Google Author Rank Explained
Who you are is about to matter a lot more to content creators thanks to the new Author Rank feature from Google. With Author Rank, content creators can leverage social media to help build a positive reputation that can have a major impact on SERPs. It’s all part of Google’s efforts to incorporate the organic nature of social media links to help improve user experiences.
For affiliates and other content creators this new feature is something that really shouldn’t be ignored. Besides the obvious benefits of building a reputation based on high quality content, there’s also Google’s less-than-subtle messages on the subject. Here’s what Matt Cutts had to say on the subject at a conference last year, “Social is a good way to create a reputation for authors. If the reputation of content authors is transparent, it will make the whole web better.” So it’s time to get on board.
Author Rank Basics
At its most basic level, Author Rank is simply the concept of weighing author reputation when determining search engine results. For end users, it means that thumbnail photos of authors may start appearing with their results.
The concept behind this is that authors with more Google Plus Shares are more authoratative and reliable than authors who aren’t getting shares. This jibes with Google’s efforts to utilize more organic link structures than traditional link networks.
When a user +1′s an author’s content, other users in his or her network will see that recommendation when they search the same subject. Along witht the recomendation, a small thumbnail photo of the author will appear with the results.
Your Picture on the Web
If you’re one of the very large number of people who’d prefer not to have your picture on the Web, we understand. Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend. The upside is that links with author photos are virtually guaranteed to get clicked on more than links without them. So bite the bullet, get a great picture taken and smile when you think of all the new traffic your smiling face is going to bring in.
Getting Started on Author Rank
Getting started with Google Author Rank is as simple as going to your Google Plus account; uploading a profile pictue and associating yourself with the sites you’re writing for. Google does all the heavy lifting from there (so long as you’ve included your name and email with the content).
If you’re comfortable with coding, you can use the “rel=me” tag to more directly link your author page, Google + profile and content. For a complete tutorial on using “rel=me” tags, check out Dave Ashworth’s posting over on the Raventools blog.
Author Ranking is still a relatively unknown concept which makes it great time for getting in on the ground floor. Affiliates who start utilizing this tool now will have a real edge on latecomers and that’s going to matter a lot in the future. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
Are you using Author Rank and the “rel=me” tag? Let us know in our SEO Forum.