- 1 what is author rank?
- 2 how to increase author rank, today.
- 3 getting started – technical prerequisites.
- 4 produce content, which invites people to “+1”.
- 5 +1 or share – what is more important?
- 6 get more followers on google+.
- 7 increase author rank by targeted interactions with the right people.
- 8 links increase author rank.
- 9 comments to blog posts and comments on google+.
- 10 content on your own site vs. content on external sites.
- 11 let’s summarize and take a final look at author rank seo. (tl;dr)
- 12 the full force of author rank in 2013?
i’ve already written some about the history of pagerank and author rank as an introduction to this topic. this post deals with a systematic approach to increasing author rank – or “author rank seo”.
author rank has an influence on all facets of online marketing and content marketing in particular. and as we all know only content that is actually read is good content.
to help with this, you should have already started to strengthen your author rank yesterday. and since none of us have a time traveling delorean we can’t loose anymore time. so here we go!
getting started – technical prerequisites.
to improve your author rank, you must first define the author of your content in a way that google understands. you’ve created content to prove that you’re the expert – and the world should know!
authorship for your content is best defined by using the so-called rel author tag. <rel=”author” link=”your-googlplus-url” />
many seo plugins for wordpress already have a simple copy & paste option for the author tag. you with them you can easily define your self as an author of a page or site. the two wordpress plugins i use are wordpress seo by yoast and schema creator by raven (which actually takes it to the next level as it includes schema markup).
#protip: If you have several authors featured on the same page, each author must have his or her items associated separately. parallel to this each author must link to the website on their google+ profile in the “contributor to” section.
only if your site is in the “contributor to” section on your goolgle+ profile can google make the connection between the site and the author.
a look at the google snippets testing tool (a.k.a. structured data testing tool) shows if you have linked the author correctly.
if you write and contribute to “other sites” in the form of guest posts, place a link to your google+ profile in your author description of the article.the great side effect of this is that your google+ profile picture will automatically be displayed in the serps as the authors picture.
#protip: as search results in google that show a picture next to them have demonstrably higher CTRs connecting an article to your google+ profile is very important. even if an article is not in the first position, having a picture next to the result can potentially bring in more clicks than the top results (without a picture). however, keep in mind that google determines when and how often your author image is displayed.
produce content, which invites people to “+1”.
each +1, that an article or a blog post receives is a signal to google: “hey, the world is interested in this post, it actually adds value in a world of clutter.” this alone should be reason enough to pay attention when creating an article. write content that makes people curious or poses a question o the reader.
my experience shows that even changing a boring headline to a deliberate exaggeration or making it a good question brings significantly more +1 with it. be creative here. don’t just use the headline from your website on google plus.
share and like (+1) are not the same. both actions have a positive impact on your author rank, but not the same value.
of course it is not known how exactly google assesses the value of shares or likes. however, i see it similar to facebook edge rank (i’ll cover this in a later post): a like (+1) does not count as much as a share. why? simple: when you like something you just click on to +1 and are done. however, sharing content shows a personal endorsement of that very content.
get more followers on google+.
to build your credibility and reputation with google a solid fan base is a necessary. naturally people that have you in their google+ circles should be interested in your content and wanting to share it. the more circles you are in, the more important you are to google.
just like with any other social networking site you should regularly participate in discussions, demonstrate your expertise and help the community be more active. of course, your interactions should primarily take place in the areas in which you want to establish yourself as an authority. building a fan base interested in travel, does not make sense if you are an author focused on home improvement.
a few quick #protips:
- share content interesting to your area of expertise. makes sure that the content is truly worth reading, and helps your community.
- funny pictures and videos have always worked (and probably will forever). amazingly the flood of this type of content never ends – nevertheless: people love it so throw some funny stuff in from time to time.
- google+ hangouts (as awkward as they may be) are a great way to solve and help people answer questions. an example would be to start a once a month and dedicate a hangout to your area of expertise.
- create a google+ community and show your circles that you are a professional in your field.
maybe you already know it from seo: the best links come from pages with relevant content on websites from institutions with high authority. why? because google assumes that these institutions are a credible source of knowledge. each relevant link from such a page shows google quite clearly, “hey, this page is important – even an institution linked to this site.”
adapt this linkbuilding technique to google+. try to get in contact with “thought leaders” in your field. comment (sensibly and multiple times) to article from these established authorities. watch interesting discussions and posts. bussines networks like linkedin are ideal to socialize and create connections to this group of people.
after the initial contact, you can ask your new contacts to follow you on google+. create a bridge between “real people” from a business networks to the social media world. or better yet get in touch with people online that you’ve met in the real world.
each and every link that you get from a google recognized “author” increases your own author rank. think about it: which established author would link to an unreliable source or person from their own article? well, google now used this very human factor when evaluating inbound links.
this is a new facet and potentially even form of link building – much more organic and effective than buying links or creating so-called link farms.
this also applies to links that are posted directly to google+ and for links that point directly to your google+ profile. however, not every link will make your author rank explode. it will take time. so stay focused.
comments to blog posts and comments on google+.
natuarally, the number of comments an article receives is an indicator to google that a particular post probably is interesting and exciting for users. this applies to comments on blog posts for which you are the assigned author by google as well as for comments to posts on google+.
#protip: even if you are just sharing content, at least change the headline to your own words. after all, you want to share your own opinion with people, right?
as discussed with with shares and likes above the person behind the comment will dictate the power his or her comment has on your author rank.
for example: you post a funny animal picture, you get 20 likes, 30 shares, and 25 comments: “funny”, “well done”, “i laughed out loud.” sadly, these are not relevant interactions, unless you want to establish yourself as a comedian. 🙂 the value of these interactions is therefore not very high.
content on your own site vs. content on external sites.
in addition to creating content for your own sites, you should regularly put posts on external sites. the most popular method of doing this is by guest blogging.
#protip: if a website has the option of entering your own url always do so. even if it’s just a comment. simply use the url of your google+ profile.
aside from the obvious benefits of extending your own audience, the interaction with new users often brings new backlinks with them it also sends a clear message to google: i am an expert in a particular field and have something relevant to say.
the likes, shares, and comments that the that the guest post on an external site receives actually help increase your author rank. so, if your post is good, the website owner will share the content on social platforms and put it in front of their community that would otherwise never see your content.
again: as long as your guest post is equipped with the rel=author tag, your author rank will benefit from all the interaction.
- technical prerequisites: make sure the rel author tag is in the code of the page <rel=”author” link=”your-googlplus-url” />
- produce content which invites people to “+1”: be creative and apply facebook strategies to engage people on google+ and increase the number of shares.
- +1 or share – what is more important? my guess is that just like with facebook’s edge rank sharing is more important than simply liking.
- getting more followers on google+: the more people that have you in their google+ circles the better for your author rank.
- increase author rank by targeted interactions with the right people: get influencers in your industry to follow you – their comments, shares, and likes are worth more.
- links also increase author rank: getting links to from en established “google author” is the new link building.
- comments to blog posts and comments on google+: comments on your own blog posts and google+ are signals to google.
- content on your own site vs. content on external sites: posting guest blogs is an effective way of increasing your author rank by reaching new audiences.
2013 could well be the year of author rank. i would say that in about 9-12 months we will see the full potential of author rank. google is currently still working on important algorithm updates and is currently only using the “light version” of author rank in it’s algorithm. we won’t see the full force of author rank until the “full” version is pushed live by google.
the full version of author rank will fundamentally change the SEO landscape. therefore start now and increase your own author rank. but don’t just take my word for it, see what other are saying!
now that you have heard so much about author rank, i suggest you begin by sharing this post and adding me on google+.
i look forward to discussing this topic further with everyone.