Do you hear the footsteps?
Shhhhhh! Be quiet, I can hear it coming.
It’s the sound of Author Rank. It is a big scary monster that wants you to be a part of it. And if you’re not, there will be consequences. (or maybe not)
Earlier while sipping a frothy cup of earl grey tea with stevia while browsing the G+ communities using my Android tablet, I ran across this thread by Mark Traphagen who was propheticising about the power of G+ AuthorRank and the power it has. Google exec Eric Schmidt just confirmed in a TechCrunch article what we’ve all been smelling in the air:
Keep in mind this was a casual quote that he made in an interview about his new book, and was not elaborated on by him, whatsoever.
Before we go any further, lets clear something up: there is a difference between authorship and Author Rank. Author Rank is a score that is given to a particular person/author that relates to: how much they have written, the quality of what they have written, and the frequency of their writing. Authorship is basically the ability for an authorized author (basically a Google+ account) to associate their content on Google. (thanks for clearing that up, seotheory.com)
So does this mean sites that are not verified through Google will be banished into the kingdom of the latter pages?
As Mark+ pointed out in his G+ post, the above image might not be what he is referring to. Google is most likely referring to verified author accounts, which can be had by taking a few simple steps.
The community is scrambling right now. Everyone is blogging about authorship and Author Rank. Webmasters everywhere are running to their G+ profiles and beefing them up every which way they can. Now, isn’t that just what Google wants?
Is this just another ploy by Google to get in the race with Facebook and Twitter?
There are a number of questions that have been raised, such as – what will Google do about mega sites that cannot be linked to a specific author, OR sites that are strictly archives and don’t claim to have any authorship at all?
Any sharp forecaster can predict that Author Rank will at the very least be a signal in upcoming algorithm updates (I could swear it already is)
No one is sure, but this is why this next “update” is taking so long to roll out.
This (once again) does not mean that SEO is dead. Oh contraire mon frere, quite the opposite. This will most likely make things much more fair for SEO’s and probably back a lot of the black hatters who use automated link building tools, into a corner. Links, as usual, will still matter. On the flip side you are going to want to take some precautions, and brace yourselves.
Stay calm people.
Unfortunately, I have been right about the last few major updates – and some of them clearly did not benefit us in certain ways.
I do not predict that this new search signal will be heavily weighted. Meaning, I do not think that you will drop from 1 to 100 if your site is lacking authorship. This is not a penalty in any way, although some people will call it a penalty because they were moved down when someone moved above them (king of the mountain theory). I also think that this will greatly depend on certain SERPs. Shopping SERPs will be much less effected than SERPs with heavy blogging URLs. There will be many exceptions to this however. For instance a search about “lcd TV’s” where the SERP displays URL’s of product pages mixed with reviews by bloggers.
My main prediction is that if there are 2 websites that have “neck an neck metrics” (roughly equal metrics) the site that has a stronger authorship profile, or made up of multiple authorship profiles will most likely win the race.
Stay tuned my friends, I am sure the next update is just around the corner.
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