Google Confirms AuthorRank is Real

Posted on September 21, 2012 in

The SEO industry has long suspected, and Google has confirmed there is a benefit to your authorship status, or as their 2005 patent refers to as Agent rank. Every time Google makes a change to their algorithm, and they make a lot. And every time you see a new one, someone is out there trying to beat it. Nowadays content is so much easier to share, especially with the social sharing. With this, Google came along with Google+, and whatever your opinions of it, it’s here to stay. Larry Page referred to it as their “social spine“. They want to know who you are, what you write about, and how many people are consuming your content. Enter AuthorRank.

So now, when you share a piece of content you want to reach as many people as possible, you really need to make sure your author attributions are in place. The more people who follow your content as an online personality, the better the chance of your content ranking the moment you publish it. Here are the benefits the patent says it will bring us

  1. Identifying individual authors who produce content can be used to influence search rankings.
  2. The author can disclaim association with pieces of content, like advertising, that appears on their website.
  3. Multiple authors can be attributed to a single page, where each person is only associated with the content they provided.
  4. Reliable association of content to an author.
  5. Since multiple authors can be associated on one page, and be attributed to different parts of the content, authors can disassociate themselves from content on the same page.

Author Attribution in Google Search Results

When Google confirms who you are, you tend to rank better

Author Attribution in Google Search Results


OK it’s coming, so what do I do?

First thing you should do, is follow AJ Kohn’s suggestions on linking your G+ profile to any content you produce online. Follow these steps for any place you make contributions to. If you are apprehensive about any of this, and some people are, consider this. Your competitor will be doing it, so you better get ahead of the game.

And like with anything in SEO, no one change is the magic bullet. Google considers over 200 ranking factors when deciding where a site will rank in organic search, so doing a little bit of everything is usually the the approach to take. SO it’s safe to say there will be multiple ways to factor in an AuthorRank:

  • Average rank of an author’s content
  • Engagement level of your Google+ content
  • The number of authoritative sites the author has published to
  • +1’s and Google shares the author’s content receives
  • Any other authoritative metrics on social networks Google deems worthy to track (Twitter, Linkedin, Quora, etc)

Google knew a long time ago (at least 2005 or before) providing their users with the best results possible would rely on identifying and ranking the actual people producing the content. Most people have had a news anchor they trusted as their source on television, at one point in their life. It only made sense for them to find out, and confirm, who are the most trusted sources for content in any market online.

By Nathan Byloff

Nathan is the CTO for RankHammer. His area of expertise is technical SEO and everything to do with data - collection, analysis, etc. He is driven by automating any reporting task that has to be done more than once.