Where content gets posted has always been incredibly important to Google. They have been using signals such as page rank to indicate the authority of a site for a while now. Websites that have built up authority and respect will get their content favoured in comparison to their less established competitors. As a result, any content that an established site produces will automatically get favoured and rank highly in the search results.
As of now, Google will be looking at an even better indicator of quality content- the authors themselves. Google patented something called ‘agent rank’ back in 2005 but didn’t do much with it; until recently. It has since developed into what we now know as authorship.
Basically, authors are going to be directly connected to their content, and they will develop an author rank. If you are consistently producing quality content that gets a lot of attention such as shares, likes, tweets etc. your author rank is going to increase, your future content is going to carry more weight and therefore rank higher as a result.
For your authorship to start getting rated by Google, you need to register yourself and claim your authorship. Setting it up is a bit of a confusing process, take a look at this post for a helpful guide.
Why This is not To Be Ignored
In 2011 Eric Schmidt was the executive chairman of Google. He publicly announced that they would be identifying authors in an effort to provide better search results. Considering they also patented it all the way back in 2005, it is safe to say that this is something that Google has been planning for a while.
The only issue was that they have no way of telling who wrote what until Google+ was released. Now they have access to a database of people to analyse, they can connect content to the authors Google + profiles and analyse which authors are producing the best content. Thus ensuring their content is easily accessible in the future.
If Google had access to a database like this previously, we would have seen the announcement of authorship much sooner. Now that they have the database and enough authors connected to authorship, they will be making substantial progress with it. You can expect to see authorship become a significant ranking indicator in time to come; it will become a core part of their algorithm. Google’s engineers have been working hard on it and have already announced a new benefit to authorship.
The Hidden Benefit of Google Authorship
If somebody shows enough interest in an author’s content to stay on the page long enough to read it, then they are likely to want to read more from that author. And that is why Google have recently announced a new benefit to authorship.
If somebody reads your content for long enough, it will show links to other content that you have produced when they return to the search results. It is a great little addition to the ever-expanding concept of authorship and will allow readers to quickly find more posts from the authors they favour.
Expect a number of advances to authorship similar to this in the future as Google are going to be pushing it hard. If you haven’t already started developing yourself as an author, then I highly recommend that you do, almost all marketers are going to benefit from it. Whether you work for an SEO agency or PR agency, whether you are a social media marketer or content marketer, you will all benefit from developing yourself under Google authorship. I genuinely expect author rank to be as much of a ranking signal as page rank is in time to come. Possibly even more so!