Author Rank: What It Is and What To Do About It Now

April 2, 2013

Google wants, and has always wanted, to provide it’s users with quality content.

That’s why it’s not too far fetched to assume that there will be a day when the credibility of the author who puts out that content may matter just as much to Google as the content itself. And, now, it seems that day may not be very far away after all.

What is Author Rank?

Back in 2005, Google patented Agent Rank, which was designed to help “agents” known for putting out high value content in the past, and who have earned reputations as authorities around the web, to get their future content ranked higher as a result.

Agent Rank never fully came to fruition, most likely because the reality of implementing a ranking system based on authorship would first and foremost need a mechanism capable of recognizing and identifying those authors—something which didn’t really exist at the time.

Despite Agent Rank’s failure to really become a factor into Google’s algorithm, the core goal behind the idea—the desire to root out spammers and reward reputable authors of consistently quality content—remained intact.

With the rise of Google Plus, and the launch of Google Authorship, specific pieces of content can now be directly associated with the authors (and Google+ profiles) that put out them out.

What does this mean? It means that Google finally has the missing piece to the puzzle: a way to connect authors and web-content. Now, with this information, they have everything they need to set about finishing what they attempted in 2005.

Recently, there have been a number of rumors that what’s now being called “Author Rank” will soon become an important algorithm factor in the not too distant future.

Author Rank wouldn’t be used to replace PageRank, but to help determine it. And while there are already over 200 ranking factors that Google takes notice of, SEO experts speculate, Author Rank is a potential ranking factor with the power to become incredibly central to Google’s search algorithm.

How to Prepare for the Rise of Author Rank

Despite Author Rank not yet being a reality, it is more a matter of “when”, not “if”, this will change.

That’s why it is important your business starts planning ahead.

It’s not worth asking when Google may begin incorporating an author’s rank into page rankings. Why? Because if you want to top the rankings, you shouldn’t be waiting around for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. Start building your author rank now.

First, get started with Google Authorship

Start linking your content with your Google+ account so that what you put out on the Internet all comes back to you. You are the author after all, so why not claim it.

Be active on Google+.

Being anonymous, or mysterious, is the worst course of action when it comes to the potential rise of Author Rank. Have your name, your picture, and a filled out “About” section on your Google plus page for all to see.

Check your Google+ feed roughly 5 times a day. Post updates, share news, respond to comments and more. Grow your Google+ circle and befriend other valuable authors online. While your at it, be active on other social media sites and encourage your audience not just to read your content, but to share it too.

Write quality content–consistently. 

Linking your content with your Google+ account, however, isn’t enough. Just like content needs to be high-quality for Google to reward it, so too will authors need to prove their own worth on the web. Show yourself as an authority by generating consistent, relevant, unique, and sharable content–with your name attached. Write blog posts, publish articles, do some guest blogging, write responses and comments on relevant sites, be helpful and engaging.

Focus on what you know, share the knowledge that makes you a leader in your industry and an authority on your brand.

As always, what it comes down to is the reality that writing killer content is, and will always be, key. The kind of content that makes you proud to be it’s author is exactly what will prove to Google that you’re a valuable author and a reputable resource whose content should (and will) be ranked accordingly.

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