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:
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
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
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
To get started, you need to do one simple step – Go to https://plus.google.com/authorship 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.
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.
Add your blog to your Google plus profile. Go to your Google plus profile and click on Edit 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.
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 http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/wp-login 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 http://www.probloggingsuccess.com/author/yourusername in the URL field and Problogging Success in the name field.
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=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/104445308266564554161/about ” />
Of course, don’t forget to replace the Google plus profile URL with yours.
More options on implementing this in Thesis here
(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
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:
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:
[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!