game when it is finally released. Do not wait, or you will most likely have to play catch up and the work will seem much more daunting. For a successful SEO future, invest a small amount of time each day to building your authorship, and your Google Plus circles and communities.