AuthorRank is quickly becoming the new SEO you must include on your website if you want to continue to be found on Google. You’ve probably been reading more about putting the rel=”author” tag on your site. There’s way more to it than that! Google insists that you have a verifiable digital identity and they want it on G+. And, they want you to close all the backlink loops properly too. Discover what you need to know about AuthorRank and why you must add it to your site SEO strategy sooner rather than later.
What is AuthorRank?
In 2011 Matt Cutts announced that Google would begin to support authorship markup. Basically, it uses special code to connect the author of a post, page, or article to their online author page where more info about them can be found. That includes linking to posts you’ve written on your own site, or guest posts you’ve written on other sites. Then linking that page to a verifiable digital identity, and then linking that back to the author’s main site. As long as all the special linking code is installed, you’ll be credited by Google with creating the content.
This Authorship markup helps you get found in search results via what Google calls Rich Snippets. They feature your picture and more links from you. They are also getting more prominent positions in search results, hence the new nickname for the whole process, which is AuthorRank.
Why Google is Doing This
Google billed authorship markup as a way “to help people find content from great authors in our search results.” While that it is true, it also helps Google identify the originator of any content on the Web.
Here’s the real story. Google is doing this for Google’s benefit. A lot of their money comes from AdWords. To get the highest bid, they have to be able to place those ads on super sites. The problem is that there’s a lot of duplicate content out there, especially with the good stuff. Google can’t always tell who originated it. So, they put some penalties in place to discourage it. Those were part of the Panda and Penguin algorithms.
But, that wasn’t enough to help Google quickly identify the super sites from the scraper sites, so instead of dishing out more penalties, they decided to sweeten the deal and entice content generators to help them. That’s really what AuthorRank is all about. It allows Google to more quickly identify the originator of the content. That allows them to strip the ranking credentials from scraper sites that steal super content and use it in an effort to divert traffic to their spammy-scammy sites.
Sweetening the Deal
To get more people to participate, Google put a little sugar on it and now gives a higher ranking to any site and author that helps them. The quicker you get with that program, the more you’ll benefit.
Getting AuthorRank set up is one of the ways to get higher rankings.
Another way is to create focused, in-depth content.
What Google Wants
To ensure they are putting the right ads on the right sites, Google primarily looks for two things: authority and relevance. AuthorRank and focused content are ways for you to help Google understand that you are an authority on a topic. In other words, when it fully verifies you and sees that you continually create content on a specific topic, it will weight your content in the algorithms as being more relevant, and then it will likely rank your content higher than content from authors it cannot verify or who are more inconsistent with what they write about.
Another factor that plays into Google’s algorithm is how much engagement your content receives. So, it’s not all about just hooking everything up correctly. It’s about writing content that inspires participation with your audience. That algorithm also takes into consideration how much engagement you have on social media, specifically, how many G+ Circles you are in and how much you participate there.
Now, you may think playing around on G+ is not as fun as Facebook. Get over it. This is business and it means money in your pocket. Find people and Communities and even Hangouts that you can participate with by posting and sharing and +1’ing other people’s posts.
The Bottom Line
Google is already favoring posts from content producers who have their AuthorRank ducks in a row. And, search engine results with a human face next to them are getting more click-throughs.
Here’s what Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt had to say:
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
And, this post on ProBlogger reveals that he is getting 35% more click-throughs with AuthorRank set up.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t tell you everything you need to know to get it configured to see that kind of result. And, most pro SEO folks aren’t about to tell you all of their secrets either. I will. I’m not going to be put out of business by you knowing how to do this for yourself. I want you to know how to succeed! You can do this yourself if you’re just given the opportunity to see how and why.
Setting up AuthorRank
There are 14 steps to properly set up AuthorRank. And, it needs to be fully integrated with your other site/theme and SEO settings. (That adds another 4 steps.)
I have yet to find a single post or tutorial on getting everything connected properly. So, I created a live workshop to take you through it step-by-step. All of it. And the best part is, you’ll know what you’re doing and why.
That’s important because Google makes changes all the time. And, SEO plugins are constantly changing to keep up. So, you need to know what you’re doing. Nothing about SEO is set-it-and-forget-it anymore.
The SEO and AuthorRank Workshop is Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 at noon ET. You still have time to register. You must already have a Google+ Profile and the WordPress SEO plugin installed. I’ll help you finish setting both of them up properly, and show you how to coordinate the plugin with your on-page SEO efforts for maximum benefit.
You’ll also get several bonuses including how to fix the number one mistake that folks make with their XML Sitemap, and the exact code I use on BlogAid for my Author Resource box and RSS feed footer. These will help you maximize AuthorRank and protect your content from scraper sites, which brings down your SEO ranking.