Editor’s note (8/28/14): Google has completely dropped all authorship functionality from the search results and webmaster tools. Other than the authorship markup code that’s now worthless, what changes should you make to rank well in Google?
As this article from April 13, 2013 sets forth, nothing at all. The message is aimed at the mythical Author Rank, which was supposed to be the outcome of Authorship, but the point is that what would have worked under Authorship is what already works. Enjoy.
It was a smashing success, which indicates that writers and other online content creators are excited about these topics. And you should be.
But let’s be clear – as best as anyone can tell, Author Rank has not been implemented yet. And that means there’s some chance it may never become an algorithmic aspect of the way Google ranks web pages.
To briefly recap:
- Authorship is the way Google knows who the creator of a piece of content is, no matter which site that content resides on.
- Author Rank is the idea – supported by patents filed by Google – that who creates a page of content (and links out from that page), based on their historical reputation for creating content people actually like, would become one of the signals Google relies on when ranking relevant results of a particular topic.
- Google+ is a massive topical network (as opposed to a traditional social network) that provides Google with direct data about what people like and share when it comes to content on the web.
Authorship and Google+ are the real deal, right now. And they both have demonstrated value to content creators and site owners.
Author Rank is still in the speculation phase. So what happens if it never happens?
It absolutely doesn’t matter.
Everything you need to succeed is already here
During the last 7 years or so, there have been two different approaches to SEO.
One approach was to game the algorithm, get slapped, get back up, and game again.
The other approach was to create great content, attract natural links and social sharing, and focus primarily on pleasing people while also artfully spoon-feeding Google.
Guess which approach won?
You already have the ability to own the search rankings as a savvy content creator. Let’s look at what would matter if Author Rank were actually implemented.
- Find out what topics people want
- Create great content that people want
- Gently tweak that content so Google knows what to do with it
- Have a strong distribution network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
- Have real-world relationships with influential people in your field
- Build an authoritative website
- Write at other authoritative websites
Do all that right now, and you don’t need Author Rank. Because, as AJ Kohn recently pointed out, you’ll have authority.
And authority is all you need.
All You Need is Authority
Since 2006, we’ve been telling you how it is. We told you 2013 was a tipping point for online writers.
It’s still all about authority.
Authority is what people respond to.
Authority is what Google wants.
We’re here to help you get more of it.