Author Rank - The Next SEO Revolution?
It is very well-known that Google classifies sites based on their page ranks (PR). Higher the page rank of a site, higher is the authority of that site in the eyes of the search engines. A high PR site gets a high crawl rate and consequently a higher ranking. For a long time now, Google has been fighting against blackhat SEO strategies and sites with low-quality content. It is for the same reason that Google updates its algorithm more than 500 times a year. Next in their line of attack, Google is bringing in a new parameter to change the SEO game altogether – the Google Author Rank.
What Is Google Author Rank?
Google Author Rank is simply a measure of authority of the content source of a blog. The Google Author Rank is supposed to be the next monumental change that Google will be making to improve its algorithm. The concept of incorporating Author Rank into Google's algorithm was finalized shortly after the rollout of Google+. By having the ability to know the author of the content on a page, Google has two uses:
- They can verify the identity of the author to confirm his authority in that niche (Author rank), and rank the content accordingly.
- By identifying an author, whom they are aware of, they can decide whether the contextual links are authored, and thereby rate the links as trustworthy and of a higher quality.
Author rank will radically change the way the algorithm looks at content. From now on, a single article by a well-known blogger on Google+ will be preferred over a hundred spun articles by some anonymous spammy internet freak working out blackhat techniques in his dad's basement.
Why Author Rank Is Important
Link building was the last SEO revolution. It was as if Google fell in love with sites having lots of backlinks. The story changed after website owners began manipulating this newfound affection of Google, and began rapid backlinking through article submission and other methods. Currently, Google is striving to find out an ultimate alternative to the backlink criterion for ranking websites. The incorporation of Author Rank into Google's algorithm will be their ‘giant leap' in ranking sites according to the true value of their content.
Google saw social networks as the first remedy to counter the spammy backlinking SEO problem. Social media acceptance is real-life evidence that a site provides valuable content, and that visitors find it useful. Apart from such social activity, Google also began considering other signals such as site naturality, authority and domain age. Then they turned the whole SEO world upside down with their recurring set of updates- the EMD and Panda updates being the last of them. Now with the Author Rank, Google is again one step ahead of webmasters and marketing experts in the SEO game.
How Is Author Rank Calculated?
There is still not much clarity as to how the Author Rank will be calculated. However, there are several notions on how it will be determined. The first step in determining Author Rank is to have a system that can distinguish the domain and niche authorities from the mediocre bloggers and professional writers. Google+ is this identity system that will point out the social status of the authors. The next step is to have a ranking system that ranks the authors on the basis of their niche expertise and social profile. Furthermore, Google will also need an algorithm update that will take these factors into consideration while ranking sites in the search engines. It is this update that is expected to occur next year.
Just like page rank, the Author rank will be calculated using a variety of parameters. According to most SEO analysts, the rank may be proportional to the following factors:
- Page rank of the site
- Niche authority of the author
- Domain experience of the author
- Number of people in author's Google+ circle
- Number of valid comments posted on each post (analyzed using the new Google Post Rank)
- Social media presence and profile validity
- Author profile's relevance to the niche
Author rank will never be taken as a direct criterion for ranking. For example, just because the content was written by a well-known author having a good online presence does not imply that the content will rank wherever it is posted. The authority and relevance of the site to which the content goes will also be taken into account.
How to Build a Good Author Rank
The Author Rank will surely be monolithic and diversified. An author may have an excellent Author Rank in one niche, and a low one in another. For example, a writer who specializes in authoring articles on SEO cannot have the same reputation in the health niche just because he authored a few articles on health-related topics.
Google Authorship should be opted for right now. Webmasters may love or hate what Google is doing with its search algorithm, but they cannot ignore them. After all, Google enjoys more than 80 percent of the market share when it comes to online search. So there is no option but to do what they ask.
Getting a Google Authorship will increase a blog's authority in the search engines and thus improve its rankings. There are more benefits in having a Google Authorship. For instance, if anyone clicks on a search result and visits a site, and then after spending a certain amount of time on the site, bounces off, more results from that site will be shown in the search pages. This is Google's way of telling people that the site has useful and quality content. According to some experts, this ‘certain amount of time' is calculated to be more than 2 minutes. In other words, webmasters need to have content that will keep people on their sites for more than 2 minutes.
It is high time that webmasters resort to building a reputation in their respective niches. The Author rank is all about trust. Stop looking for where the backlinks came from, and start looking for whom they came from. Building a reputation is not the only hurdle here. Having a good and trustworthy social profile has a role too.
Setting up a good author rank is also a little bit different from building authority. Connect to reputed webmasters and authoritative bloggers on various social networking sites. Prioritize activity on Google+. Start sharing content on social media sites. As the author rank becomes effective, identities of authors will be more prevalent than ever. Start building a well-known identity today. Join the circles of reputed bloggers in the same niche, and they are likely to have another long line of authors in theirs. Socialize with as many writers and niche authorities as possible.
Using Author rank as a criterion for ranking also raises questions of double standards. If new authors having little or no reputation in a niche are pitched against the domain authorities in that niche, the former will suffer. Here the recurring algorithm updates come into play. They will make sure that fresh and quality content also gets promoted. Also, if there are tons of social media following for a new post, Google can never ignore it.
There are still a lot of rumors on Author Rank and its implications, but the importance of authorship is going to increase for sure. In the present scenario, it can be said without doubt that Author Rank will be the next big revolution in SEO.