Industry insiders claim that Google’s recently released AuthorRank will change the SEO landscape forever. What’s all the fuss about, and is AuthorRank really “the next big thing in SEO”?
What You Need to Know About Google AuthorRank
AuthorRank is a system that uses an author’s qualifications, reputation, and expertise as ranking factors. Beginning in 2013, Google will start using AuthorRank to determine a website’s position in the SERP’s.
Simply put, if you want to rank in search results, you need AuthorRank-verified content creators to write your web content.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
According to SEOMoz, “sites that have been prepping and carefully building AuthorRank for their site contributors are going to have a major advantage.” The full effects of AuthorRank won’t be felt until early 2013, but websites that care about SERP’s should invest in AuthorRank-verified content right now.
What Factors Are Important to a Writer’s AuthorRank Score?
Google looks at a number of factors to determine a writer’s AuthorRank score, including how often her content is shared, who shares it, and how many high quality comments her content generates. If you’re hiring writers, use the following questions to evaluate their AuthorRank potential:
- How often is their content shared?
- How quickly is it shared?
- Who shares it?
- Who comments on it?
- Are the comments high quality?
- How often is their content +1’ed?
How to Use AuthorRank to Your Advantage: 5 Tips
- AuthorRank relies on rich snippets and the “rel=author” tag to verify a writer’s identity. To incorporate AuthorRank into your SEO strategy, use web writers who’ve already gone through the Authorship verification process.
- If you use in-house writers, put one person in charge of coaching the rest of the content team through the verification process. If you use freelancers, look for marketing-savvy writers who are already set up with Google Authorship accounts
- Use bylines on all of your blog posts. Hint: Don’t say a post’s author is “the Team.
- If you have a big enough budget, spend some of it on extra-curricular content creation. Ask your writers to spend 5-10 hours a week strengthening their AuthorRank scores by leaving high quality comments on reputable blogs and participating in Google+ discussions with industry influencers.
- If you don’t have an in-house writing team and don’t want to be responsible for identifying and managing a team of qualified freelancers, consult with a content marketing agency or copywriting firm. They’ll have the necessary connections and editorial savvy to implement an AuthorRank strategy for you.
SEOMoz says “the impact of AuthorRank will be so significant that we may as well think of it as a penalty for distributing low-quality content.” If you’re not already publishing AuthorRank-verified content on a regular basis, there’s no better time to get started than right now.