Blogging has been a major driving force on the Internet. Until fairly recently there had been no significant way for bloggers to protect their work from being stolen by spammers and content scrapers on the web. However, Google has finally come to the party with a new way to protect authors’ works and increase their online credibility.
So why should you participate in Author Rank? Well, one study has found that rich snippets increased website traffic by 150% once they were added. We also know that Google Plus search results are more likely to show up other Plus profiles to users, a kind of search endorsement if you like, so it really is worth implementing. If you consider that the only other avenues to get a boost in Google would be to pay for PPC advertising or to hire an SEO expert to work on your website, Author Rank is essentially a free tool available from Google.
Tip # 1: Use Authorship and Develop Your Online Reputation With +1′s
Author Rank follows in the wake of Google Plus, which has finally managed to develop a niche of its own. And what has bloggers talking about Google Plus is its system of authorship. The objective is to allow authors to develop their rank on the content they publish on the web.
Google is using its sharing and “+1″ system to gauge the quality of the content being posted by authors. Lots of shares and +1′s indicate the content quality is good and appreciated by an online audience. Volume is also an indicator of author rank. The more high quality content you publish, the greater your chances of building an online reputation.
Authorship now gives bloggers a means through which to protect the content they create. Bloggers who set up Google Authorship correctly can also receive special privileges in the search engine results pages. Articles written with authorship will be ranked much higher than those without it.
As long as you have a Google Plus profile you can ensure your content is attributed to you as the author / blogger. Author Rank can be set up if your site runs on a content management system or off static html. Once you establish your online reputation, anything you publish will be viewed more credibly by the search engine.
How To Set Author Rank Up
There are two easy steps to set up Author Rank but you need to have a Google Plus profile. To stay compliant with Google’s rules you must keep your profile up to date and include a profile picture of yourself. This should be a headshot picture.
Step 1: Verifying your email address
The verification step is for Google to make sure you are a real person with a legitimate account. The email address should have the same domain as your blog or website.
Visit plus.google.com/authorship and place the email address you use in your content on the page. Click the verification link in the email that Google sends you and off you go.
Step 2: Linking from your content page
Visit the Google Plus page and click on the profile tab. From there click the About tab underneath your profile picture. Find the links section (you might have to scroll down a bit) and click edit. Add your blog or website url in. There is space to add multiple links in this section. Save the changes and remember to include links on future articles that go back to your Google Plus page.
Author Rank might only be in its infancy right now but it appears that the search giant is developing new ideas for the platform to evolve already. Google’s Matt Cutts has already endorsed the platform, showing how Google can identify industry experts using Author Rank. If you want to develop yourself as a thought or industry leader, this is one platform you need to be visible and active on.
Tip # 2: Author Rank and WordPress
If your website runs off WordPress you can get a variety of plugins to add the mark up for you. If you are inexperienced it might be a safer option. Your icons and images will also be updated to the social networks if you use a plug in.
Tip # 3: Author Rank Only Works For People
Author Rank should not be used for property listings or product descriptions. Google has stated clearly that property listings and product description pages are not suitable to be used on this platform. Even if your content has been rewritten and is original it is not advisable to attach it to personas or companies – it’s not what Google wants the platform to be used for.
People would like to read informative articles penned by experts and should not be attached to professional brands, rather the people working in them. It also only works where there is a single author. If a piece of content should be attributed to a group of writers, then it is not advisable to use Author Rank.
However, if the content has been translated and rewritten in multiple languages, but still by the same person the articles would be eligible for Author Rank.
It is important to remember that Author Rank was developed by Google’s web spam team. This team has to ensure that search pages return the most accurate results possible. Interestingly, the program was developed a few years ago but it has been enhanced through the development of the Google Plus network.
Also important to understand is the fact that Author Rank has already been downgraded in search engine ranking to some extent because of the manner in which it has already been misused. Too many people flooded it using the platform for the purposes of building their website’s search engine optimization. So the lesson of the story is to make sure you only use it for its original purpose: to showcase thought leadership. If you are really are an industry expert with meaningful advice and information to share, Google will recognize you for it.