Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Google Author Rank – what is it and how do I get mine sorted?

Google Author Rank is the hot topic in internet marketing and SEO for 2013. Oh baby. But weirdly, not many small businesses know what it is, let alone the impact it can have on their websites.

So what exactly is Google Author Rank, and how can online businesses stay ahead of the game?

What is Google Author Rank?

If you want to understand Google Author Rank, you need to have an understanding of the concept of Google Authorship, because the two are inextricably linked.

Chances are you've seen Google Authorship in action without realising. Honest. Just run a search on Google and some of the results will have a picture of the author, along with a short biography and links to their other online work. Studies show people are more likely to click on those results because they stand out. In fact some companies have seen a 150% increase in click-throughs since it was implemented. Which is a pretty damn impressive number, isn't it? One hundred and fifty percent, mmm.

Authorship allows online writers to link their Google+ profile pages to articles they've written and published online. The quality of that content is then ranked using an algorithm called Author Rank. Say you've written a bunch of top notch articles about buying property in Spain and those articles have been liked and shared a lot – then you will be viewed as an expert on that subject, so any subsequent articles you write will be ranked higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Authorship and Author Rank highlight Google's determination to cull the amount of bland, irrelevant content online, and deliver a better experience – more quality content – for its users.

How do I establish my Google Author Rank?

The first step to building up your Author Rank is to verify yourself as an author and link your content to your Google+ account. Make sure you add a good photo – head shots are best – and a biography, as well as links to any online work.

The next step is to start building up a presence. It goes without saying that the more content you claim with Google Authorship, the more visible you will be in the SERPs. But it shouldn't be any old content – it needs to be quality content. This will give your business an extra layer of credibility, as potential customers will be able to track your expertise in a specific area.

Author Rank is also linked to the Page Rank your writing features on – so writing guest blogs for other high-
ranking websites is a great tactic to build your ranking, as long as you ensure the content is linked back to your Google+ account.

Other factors to help you climb those all-important ratings are the number of +1s you receive, which act as a vote of confidence for your writing, and the amount of times each piece of writing is shared within your Google+ communities and other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The amount of Google+ communities you're involved in will also affect your rankings, because the more involved you are, the more authority you're seen to have.

Finally, the amount of onsite engagement you have with your readers counts, so ask your readers a question and make damn sure you respond to any comments they make.

Follow these simple tips and you can work your own Google Authorship magic and stay ahead of the competition.

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