In the past year or so, the question of Author Rank has been billowing through the Internet. While some have been left scratching their heads, others are panicking about the potential consequences Author Rank might wreak on their sites.

Author Rank won’t replace PageRank, but Google plans on using both metrics to provide relevant search results and improve the user’s overall experience. You can read Google’s full patent on what it calls “Agent Rank” over yonder.

Understanding Authorship

We all know content is king. It’s the meat and potatoes of the typical website. That content is written by bloggers, copywriters, freelancers, and wordsmiths from all over the globe. Most of those writers provide content for multiple websites with various topics and themes, and while most of them are quite good at what they do, others simply know how to game the system, from spam to junk content, even with algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin.

Author Rank is Google’s way of weeding out that spam even further. Through Author Rank, Googles identifies authors (i.e. anyone who provides content for a site) and ranks them based on the content they write. Better content means a more trusted authorship.

Beyond Content

But Author Rank takes into account a lot more than some blog posts and delves deeper into your online rep. In fact, the people reading and sharing your content are just as important as the words you write. Their Author Ranks can affect your own. Then you have to consider the number of people commenting, their authority on the topic, and the quality of their comments. The same goes for Likes and +1s.

This is where your social media presence (namely your Google Plus account) really comes into play. If anything, Author Rank is forcing people to go that extra step to connect and engage with others.

Preparations

The main thing you can do to prepare for Author Rank is to claim authorship using the rel=author tag. From there it’s a matter of creating great content and, as stated previously, making good use of Google Plus and other social platforms. Remember that every conversation you participate in can potentially add credibility.

There’s a lot more to delve into with Author Rank, most importantly how it will affect search rankings, but the fact is, it’s still too early to know exactly how Author Rank will change things. For a more in-depth rundown, head this way.

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