AuthorRank isn’t here yet, but there’s no reason to believe that it won’t be a significant ranking factor sometime in the future. Members of Google’s top brass have suggested that it is coming down the pipeline, and that publishers should prepare. Eric Schmidt himself has said that “the trust cost of remaining anonymous … might be irrelevance.”
The excitement, debate and anxiety over the perceived future of AuthorRank tends to overshadow the tangible benefits that setting up Google Authorship (a prerequisite for AuthorRank) carries with it right at this very moment. Regardless of if and when AuthorRank becomes a reality, Google Authorship can empower your content marketing efforts in ways that may actually eclipse the benefits of AuthorRank itself.
Google Authorship Can Create Content Champions
Because Google Authorship establishes a direct link between authors and their content, there tends to be a greater vested interest in the quality and promotion of that content on behalf of its author. As AJ Kohn puts it, the goal should be to build authority, not AuthorRank. And when a brand is willing to build up the personal brand of an employee through blog contribution with established authorship, that employee should return the favor by becoming a content champion for the brand.
Google Authorship Can Increase Content Production
Being able to tell prospective authors – both inside and outside of your company – that you establish Google Authorship for all blog contributors can be extremely motivating when attempting to solicit blog posts. When an author knows that their personal brand and social profiles will have that kind of visibility on a blog, they may be more likely to contribute regularly. In this way, Google Authorship can help increase your content output.
Google Authorship Can Increase Your CTR
When you establish Google Authorship, exhanced rich snippets appear in the SERPs almost immediately. Results with an image of the author, links to other posts they’ve written and a link to their Google+ profile just makes that result stand out amongst those without author rich snippets. Which of these results are you more likely to click on, regardless of position?
While AuthorRank may bring increased rankings for your content someday, Google Authorship can increase the quality and quantity of your content immediately, as well as its CTR performance.