First, a Little Background
In 2005, Google filed a patent for what was at the time called “Agent Rank.” Much like its modern counterpart, Author Rank, Google was searching for a way to measure the authority of a particular individual. The more authoritative an individual was, the more likely people would like that person’s content, and the higher it should rank as a result.
Once Google launched Google+ in 2011, it finally had the platform necessary for tying specific web content to a certain author. Now, Google can provide even more quality, relative results on the social web.
Factors Affecting Google Author Rank
You can never be 100% positive about which factors are affecting anything with Google because it keeps things pretty secret. But, based on what is known about Google, you can be fairly confident these factors affect your Author Rank to some degree:
- Google+ engagement
- PageRank of individual articles
- Connections to author high author rank authors
- Inbound links
- Authority on other major social platforms
- Number of social shares
- Inbound links
Why Increase Your Author Rank?
Whether you are planning on running the same website forever, or if your current venture is just for the short-term, increasing your Author Rank is important. If you’re running the same site, you’ll get preferential treatment in the search engine rankings. But, if you decide to transition to another site, you already have an Author Rank built up. You won’t be as noted by Google when you start that new site, but you’ll be much farther ahead than you would be if you started from scratch.
Steps to Increase Your Author Rank
Increasing your Author Rank is difficult and takes time, as well as the ability to know exactly what your market wants and how to deliver what they want to them. The first step? Claim authorship of your content by inserting the tag <rel=”author” link=”googleplusurl”> into each page of your content. If you run WordPress, there are a number of plugins that handle this process for you so you don’t have to manually insert the code into each page.
If you do a guest post for someone else, just include that line of code in your bio. Google only needs to find that code somewhere on the page, and anywhere you put it is fine.
Once you are setup for Google authorship, then it’s time to create the content.
Since social signals, such as the number of +1s your content receives, are a huge factor in determining your Author Rank, the goal lies in focusing on creating content that does just that. How do you do that? Here are some steps to follow:
- Have a high awareness of your niche and authoritative content sources in it (blogs, e-magazines etc…)
- Research types of articles that do well, and write your own slant, or go completely against the grain
- Develop relationships with the owners of those sites and offer to create content for them
- Repeat this process until you succeed
It’s simple in theory, but difficult in practice. You can easily get published on smaller blogs within a week or two. But, the big-time stuff takes months or years to develop relationships and create valuable content for. As you create content on other sites and develop your own, you will slowly gain a stronger reputation in your niche. How far it grows is limited only by your talent and desire to succeed. Good luck to you as you establish your digital reputation!