Understanding how Google works is becoming easier. If you have dipped your toe in SEO or other parts of online marketing you might think that is a ridiculous comment to make. But it’s true – the world of Google is becoming more like the “real” world (more accurately described as the offline world). And Google Author Rank is a perfect example.
Let’s look at a “real” world scenario by way of explanation. Let’s say you needed medical advice and were presented with two sources from which to get that advice. The first was from an anonymous stranger who didn’t identify herself or give details of her credentials. The second source was a specific doctor who not only told you her name but also listed her qualifications and areas of expertise. You would choose the named doctor over the anonymous one every time.
With Author Rank, Google is trying to implement the approach of the second doctor across its entire search engine. Its aim is to handle Internet search queries like we handle questions in our everyday lives.
The Era Of Anonymity Is Over
So how does Author Rank work? First, you need to be identified as the author of the content that you write. This is done by Google’s social network, Google Plus. On Google Plus you add your name and the websites you own and / or write for. You also need a head-and-shoulders picture.
Once you have your Google Plus profile set up you go to your website or blog posts and add small lines of code to link the content to your profile. This is easy to do and is explained well here.
Google will recognize your articles as being written by you. It will then start to rank you against other people who also write on the same topics. Some factors that influence those rankings include:
· The number of shares and +1s that your content gets on Google Plus
· The authority (quality in the eyes of Google) of the websites that your content is published on
· The volume and quality of comments on your articles
· The number of Google Plus circles you are in
Why Is This Important
The real question for small businesses and ecommerce websites is: why is Author Rank important and how can it benefit my business? There are several reasons:
Authority – Author Rank helps to increase your online reputation as an expert in your field. This will help to build your brand and your business.
CTR – CTR stands for Click Through Rate. It is the percentage of people who actually click on your listing on the Google search results page. Listings with an Author Rank include a profile picture and the author’s name, both of which build trust and result in more clicks than a website with anonymous content.
Rankings – This is one for the future, but Google has indicated many times that it is going to increasingly use Author Rank as a factor in ranking websites in search results. So having a good Author Rank may, in the future, help your website appear higher in search listings.
Author Rank is a tool for SEO and for online marketing (two terms which are becoming interchangeable). One of its great positives is that it is one of the easiest, quickest and inexpensive (try free!) tools at your disposal.
Now all you have to do is create great content to go with it. Why not start today?