Author Rank: Dominate The Search Engines And Become An Authority In Your Niche

Author Rank Medal

Author Rank is the new term that’s creating the new buzz among the search engine experts and internet marketers.

While most bloggers and internet marketers are afraid of the Pandas and the Penguins, this Author Rank thing is the new addition to Google’s update series.

But this one sounds to be a good news (well, may be not for everyone – for instance not for the spammers and autobloggers).

Google’s idea of Author Rank will encourage content creators a lot. If you’re a creator of awesome content, you can “claim” all of your content over the internet to be yours.

Yes I mean it.

No matter wherever you publish content – be it your own blog, or an article directory (like Ezinearticles), or your guest posts on other blogs, etc. – you can claim the authorship of all your content.

What does this mean?

Let’s say you have a blog on golf accessories and you publish awesome content on that blog related to golf accessories. If you actively do guest posts about golf accessories on other authority blogs in your niche, that is your content too.

Even though your content gets published on another place that you don’t own (that is not your own blog), it is still your content and you deserve to have the ownership for that content.

Of course your guest post or your article in the article directory will have an author box telling the readers that the content was created by you.

But only those who “read” that blog post or the article can look at that (some don’t even pay attention to the author box – true story).

But what if people can “see” your real face besides all of your content (no matter where it is published) as they appear in search results? This is what I’m talking about:

authorship markup Jane

See what I’m talking about? The post shown above (as it appears in SERPs) is one of my guest posts on Famous Bloggers.

I hear you asking, how do I do that?

Setting up Authorship Markup

Making your face to show up besides the content you created in search results page is cool. So how do you do that? Actually Google does it for you, if you just signal the bots about the content that’s yours.

If you don’t know what this whole authorship markup thing is, read this post

Authorship Markup, Google Plus And Niche Domination In Simple Terms For Bloggers

I’ve explained what’s in the authorship markers for bloggers in the above mentioned post. Here’s what you (as a blogger) can do with this thing:

  • Associate your blog(s) with your Google plus profile
  • Show off and stand out (and get clicked a lot in the SERPs)
  • Dominate your niche
  • Fight the thieves (aka content scrappers)

But that is not all.

Here comes Author Rank

Here comes author rank - Young woman standing in line with coworkers

Every page on the internet has a page rank; just like that every author who creates content is going to be associated with an author rank.

This is Google’s attempt to make it easier for its users to find the work of an author.

If you take a look at the SERP screenshot of my guest post at Famous Bloggers, you will know what I mean.

Even though that particular post of mine has appeared on Famous Bloggers (and not on my blog), people will still be able to recognize that “I” am the author of that particular piece.

The potential of this stuff is amazing.

So now every author in the planet will be assigned an author rank – sort of an authority score that indicates how authoritative an author is on a particular topic.

Author Rank: How to get the ball rolling

Here’s how you can get the ball rolling with building your author rank. It is not an overnight process.

It takes time to build it up. But you need to set the start.

Link your Google+ profile to your content

Step 1:

To get started, you need to do one simple step – Go to and link your Google+ profile to your content. There are clear steps as to what you need to do to get this started (just 4 simple points).

The most important of them is to get your email verified. This is the email that you use at your website for admin purposes. Also do make sure that you use this email address in your guest author profile at other blogs.

Author rank author profile

Here is a screenshot of my profile info at one of the blogs where I guest blog. Under contact info, the email I’ve given is the email I’ve added and verified at my Google+ profile. And since that blog has added a field to include my Google plus profile link, I’ve filled out that too.

 Step 2:

Add your blog to your Google plus profile. Go to your Google plus profile and click on Edit profile.

Author rank edit google plus profile

Scroll down a bit to find a section called “Contributor to” and then click on “Add custom link” and add your site + any other sites that you have guest blogged at.

Author rank contributor rank

When you click on “Add custom link” make sure you link to your guest author profile page of that blog. For instance for the Famous Bloggers’ link in my list, I have added the entered the following detail:

Label: Famous Bloggers


I will tell you how this step helps to complete the loop.

Important: If you are a contributor at Problogging Success please login to the blog here and go to your profile. Scroll down to find a field where you can enter your Google+ profile URL (in the contact info) and click save.

Then, do step 2 (given above). You can simply fill out  in the URL field and Problogging Success  in the name field.

Step 3:

Now on your blog, make sure you link to your Google plus profile from every page. This can be done via any of the following ways:

(i) Add your Google plus profile link in your author bio. For instance, my bio at this blog is this:

+Jane is the founder of Problogging Success. She is an expert blogger, consultant, freelance writer and blog designer. Don't forget to get your hands on two FREE Ebooks she offers.

Note that I have linked +Jane to my Google plus profile URL.

(ii) Add a link to your Google plus profile page in your blog’s header or footer with the rel=author tag. In this blog, since I use Thesis, I’ve implemented rel=author markup like this:

Go to Thesis > Site Options > Additional Scripts and paste the following code into that box –

<link rel=”author” href=” ” />

Of course, don’t forget to replace the Google plus profile URL with yours.

More options on implementing this in Thesis here

Add support for Google’s rel=author microformat

(iii) You can also link to your Google plus profile with the rel=author tag via your social profile buttons. This can be added either in the header, on the sidebar, at the footer (or all of those). Like this

Author rank link google plus profile

Can’t understand this loop?

Is this all confusing? Don’t bother. Just do what you need to do.

But if you still want to “understand” how this is a closed loop, here you go:

This is a bidirectional or “two way” linking.

1. You link your content to your Google plus profile page. This is done via Step 3.

2. You link back to your content from your Google plus profile page. This is done via Step 2. And let me tell you why this closes the loop.

Anyone can try to game this whole system of authorship markup and say, someone attempts to claim your content to be theirs. They can simply link to your content from their Google plus profile page. But they cannot get the link back.

These images will help you understand more:

Author markup algorithm

Author Markup Content Scrapping

Google considers your Google plus profile page as your content hub. That’s a plus. Coz everything else with this whole process becomes less confusing and more credible.

How to start building your author rank today?

You know, Google is going to assign an authority score for you. This will apparently depend on more than one factors.

But I am somewhat sure that both Page Rank and Author Rank will be related to each other.

You cannot get your rank all of a sudden. This is something that needs to be built on an ongoing basis. Let’s see what you can do to build your author rank up.

A)  As I said, Page Rank and Author Rank might most probably go hand in hand. This means if your content appears in high PR pages/domain, this adds up to you Author Rank. Similarly if you are an author with a good Author Rank, this will help boost the PR of any page you put your content on.

What can you do? Start publishing great content on high PR and authoritative blogs.

B)  Google has already become more social. Use it to build your Author Rank.

What can you do? Start creating awesome, useful and unique content that is share-able.

C)  Your connection with authority authors who already have a good Author Rank will help boost yours.

What can you do? Add those biggies to your circles/following. Interact with them. Share their content. Link out to them.

D)  Your social proof. More precisely, your Google plus proof.

What can you do? Make sure you get circled by a lot of people.

This can also affect your search engine visibility. Read this post for more details:

Google Personalized Search: Who decides your site’s visibility?

[texthighlight color=”red-vibrant” ]E)[/texthighlight]  Your engagement in Google+.

What can you do? Share a lot of great stuff on your Google plus stream to your circles. Not just your stuff, but all the useful stuff (that fits into your topic, of course). In line with (C), you can share the awesome stuff of the biggies in your niche.

F)  Your on-site engagement. Be it a blog post on your own blog or a guest post, the number of comments, social shares etc. your content gets, will count.

What can you do? You’ve got no other option than creating awesome, share-able, commendable content. Also make sure you engage with your readers’ comments by responding to them and generating discussion.

G)  The health of your Youtube Channel can help

What can you do? Create great, short, useful and share-able videos. Embed your videos in your blog. Work on increasing your channel subscriber count. For this you need to interact with the others in the Youtube (to kick start) and have awesome content in your channel.

H)  Your overall social media score

What can you do? Again, create awesome, share-able content that goes viral in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. And make sure you interact with your followers in these social media streams. You don’t have to be over all the place. Just pick a couple of sites that give you a good ROI of your time and dive deeper.

Author Rank: Takeaway

As you can see, it all boils down to creating killer blog content. Plus your social engagement and social proof.

I look forward eagerly to how this Author Rank is going to affect the blogosphere. After all, anything that rewards genuine authors and increases their credibility is something that I love.

Plus, when you can easily build up your reputation as an author by following some simple steps, what could stop you?

But I would like to insist here again that it all boils down to creating killer content.

And if you found this post useful, please share it in your social circle. I’d appreciate that; thank you!

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  1. SamSam says

    When you will find your niche in major search engines then there you can make your social network which will help for you with best result in less time.

  2. Kenny FabreKenny Fabre says


    author rank is very interesting especially the way you put it here, but I’m still not convinced but great tutorial 😉

  3. Susan Cooper says

    I had heard of this before. I believe it’s something worth doing, for my story posts particularly. Thanks for the tutorial. it is very helpful.

    Susan Cooper from LinkedIn BHB

  4. Doreen Pendgracs says

    This is an amazing post! Thanks for the all the useful info you’ve put into it. Some of it is definitely over my head, but I do have an author profile on Google and it shows up on some stuff, just not enough. I can see I’ve got some work to do!
    Doreen Pendgracs recently writing tipsMy Profile

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Doreen, if you already have an author profile set up, things should be much easier for you. Just make sure you’ve linked to and from all of your pages where you contribute.

  5. JoeJoe says

    As always I come here and leave with great knowledge. Thanks Jane. I will have to give this more thought and effort. But your breakdown makes it real easy. Keep posting, you make blogging easy for me.


  6. QasimQasim says

    Hi Jane,

    This is exactly how Google is trying to build everything around them and force Google+, I know many people would argue that Facebook is still ahead Google+; but moving forward Google is forcing Google+, with the recent EMD algorithm update a lot of exact match domain (some are really quality websites are getting hit) if the only way to reverse your website continuous hit by Google updates would be by implementing Author markup and relying on the Author rank then indeed people will be forced to use Google+ and in no time it will overtake Facebook. Thank you so much for the detailed explanation on how to implement Author markup and highlighting the importance of Author rank.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Qasim yes I know of many quality sites that got hit by the latest EMD update. It seems that author rank is the only hope that is ahead of us, that can really separate genuine authors from spammers; coz I still see a lot of poor quality sites (whose links come from spammy and thin websites) for most popular keywords! Let’s see.

  7. Anton KoekemoerAnton Koekemoer says

    Hi Jane,

    Great and well-constructed informative post on Author Rank. As this is becoming an important function of being a webmaster / blogger today – Just ask Google, A lot of people got emails saying their authorship has not yet been set up – After how much time they had to use the function.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Anton, yes there is no precise timing as to when Google starts showing someones picture against their work in SERPs. It varies from people to people (authority does count here). And another simple thing is having a clear faceshot. I wasn’t able to get my picture until I changed my gravatar to this picture (that you see now). The one I was using earlier was indeed a faceshot but was of poor quality. When I put this new picture I got my headshot besides my results in about 2 days. I also have heard some of my friends complaining about this when their picture doesn’t have a clear face-shot. Google is strict about this.

  8. AdityaAditya says

    Hi Jane,
    I am thinking that what will be the criteria for author rank.And on what scale bloggers will be given the author rank??As there are thousands of bloggers out there in the market and it is not possible to rank on a large scale,so i am thinking that is there any scale like 0-10 just as Page rank or they will follow some other criteria to rank the authorship.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      That’s a big question Aditya. I’m sure that Google will have some sort of algo in place (as always) to compute author rank. But from what I heard and believe, your authority (where you have published posts and how is your expertise on a particular topic) will count.

  9. hirahira says

    hi jane – Fantastic writeup and I’ve been thinking the same thing for awhile now. Since I employed author rank on my blog I’ve seen rankings improve across the board. Has my mind spinning to think about ways to manipulate this to other niche markets

  10. zoyazoya says

    Thank you jane for this great post I started talking with people and setting up tests for the concept last fall since AuthorRank seemed like a logical progression of the direction Google was heading with Google+ and +1ing content and some of the news that was coming out from Bing

  11. LindaLinda says

    Good evening, Jane.

    Hmmm – think I went wrong somewhere. I’ve got an image next to my post in the google list. But it’s not me!

    Somehow my blog header got the limelight. Not to worry though – I’m still ahead of Tripadvisor in the listing and that’s a good enough start for me!

    Kind regards,

  12. Ileane says

    Hi Jane,
    I want to add another tip to your post that you might want to mention (I didn’t see it here so forgive me if I missed it).

    The profile pic that you have on your Google+ account is very important and Google has strict rules about it. You must use a forward facing head shot. No logos can appear in the image and the background should be free of distractions.

    I know quite a few people (including Ana Hoffman) who were struggling to get authorship and after making this simple change to their profile pic, the authorship appeared.

    I hope this is helpful to someone. Thanks Jane for another killer post!

    • VivekVivek says

      Hello Ileane, as you said here ” You must use a forward facing head shot. No logos can appear in the image and the background should be free of distractions. ” .

      But lets assume we have build a Google page ( organization ). As much as I know you will be adding a logo of your company or website here. Now if you just leave out rel=” author” tags, and just add the rel=”publisher” tags. Then also your profile pic ( which is a logo ) will appear on search results. I have tested it personally, and I never had any problem.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      Oh yes Ileane. I did miss it! this is certainly important and I too had problems with my earlier pic. Eventhough that one was a headshot and a close up, the clarity was not good; so I had to change to a new pic. Once I did, I got my pic next to my links in the SERPS almost immediately.

      And I also know a couple of my friends who didn’t have a head shot and had to change their pics too! Thanks for the input :)

  13. vipinvipin says

    For blogging it is very essential to do your own research and write your own contents. relevant content has many advantages.your article is great keeping in view the latest panda algo update

  14. SamuelSamuel says

    Thanks Jane for the write up.

    I was wondering on how to setup that author authority to Google.

    Now I know where to look at :)

  15. dipadipa says

    Nicely explained. this post is sure to help readers understand the importance of guest posts. I have myself realized and seen the benefits of doing this for SEO. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Heather Stone says

    Hi Jane,
    This isn’t the first time I’ve read about the new Google feature, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting. Taking credit for your content across the Web is a huge step toward better personal branding.

  17. BhushanBhushan says

    Author Rank is the term we use to describe one of the results of using Authorship and Authorship refers to the project by Google wherein they have given us a set of methods to make a verified connection between our original content anywhere on the web and our Google+ profile.

  18. PrakashPrakash says

    Now I got this why it is so important to have an authority rank. Nice tutorial Jane. This is the simple steps as I have seen lots of methods of tagging author’s pic.

  19. OlgaOlga says

    This sounds like a great opportunity but I honestly hope that won’t be mandatory. I am not convinced to that… at least yet. Not everyone absolutely loves social media and social networking sites. I know some people who MADE it without great engagement in social media.

    • Jane Sheeba says

      You’re right Olga. But what if you want to make yourself the genuine author of the content you’ve created; especially given that there are so many auto blogs out there that scrape content just like that?

  20. Josh MaloneJosh Malone says

    First time that I have heard of this term, but it does make sense especially with the recent updates in Google as to combat scraped content. I would imagine some of these factors are already being used in their rankings, but I wonder if authors that have already claimed ownership are potentially being rewarded for doing so.

  21. Swadhin Agrawal says

    Hi Jane ma’am,
    I have been reading your blog recently and let me tell you it is a great great guide for me.
    I am so amazed by this post that I came to write this comment halfway. It will not be wrong if I say that I read 50-52 blog articles around the web for this perticular topic each had something and missed something and at last I don’t know how I used authorship but it appears only on my about us page.

    Many many thanks to u for this post as it has a to z (or even more :-P) of PR, Authorship etc it fully satisfied all my doubts and I don’t think I will ever need to search for it again because this post has all.

  22. TonmoyParves says

    Hello Jane, Thanks for your complete guideline. This is my First time visit on your Blog . I am newcomer Blogger and that’s why i am always searching for Blogging Guideline. To be honest, just amazing to find you here. I just learn a lot’s of tips by reading your only one Article as this. I have already Book marked and subs that i can get next update. Keep sharing your knowledge with us


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