Over the past decade and a half, Google has continually updated its core search ranking algorithm to incorporate an increasingly complex set of “quality signals” and indicators of subject-matter authority.
At first, it was just links. Then it was links from certain types of websites. Then links from certain types of websites with specific anchor text. Now it’s links from certain types of websites, but not others, with specific anchor text, but not too many with anchor text that is too similar, along with other trust signals like domain age, domain registration length, bounce rate, and—starting around the middle of 2011 (or so it is speculated)—page authorship. Simple, really.
Google figures that if authorship of a web page can be ascribed to a real person, with a real Google+ profile, then that makes a statement about its quality (though precisely what kind of statement relies on the particular individual).
So, how exactly does Google Authorship work? How does one implement it? How does Authorship relate to Author Rank? Does Author Rank even exist? What impact does Authorship (or Author Rank, if it’s real) have on search rankings?
Find the answers to these questions and more in these articles and blog posts from eight experts.
Rel=author: The basics explained [infographic] by iMedia Connection
Though there’s been no shortage of blog posts about Google’s authorship tag, Deborah Bates notes that many of them are “a little too [ITALICS] in-depth…All we need to know is what it is, why it’s useful and how to implement it.” And that’s just what she shares here in a compact but useful infographic.
WordPress SEO: The Easy Way to Set Up Google Authorship by Social Media Today
Craig Fifield explains how to configure the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin “for a single author blog since all blogs need those settings” and progresses to “the specifics for businesses and multi-author blogs, both of which have specific configuration options.”
Can We Build Our Trust With Google Plus by newraycom
Reporting that “A Forrester Research study revealed that 70% of consumers trust brand recommendations from friends, only 10% trust advertising,” Ray Hiltz notes that still, “the majority of companies remain in their Mad Men rut and give no serious attention to building relationships with their market.” He then explores how authorship and Google+ features like Hangouts can be used to build trust.
Want to Rank in Google? Build Your Author Rank Now by Search Engine Watch
Eric Enge explores half a dozen factors Google can potentially use in calculating author rank, including average article velocity (“the tweets, +1s, shares, Likes per day, per hour, or even per minute…consider the concept that search engines can track your average performance in this area over time”) and authority of publishing sites, and concludes that content teams need a subject-matter expert “on whatever your topic matter is – passionate about it, and personable. Your content won’t sell without this.”
In this short but very helpful post, Birgit Pauli-Haack provides “details on how to connect your Google+ profile with your blog/website, claim authorship and appear on relevant Key word searches,” complete with essential links, useful examples, and technical instructions.
Google AuthorRank: Fact or Fiction? by Social Media Today
Mike Alton steps through what Google Author Rank is, how one gets authorship credit, why it’s important, and how it differs from search personalization: “as a verified author, your content can rise to the top of a search result without having any connection to the individual doing the searching.”
Explaining that “Google is using Google+ to influence search results in a big way, and…Author Rank could have an even bigger effect on search results…it’s clearly the way forward for Google results,” Erin Griffith delves into how author rank works, and how it affect search results and click-throughs, concluding “With Author Rank, (Google is) outsmarting SEO spammers while forcing content producers to use Google+.”
How To Get Your Picture In Google Search Results by Mannix Marketing
No theory, no eloquent digressions on the impacts and implications of Google Authorship, just a concise how-to post from Bill Bouchard on “putting a name and face with content” in three steps, including two options for linking your content to your Google+ profile.