For many years Google has been using PageRank (PR) to classify sites based on authority. A higher PR site generally means higher authority and higher crawl rate by search engines. Google has been fighting against spam and black hat techniques since its very beginning. Earlier, any webmaster would gain backlinks either by buying links, commenting on other blogs, or by spam guest posting and increase their PR. Now Google is bringing a new card into the SEO game – Google Author Rank.

What is Google Author Rank?

Google Author Rank is nothing but a measurement of the authority of your blog / website over the internet. Google has been trying to provide their customers with better search results ever since it’s birth and this how they are going to do it. They normally update their search algorithms over 500 times a year (lots of minor updates and some major ones). The recent Panda and EMD (Exact Matching Domains) updates have hit many webmasters hard. The Penguin algorithm has hit most of the spam sites with devastating effects and if you are one of them, you should read the rest of the article.

Many SEO experts have complained about their organic traffic disappearing overnight. Google with their recent updates have changed the very definition of Search Engine Optimization. No one knows what to do anymore. But what everyone knows (even if they don’t apply it) is producing unique, original and useful content is the only way to avoid being penalized by these updates.

Why you have to go for Google Authorship?

You have to go for Google Authorship because Google wants you to. Google is the world leader in search marketing. With over 80% dominance in the search market, you have no choice but to stay on the Google’s good boy list. Organic traffic is the lifeline of any blog or website. To get organic traffic, you need Google and you have to listen to what they are saying.

What are the benefits of Google Authorship?

Google Authorship will provide more authority to your blog. Your Google+ picture will be displayed in the search results which increases the CTR of your blog.

There is also a hidden benefit of it which has been confirmed by Google themselves. If someone clicks a link on the search result and goes to your site and spends a certain amount of time there, then presses the browser’s “Back” button, more results from your site will be shown in the results. This is a way of Google knowing that the user has loved your content and is willing to read more from your site.

Back Click Authorship

According to Matt McGee of Search Engine Land, their research has calculated the time to be around 2 minutes. Here’s a snapshot (above) of the results after pressing the back button after a certain amount of time.

How to get Google Authorship?

To get Google Authorship, you need to connect your blog with your Google+ account. If you still haven’t done it or don’t know how to, you can check out these tutorials (for Blogger | for WordPress) which both provide a simple step on how to do that. Just a few days ago, I received my official notification from Google on being accepted into the Google Authorship Program.

Google Authorship

How the Author Rank will be calculated?

Like PageRank, the author rank would also be calculated using a series of complex signals that are received by Google. Well, according to Mike Arnesen of SEOmoz, some of the main factors that are going to be considered are:

•    PageRank of the author’s content
•    Number of comments on each post
•    Google+ shares of author’s content
•    Number of Google+ circles the author is in
•    Social Media Followers (e.g. Twitter , Facebook , Stumbleupon)
•    Connections with other high author rank authors

Author Rank

How the Author Rank will be implemented?

Google will take into account the PR of the author’s content and the factors above that I have mentioned and then combine with the Author Rank to give the best possible results to it’s customers. For years Google has been using PR to determine authority of the websites. But, as we all know, PR can be manipulated by using black hat SEO techniques. This author rank is supposed to help Google bring to the top more relevant and good quality content, so those who are using black hat and spam link building techniques are surely going to be hit by these pretty badly.

Author Page Rank

When will this Author Rank come into play?

Well no one knows exactly when the Author Rank will come into play or if it has already started playing in the background and we haven’t noticed yet. Whether Google has already implemented this or not, it doesn’t matter. You should start concentrating on building your author rank now. Start producing quality content and forget about the spam guest posting and black hat techniques (if you have been doing so).

How can I build my Author Rank?

Building your Author Rank is a little bit different than that of building your authority (which you have done so far). I’m just going to list out some of the critical points:

•    Start socializing with other reputable bloggers
•    Connect with other webmasters on social networking sites (e.g. Twitter , Facebook , LinkedIn)
•    Start sharing your content on the social media (if you haven’t been doing so)
•    Start using Google+ more
•    Get in the circles of the reputable bloggers
•    Start guest posting on high authority sites
•    Start commenting on high authority sites

Well, that’s about it. So, are you planning to build author rank or what? What do you think about this? You can hit the comment section to share your views.

 

The above post was written by Lahaul Seth of Blog Tips Codes. He writes about blogging, SEO, and Internet marketing, and often gives away free code (such as his free version of Hello Bar), so make sure you check him out.

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103 Responses to Google Author Rank: The Next Big Thing In SEO

  • My biggest pitfall with the Google Author Rank is being active on Google Plus. Maybe it’s just me, but I find Google+ hard to navigate and learn compared to Facebook or Twitter. I’m not really sure what it is, but something about it feels cluttered.

    Even still, I need to force myself to be more active on there.

    Wonderful guest post, Lahaul.

    • Thanks Ian, for letting me guest post on your blog. Appreciate it.

    • This post is very important and I would like to answer Ian Ebrele,

      About google+

      I am using google+ more and more, and realizing that it is not as it seemed… it is an extremely powerful tool, and if I had to chose between google+ and facebook, I would chose google.

      Try using it for a week. but in depth. don’t feel that you have to rush anywhere, take the time to learn this tool and talk to me later :)

      Good luck

      ps – this is a great article !

    • Well, my advice for you, Robert is to get yourself some more time over Google+ and in a matter of time you will get to have hang of the Google+ community and the perks and functionality it offers to its readers and users. Anyways a great post. Author rank is surely going to be a big thing, as long as there is a need for high quality content.

  • Hi Lahaul,

    Great article and I’m glad to see you talking about Google Authorship and Author Rank.

    I just want to stress one point, Author Rank is not the same as your blog rank. It is the rank of the individual who is creating the content, no matter what blog or online publication it appears on. I see a lot of people getting that confused so I needed to point that out.

    Thanks for linking to my post on Google Analytics too.

    • I have a question for you… If I have three blogs and use Google Authorship on each, will they share a score? So if I have a really strong blog SEO wise (like this one) and start a brand new blog, will it automatically start ranking better because of my good Author Rank?

      • Ian, let’s be clear. Google has not made an official statement on exactly how Author Rank will work so when you hear people talking about it, they are making “educated” guesses based on how Google typically ranks things.

        That’s why it is very important to get your Google Authorship on every blog you write for – even if it’s not your own blog.

        When I find out more, I’ll be sure to share the information.

        • This is clearly signs of things to come. Those of us who write copy for a living know that the phrase “Content is King” has always been true. Now, it will be the defining element. Couple AuthorRank with the recent change to increase social signals and demoting link building, and it’s apparent the search engines are embracing organic, natural behaviors.

    • Thanks for pointing that out Ileane. Really appreciate you for commenting on my article.

    • Hi Lahaul

      This point that you mentioned is extremely important.
      In my opinion google is really doing a great thing now, no matter how I used to manage my business before.

      It will bring much better search results over time, and there will be no way for anyone to spam for a longer time than 2 minutes in a raw.

      The reason is quite scary though.
      This monster which is called Google, (which you know so well) covers every aspect of the individual fully. We are not anonymous anymore and we have to get used to it.

      For the good and for the bad.
      The more we interact with internet stuff, starting with emails and up to analyzing your mindset in different times of the day, connecting your face to locations, figuring out what you are after etc…

      Now, the time of the individual arrives…. exactly the opposite of what big internet prophet declare… the big companies now are in trouble… it won’t help them to pay for people that will interact all the time… each of the workers will be considered as an individual…. that is a great thing to think and write about… fascinating topic

      • This new system Google is moving to is actually kind-of cool. They are evaluating our overall online presence, not just what we do on a single blog… Pretty neat if you ask me. The dedicated people get to the top, while the spammers stay on page 20 of the SERPs.

      • Hey, thanks for sharing your views. Only one thing confuses me. The author rank is supposed to rate individuals on the basis of their online presence. What happens to those writers who only write as freelancers. If they don’t have a website or blog of their own, what happens to them ? Also, what happens to big sites like mashable or techcrunch which has dozens of different writers.

        • I don’t mean to hijack the comment thread but I can’t help but point something out here. You said “What happens to those writers who only write as freelancers. If they don’t have a website or blog of their own, what happens to them?”

          My opinion is that freelance writers *must* have their own blog/site that they write for in their own personal (unpaid) capacity. For one, having your own site as a writer sets you apart from the many thousands of others who don’t, and two, it’s just a really good idea no matter which way you look at it. Ghostwriting is fine, but if that’s all you do, that’s all you’ll be (un)known for… You know?

          • I agree with you! The things about freelancers is that they can claim authorship if they want. However, if they are selling their work to someone else, that most likely won’t happen. If I were a freelancer, I would have my own blog (and probably use AdSense like everyone else) as well as freelancing.

  • I agree with you Lahul, I think that the recent Google algorithm are only the start of things yet to come. We should forget about SEO and concentrate on the content. That is what Google wants. I have my Google authorship setup but it only show my thumbnail in the search results for some of my posts. I am wondering if I have it setup properly.

    • Larry, I assume you’re running WordPress on your blog. You want to make sure that your Google+ page is linked on EVERY page/post. Follow the guide I have linked below and you should be good. And if your images still don’t show up on every result, then maybe that’s just how its supposed to work.

      http://www.omegaweb.com/2012/05/how-to-display-google-plus-blog-authorship-using-wordpress-plugin/

      • Thanks for the help Ian. I did not use the WordPress Plugin. I used WordPress SEO by Yoast to set it up on my blog. It Works fine using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tools, but not always do I see my tumbnail displayed for all of my posts in the SERP’s. I don’t know why, maybe as you say that is how it is supposed to work?

    • Thanks Larry. Yup, whatever google is planning , Google+ is a part of it. Earlier they didn’t have something like Google+. And now we know the purpose of Google+.

    • Hey Larry , I think I might have the solution for you. The search results which does not show the Google+ pics, try testing them in the rich snippets tools. In the rich snippets if you can see the thumbnail, that means you have properly added the authorship. What it also means is that Google hasn’t crawled those pages after you have added the authorship. So, what you can do is use the “Fetch as Google” tool. And then make Google crawl all the linked pages starting from your homepage. I think that should take care of the problem. Wait for a few days to see what happens.

  • I’ve just implemented Author Rank on my website, it took a little while to get my head round it but managed it in the end …. I’ve had a couple of pages show up in the search engines so will see how it goes

    Looks like this is the way to go so thankyou for the afvice

  • Bummer. Just when I started getting the hang of something they switch it on me. I HATE Google+ and don’t have a clue how to use it. I do have an account but I don’t want to use it.

    But thanks for the info. I had no idea about this subject. I sent links to my son who helps with the blog so we can get rolling on this.

  • Hi Lahaul!

    Thanks for sharing this update. Google is really making a lot of updates and sometimes, I am really having a hard time catching up on them. The Google Authorship Program is quite interesting. And yes you are absolutely right that to avoid being penalized by Google, the best thing to do is to consistently produce quality content.

  • Google Authorship is something that I never really did until about a year ago. This is something that every blogger needs to do to create more posts to show up for them. Very good post.

  • Thank you for letting me know more about author rank, SEO in 2013 is going to be different with author rank. You described perfectly about author rank that how does it get establish & what factors do matter to get author rank. I guess Google+ is going to be a major factor in building author rank.

  • I signed all my sites up for the authorship though for some reason I can’t get my personal blog validated even though the rich snippets tool shows all the right meta data, I get an error trying to validate. This happened when my Google Plus switched to +JustinGermino instead of a number, it is like their tool doesn’t know how to identify the profile unless it had the old number style profile.

  • Thank you for raising this super important issue. Special thanks for the detailed formula of author rank. We’ve been working on authority indicators for some time already, but I had certain doubts as to our choices. After reading this, however, I understood that we are moving in the right direction. Thanks for sharing yourexpertise

  • Wonderful article! Thank you for all the advice. I look forward to implementing these tips.

  • Hey,

    thanks. Best post on author rank I’ve found so far.
    Great job!
    Akos

  • One thing and remember this all of you.
    No one really knows, but with some hints and clues which are leaking here and there, we have the privilage to test things.
    I would assume that the updated that google does for each of the individuals takes much shorter that conventional SEO.

    Everything became, “here and now” it is a different approach…. cross over indexing in some why….

  • I didn’t know of Google authorship until your post. Thanks for sharing the information; I’m already trying to get the hang of this great tool.

  • Thanks for all of the great info. Really I had no idea about Google Authorship until now. So I guess if this is the new game I am really going to have to connect my blog with my google + account and maybe even start using it more often.

  • Great article & very true – frankly I originally disliked the Google+ layout and so I avoided in entirely (mistake). After finally giving in and enabling Google Author for a specific domain, that domain jumped a full pagerank up – and I hadn’t done any other SEO work on it for 2 months!

    Thanks for the article!

  • Hmmmm… A nice idea I believe however it misses the point a bit – what about all those guest posters who make high-quality posts on different sites? They cannot get included into this new service… If one can claim only his own site (or at least the one that one is able to verify), this service can measure only this site contents value, not the particular author.

    • On sites like Basic Blog Tips (and my blog), I give guest authors authorship with their own WordPress account to publish the post. Does that make sense?

      • Also remember that verifying authorship can be as simple as adding a byline with the author’s name linking to their G+ profile – as long as the guest author adds the domain to the list of sites they’ve contributed to in their G+ “About” section, of course. It’s a fairly simple way for both the guest poster to get the author rank & the blog to get the search benefits

        • Agreed. I use a WordPress plugin to help my guest bloggers do this. I don’t accept guest posts from just anyone, so it all works out. I only set up people I know for a long time and trust, so I am not risking my blog’s credibility by giving them a little “author juice”.

  • This is rubbish, I will tell you why. if Google does this then webmasters will just use the author account that has the best Google “authorship” every time they post an article.

  • The other problem is, obviously big time website authors will gain huge “authorship” markups really quickly, but it is in Googles best interest to allow new websites to come through, not obliterate them into the ground.

    This whole idea is a joke

    • Would you rather have Google keep the current system with the big people at the top either way? How would you like to be Darren from ProBlogger.com ranking #1 or #2 for highly sought after keywords, then be pushed down by a website that just started two months ago? You have to think about it from different perspectives. The big, giant websites have been here longer and normally have better content anyway. There’s a reason they are at the top.

    • Hi Mathew,

      I agree with Ian here. The top websites are at the top for a reason.

      The important thing is content will always be important in the eyes of Google and we have nothing to worry about if we keep producing quality content.

  • Hello Lahaul,

    I recently implemented authorship on my blog and though not sure if it really helped with anything else or not, but the Google search surely look much better and somehow I started to see the Site Link enabled for my website as well soon after implementing Google authorship. May be it’s just the coincidence or may be a relationship between these two… not sure.

    Thanks for sharing great content. I stumbled upon your website for the first time today.

    Regards,
    Kumar

  • I’ve been blogging for 4+ years on Google Blogger using my handle. It’s a humor blog and I’m not sure I want to have my real name, and potentially all my information on Google, available for all to see. I pay for privacy of my domain names, too. (I have a couple permutations of the name pointing to my site. Speaking of which, is that bad or good? I’ve heard both.)

    I’ve resisted Google+ because I will have to associate everything with my real name. I’m a little paranoid about trolls, ex-boyfriends and potential employers seeing everything I’ve ever written online. Anonymity makes it easy to write or joke about sensitive topics. I assume that all my comments would also be available to anyone who might Google my real name. Would that situation grow worse as my author rank improves and I become more visible?

    Do I have to choose either privacy or getting my blog read? Is there another, less creepy alternative? Google is pushing for more transparency but one of the great things about the internet is having relative anonymity. And Google uses all our information to profile us as perfect consuming machines. Pretty hypocritical…but is it inevitable?

    • That is a really good question, kathcom. I actually checked out your blog and it looks pretty nice (and you have a PageRank of 3). Anyway, it looks like this is the way that Google is trying to get people to go. I don’t necessarily find it “creepy” that your face shows up in search results, though, but I’m in a completely different niche than you.

      One thing you could do, although it’ll probably be frowned upon in the future, is use a fake name and fake image. That protects your privacy while giving you the benefits of Google Authorship at the same time. However, you could potentially get banned from Authorship, but I’m not really sure what their rules are for that.

      • Thanks so much for taking a look at my blog. I used to have a Page Rank of 4. At some point-I think during the Panda update-I got downgraded. It shouldn’t have been about lack of original content. I write all my own material, use much more text than images and had only two Adsense ads running. But I did have a personal issue that kept me from blogging and submitting to directories etc. (I read somewhere that pinging directories isn’t helpful anymore.)

        The thing I find creepy is the loss of privacy, the aggregation of everything associated with my name. Even though my privacy using kathcom is largely illusory, I still find it comforting. I think you’re right that Google will most likely ban authors with fake names at some point in the future. But my Google profile has my address, my credit card info-which it won’t seem to let me delete- and every other piece of information I’ve given over the years.

        I do have a separate Google account I did for a different blog years ago. Maybe I could resurrect it. Otherwise, I think I’ll just have to suck it up and come out of tthe closet, as it were.

    • I have exactly the same issue and same things going through my head as you Kath. One way round it might be to use a name that is close to your name but not the way you are known – maybe use your middle name, a variation on your first name or a shortened version of your surname… don’t think there is anything wrong in pen-names – actors and fiction authors do it all the time…

      Also, on the subject of potential employees seeing your blog, I would treat it as a positive – the fact that you run a successful blog can only me a positive thing to a potential employer (assuming that it does not act against their interests in any way)

      • Yeah, but if he wants to stay private on the Web, an employer is probably the last person he wants to see his blog.

        Anyway, there’s probably a lot of people out there that are going to be using pen names with the Authorship program. I don’t think there will be anything wrong with it until Google comes out and says “YOU MUST USE YOUR REAL NAME,” but the likeliness of that happening is very slim. Authorship is a worldwide program, so that means anyone in the whole world can sign up… They don’t have time to moderate people’s names :)

      • I hope that one day I’ll be able to get a job where the things I’ve written are a positive to a prospective employer. I write a (hopefully) humorous blog. There is always the potential to offend. Googling me and finding and article about all the crazy things women do to their private parts might not get me a job. But a girl can dream! ;)

    • Better to use your real name on Google Authorship. If in a few years time, Google comes up something to detect authors who are using fake names, may not be such a good news for them. Getting banned from the authorship will be the least of your problem.
      In the last 2-3 years, Google has come up with so many algorithms to prevent spam. I will not be surprised if 3-4 years from now, Google comes up with an algorithm to check the authenticity of the authors.

      • I think you’re right. Even though I don’t write a blog about anything business-related, of course I want to have as many readers as possible. I’d like to make money from it or get a chance to publish. Kathcom isn’t much of a nom de plume but I’ve had it since the mid-90s. If Google+ is the future, I’d better jump on board.

  • Nice summary of Author Rank and of its importance, especially moving forward. It’s so simple to set up that no business really has an excuse not to utilize it.

  • Hey Lahaul Seth,

    Love your article much… Of course, in order to prevent spammers to get ranked in top of the search results, Google should take action and implement such algorithms.

    Author rank will also create identity across the web

    • With Google Authorship being so new (about a year or so old) and Author Rank even newer, I would say that Google is doing the best they can right now to enforce the rules. As time goes on, they will probably have more rules.

  • Your content is excellent and contains tons of great information. Your perceptions on this topic are interesting, profound and different. seo

  • thanks for sharing…great help…keep the good works going guys..;-)

  • I have been using google+ for over a year now and although I agree that if it cuts down on people nicking your content. I also have the feeling that google are forcing you to use there sociol media platform if you want high search results

  • As per my knowledge, just i know about Google Page Rank, Now am hearing Google Author Rank. Yes now the Google algorithm is rapidly changing their own algorithm to fight with the spammers, because they have to maintain their unique standards and maintain the top search engines place.

  • I don’t know much.. I guess my seo specialist was right..

    Chiropractor Peoria

  • Well, so far lot of SEO involved people don’t know about Google upcoming penguin 4 update!! I think to keep up with that update it’s very important work Google friendly works and I truly learned about Google Author rank. So far I haven’t done anything related with AR process but looking forward and preparing my all workers to start following your mentioned ways for better ranking. Thanks.

  • Okay, I understand that you increase your pagerank by getting quality backlinks. But the question is now, how do you increase you page authority?
    This is really a big problem because It’s relatively new and unknown…
    If you have any experience please share!

  • nowadays advertisers want more DA and mozRank…
    and about the author rank- I guess it help those who write article on different blogs

  • I’m still exploring Google Plus so thanks for the tips. I guess it’s also another way for Google to gauge social media ranking and author reputability. I blog @Online Earnings.

  • I once read about this and never took it seriously but now I know that it can somehow affect the visibility of my site! Thanks for sharing.

  • Yes I’ve noticed in a lot of forums mentioning this and stressing that Google takes this very seriously now. I think it may have something to do with the perceived threat from Facebook.

  • It is been year and yet Google has not released yet an official statement about making this as direct signal foot search ranking. However, even if there are no clear boundary of authorship mark up in Google, I still love the thought that my author bio appears on search engines with my blog post. I guess I will call that a sense of pride. But wherever authorship is going, so far, it brings nothing but all the goodness my blog can ever get.

    Thanks,
    Alice from
    Good Blogs

  • It was a very informative post. Thanks a lot for sharing. Authorship verification process has become very popular and essential now a days. I would like to know if there is any software or program through which we can check our Authorship rank?

  • Have you noticed much change in rankings against pages that don’t have authorship? While I haven’t seen the benefits directly I would agree that the fact your search listing has a picture next to it should mean a higher click through.

  • This is one of the best posts I have seen about Google Authorship. Bookmarking this post for later reference. Thanks for the killer content.

  • I really apreciate this information, It was a very informative post. authorship verification process has become very popular and essential now a days.

  • This is another BIG THING in SEO. Keep it up!

  • I really liked the detailed author rank explanation, thanks for making it clear.

  • Hi Lahaul,interesting post. Since launching Google plus by Google, many webmasters and sophisticated people are using Goolge than Facebook. I think that Author rank plays an important role when displaying the web pages in result pages. As you explained about social shares, do Facebook shares cause to rankings in SERPs ?

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