A large part of Google’s success as a search engine has been due to its patented PageRank algorithm. This works by using the number of links that point to a given page, and the quality of those links, to determine how important the linked page is. The underlying assumption – which has worked well in practice – is that links to a page are a form of endorsement, and that a page that has a lot of links pointing to it is more important and should be placed higher in the results returned for a search. Because of this, content creators have worked hard to improve the numbers of links to their pages.  But there is a new kid on the block that you need to get to know if you want to help your content reach the top of search engine listings – Google’s Author Rank.

Author Rank works in an analogous way to PageRank: pages that are written by authors who are highly rated will tend to end up higher in the results than pages by “lesser” authors or pages without any identifiable author. Naturally, you want your pages to be in that highly rated category.  So, how to accomplish that?

The basic mechanism for rating authors is the Google Plus +1 button. You need to get as many readers as possible to press that magic button to endorse your work.

How to improve your Author Rank

  • Start by joining Google Plus.  Chances are, you already have, but if not, this should be your cue. Add a photo and verify the email address you will be associating with your content. Ideally, this should be in the same domain as the site on which your content will be published.  It is a little trickier if you need to publish content on a domain that is different from your email, but Google does provide full instructions on how to do this here.
  • Write good quality content. You need to write content that people will care about, so they recognize its quality and are motivated to endorse you appropriately as the author.
  • Make sure your by-line appears on the page, and use the rel=“author” html tag to point back to your Google Plus profile (go here for detailed instructions).
  • Provide a +1 button.  Put this button on the page with your content. This will allow your readers to give immediate feedback to Google Plus that they like your content.
  • Focus on a specific specialty. The jack of all trades will not rank as highly as the master of one. Decide where you want to be an expert, and build your reputation in that area.
  • Network. Look for other authors on Google Plus who write about your chosen field and who have a high ranking. Connect with them so that you can share content: this will help you improve your own rank.

The payoff

If you work consistently on raising your profile by writing valuable content, linking it to your Google Plus profile, and making it easy for your readers to find and click that +1 button, your Author Rank will improve. The better it is, the higher your contributions will appear in Google’s search results: viola – the holy grail!

Have a Pawsitively Tail Waggin' Good Day!

P.S. This information was provided by Ruff Haus Design - Your Loyal Marketing Companion. Established in 1997, we are a special breed of full service graphic design company that works with a premier pack of clients. We bring a fresh outlook and tail-wagging enthusiasm to your marketing program. Learn more about how we can help improve your brand management and support your marketing needs at www.ruffhaus.com

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