What is Google Authorship and Author Rank?

There are over 30 trillion pages, more than 42 million WordPress blogs, and close to 650 million websites on the internet.  That’s a lot of content and it creates a huge challenge for search engines like Google, whose job it is to sift through all of those pages and differentiate between quality content and garbage.

There are many factors already in place when it comes to determining whether or not a web page should be considered; a few of the more interesting ones are:

  • PageRank – pages are scored on a scale of 1 – 10 and the score is indicitive of the importance of a page (but only one factor out of hundreds)
  • Inbound Links – links from other websites to your website are ‘votes’ for your website; the more votes the better (especially from pages that have a high PageRank)
  • Social Signals – engagement factors sent from social media platforms such as shares, comments, and likes which indicate that people find your content trustworthy and worth sharing.

The most interesting and perhaps the most game changing factor is Google Authorship and the concept of Author Rank.  Author Rank is similar to PageRank and will be a way to gauge the credibility and trustworthiness of an author and the content they are creating and sharing.

Google Authorship Profile Picture for Beth BrowningIf you use Google a lot, you’ve probably noticed that search results now often contain a profile picture next to a link. The links that have an image next to them are attached to content that was contributed by someone who has verified their GooglePlus authorship.

In other words, they’ve gone through a series of steps which includes creating a Google+ profile and verifying who they are and which sites they contribute content to.  The fact that the profile picture displays next to the link provides searchers with the information that this person is a verified author and has established their identity with Google.

In a nutshell, Google Authorship is the process of identifying and verifying your identity as a contributor of content to the world wide web. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good author, just that they are who they say they are.  That’s where Author Rank will come into play.  From everything I’ve read Google will take many factors into consideration when it comes to calculating Author Rank.

How will Google Measure Author Rank?

  • Average PageRank of an author’s content
  • Google+ activity
    • +1s and Google+ shares the author’s content gets
    • Circle associations like the number of circles and the quality of reciprocal connections
  • Engagement on Google+ – is the author active on Google+
  • Social Signals – how active and engaged is the author within the social

These are just a few of many signals that are likely to be factored into the equation, for a more complete list, I’ll direct you to this SEOMOZ post that has  great tips on how to prepare for author rank.  If you contribute content to one or more websites and haven’t established your Google Authorship, don’t waste any more time. Get it done before you lose out on this great opportunity to be a part of the future and establish your online reputation.

There are many advantages to claiming your authorship, Demian Farnworth, aka copyblogger cites more than a few of them here. A few of my favorites are:

  • Authorship helps you stand out in search – people are more likely to click on a link that has a picture associated with it, it just seems more ‘real;’ that means higher click-through, more traffic, and better engagement.
  • Beat plagiarism – the original author gets credit – wave goodbye to copy artists and article spinners
  • Build trust – it’s all about relationships and people and this is one more way to build trust in an on-line world
If you follow the steps in  great article on how to establish Google Authorship, you’ll receive an email that looks like this (it takes a while so have patience) and you’ll be on your way to establishing your Author Rank.
Google Authorship Email Verification for Beth Browning
 

I can’t wait to see you join me among the ranks of verified authors!

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