Nearly a year after the concept of AuthorRank first started getting online marketers excited, we're now entering a period of cynical backlash against the so-called "future of SEO." It's true that AuthorRank, otherwise known as "Agent Rank," isn't yet a Google ranking factor. A requisite to building AuthorRank is establishing Google Authorship, which ties content to their author through their Google+ profile. In the absence of AuthorRank, there are real benefits of setting up Google Authorship today.
1. Google Authorship Makes Content More Appealing
Google Authorship adds several visual elements to blog posts both as they appear in the SERPs and in their native on-page environment. Rather than making AuthorRank your goal today, instead focus on getting authorship-optimized:
- Author Rich Snippets: The most tangible result of establishing Google Authorship is the appearance of author rich snippets in Google SERPs. Snippets include an author image, a by-line (by "author") which links to the author's Google+ profile, and a link to more posts by the author. Posts with author rich snippets just look more authoritative and trustworthy than those without, likely resulting in higher click-through rates.
- Author Bio and Author Page: Supplying the bare minimum - a link to the author's Google+ profile - will establish Google Authorship, but going the extra mile to add a full author box with a photo, bio and links to their (other) personal social media accounts will further personalize each blog post and help to promote the author's personal brand.
2. Google Authorship Encourages Content Production
Authorship can be incredibly motivating to your employees, because they're no longer contributing anonymous content to your marketing efforts with little-to-no recognition. Furthermore, when an author's personal brand is associated with the content they contribute to a corporate blog, they will be be more likely to promote that content.
3. Google Authorship Future-Proofs Your Blogging Efforts
Just because author identity is not a ranking factor today doesn't mean that it won't be tomorrow. Given the relative ease of setting up Google Authorship and the likelihood that author citations will influence rankings, there's little reason to delay in establishing Google Authorship for all of your blog contributors.
Transparent authorship is a key component in getting your content written, seen and shared. Keep an eye on the topic of AuthorRank as it further evolves!