Google+, a relative newcomer to the social network wars, is soon to become much more relevant because of a change in how Google ranks search engine traffic.
Content marketing gurus are increasing cautioning content creators to pay attention to AuthorRank, a new quality metric that Google will use to measure page quality and search engine ranking. Marc Purtell, director of SEO at MediaWhiz, tells Search Engine Journal that content quality will increasingly be based “on the reputation and authority of the individual that authored the content.”
SEO expert Henrik Bondtofte, writing for ContentVerve.com, says it goes back to 2005 when Google filed a patent for what was then called Agent Rank. The patent document, he states, tells how Google will use a number of parameters including the popularity of the “agent” and how much of an authority the “agent” is on a subject.
The major change will be that the judging of quality will be tied more to the author, not the website serving as the content’s host.
Marketing expert Adam Heitzman, author and owner of HigherVisibility.com, writes that one of the most important things for authors to do is to connect their Google+ profile to their content. They can do that by setting their Google+ profile to public, opening up the “about” section of their profile and adding the sites on which their bylines appear to the “contributor to” section.
Interaction with social networks will then help drive just how credible an author is. Google wants to see that you are an active participant in social media, specifically on Google+.
Search Engine Land reports that factors to be judged include:
- Social endorsements like tweets, shares and +1′s
- Influence and relevancy of who is providing the endorsements
- Comments on social networks
- Influence and relevancy of who’s commenting
- Quality and relevancy of links pointing to the content
Hypothetically, the more someone writes about a topic and the more engagement the content generates, the higher the author’s rank will be.
Things to know
Don’t only share your content. Continue to share the content of others. Heitzman writes that +1ing content you like and commenting on connections proves to Google that you are social and giving those connections a hand.
Continue to focus on quality content. If you aren’t writing anything that people want to read, it isn’t likely that people will be reading your content nor suggesting it to others. That makes providing valuable content still a must.
Focus on specific topics. Your writing will be stronger if you are writing about what you are passionate about. Your rank will also differ depending on what topics you are writing, so it’s better to center in on your strongest subjects rather than trying to tackle everything possible.
If you don’t interact online, start now. Mike Arnesen, senior SEO at SwellPath, tells SEOMoz that factors are likely to include the number of Google+ circles authors are in and the average number of +1s and Google+ shares that they receive.
“If any of you don’t like Google+, too bad,” Arnesen writes. “Google is going to use your ‘in circles’ count to determine your AuthorRank. That means you need to make sure people have a reason to follow you.”
Learn more about AuthorRank
Arnesen provides quite a bit of tips on how to use AuthorRank in his SEOMoz blog post. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Same goes for Bondtofte’s ContentVerve.com blog post.
Search Engine Journal offers a lot of valuable tips including searching out authors who are known for writing about a specific subject.
The AuthorSure WordPress plugin can help WordPress users connect with their Google+ profile.
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