If you’re part of the 95% who aren’t using a rel=author tag, here’s what you need to know to get started.
What is Google AuthorRank?
At its core, AuthorRank is a system that ties a content creator’s content to his or her Google Profile.
This connection is what makes author photos appear with search results. It’s also what connects an author’s authority on that to the Page Rank formula.
If your favorite poker writer is writing for three other top poker sites, and is active on social media, that connection will have some SEO value for your site.
Google is able to integrate these connections with some authority because AuthorRank will also act as a sort of digital signature that’s been verified by the author.
That means you’ll need all your authors to update their Google Profiles to include a high quality head shot. (Sorry no avatars or cute stuff. This is Google’s game and they’re setting the rules.)
Webmasters connect content to authors by using the rel=author tag. It functions the same way as a follow/no follow tag by sending instructions to Google search bot. In this case the message is, relate this author profile, and everything in it, with this piece of content.
Read: The Definitive Guide to Authorship Markup by Rick De Jarnette at SearchEngineLand.com
What’s the Advantage of AuthorRank?
For writers, AuthorRank is an incredible brand building tool. In a way, it’s going to allow writers to bring a considerable amount of authority, and SEO value, to everything they write.
Webmasters will not only benefit from their writers’ reputation, those pictures that come up with search queries will definitely drive more clickthroughs.
AuthorRank, Google + and the Much Bigger Picture
Google is nothing if not thorough and you won’t be surprised to find out that AuthorRank is just a small part of a much bigger picture.
We all know that Google is getting very serious about content and backlink quality, that’s what Panda and Penguin were all about. We also know that Google is placing an increased value on social shares and organic link building.
By tying specific authors, and everything Google knows about them, to specific pieces of content, their search results will be considerably more accurate.
(For a seriously in-depth take on this subject, check out AuthorRank Could Be Bigger Than Panda and Penguin Combined, by AJ Jon.)
Putting the Pieces Together
We’ll no doubt be writing much more about AuthorRank in the months to come, but here’s what you need to know for now.
- Google is very serious about AuthorRank and the sooner you implement it, the better off you’ll be.
- Authors and Webmasters both stand to benefit from AuthorRank and both have to take specific steps in getting it started.
- AuthorRank is a bit like PageRank for writers, so be sure and encourage your writers to get active on social media.
Don’t put this off any longer. It’s, cheap, easy and offers some serious SEO value for everyone involved.
Have you implemented AuthorRank yet? Share your tips in the comments section below.