SEO in 2013: Say Hello to Author Rank
While the Panda and Penguin updates receive the most coverage, there are other major developments that have the potential to reshape SEO forever. Say Hello to Author Rank!
Author Rank is speculated to be the next major chapter in Google’s continuous battle to improve the quality of its search results. This will revolutionise web search and force online commerce to further evolve. Failing to properly prepare for the implementation of AuthorRank could lead to consequences far more disastrous than those caused by the Panda and Penguin updates.
What is Author Rank?
The way that content is viewed by Google is about to go through radical adjustments, and at the centre of this is Author Rank. Unlike the Panda and Penguin updates, AuthorRank will not be implemented to directly punish sites for blackhat SEO practices.
Instead, it is being designed to reward sites that have quality content written by niche authorities. It does this by utilising rich-snippets and Google’s social network, Google Plus. AuthorRank is being brought into the equation as a way to grade content based on the popularity and reputation of the author that created it.
The Role of Author Rank
Page Rank was once considered the go-to indicator of how valuable a site was. After the last few major algorithm updates, the power of old school ranking signals like Page Rank are in sharp decline. Author Rank is Google’s way of being able to identify content creators, rate them, and then use that rating to help determine where their content should be place in search results.
Sites with content created by high ranking authors will be at a huge advantage once Google fully integrates Author Rank into its algorithm. This will aid Google immensely by allowing it to only give high SERP placement to content that has been created by niche authorities.
The rating of each author will be determined by the content linked to their Google+ profile. The formula for deciding Author Rank will consist of factors such as the author’s popularity and social activity on Google Plus. The amount of traffic and attention linked content receives from other social networks will also help increase AuthorRank.
Interacting with established niche leaders through Google+ will serve to offer a significant benefit as well. More traditional elements like the PR and number quality back links pointing to linked web content will also contribute to establishing a high rating. This new system of measuring content quality will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for online commerce in every niche.
When Will it Be Released?
Currently, Google has not announced an official date for when Author Rank will be fully factored into their search results. However, many industry insiders are stressing the importance of taking a pro-active approach by beginning to build Author Rank before it is fully integrated into Google’s algorithm. Do not make the error of waiting until Google makes an official announcement. In such a fast paced industry, failing to properly prepare will spell disaster for your online ambitions.