What Is Google Author Rank?

If you know about Google’s Page Rank, it’s also important to understand exactly what Author Rank is and how it affects Page Rank and rankings in general. It all begins with creating a profile on Google Plus that is linked to your website content. Although making this addition is easy, there is more to it in order to effectively boost your search engine results.

author rank

What: In an attempt to further fight spam and integrate social signals, Google has introduced Author Rank. This is a measure of your social influence and success, meaning that Google takes into account the number of people who have added you to their Circles, how often you update, your social mentions and more. More content and more social interactions = more authority and better Author Rank. Take a look at how Google places emphasis on a credible author. Not to mention that a visual element provides a competitive edge that will help increase click-through-rates.

Why: Since your Google Plus profile is linked to your real name, picture, email address (and sometimes phone number and address) it’s a credible source and proof that you’re a real person. On top of that, being in more Circles will show that you are a voice of influence in your respective industry. The assumption is that you can provide more benefit to consumers rather than any other site that have not gone through the vigorous steps and verification to add the Author tag. Once the Author tag is added, it’s easier for Google to track the quality of your social associations and apply it towards your site’s Page Rank.

How: Once you’ve signed up for Google Plus, you just need to add a small code to the bio page on your site and the corresponding URL to the Contributor To section of your Profile. (Don’t worry, it’s nothing fancy or advanced.) Click here to for an in-depth tutorial for adding the rel=author tag to your site.

Fighting web spam isn’t an easy thing to do and social signals are a way to combat it. So, webmasters rejoice! This tool can only help add more visibility to your website and increase your trustworthiness. To learn more about how Author Rank can affect your SEO content, check out this handy infographic here.

Google Summer Updates

google penguin

Search Quality Highlights
There’s been so much Google news lately, that it’s hard to pick a starting point. First off, Google released search quality highlights for June and July. Out of the 86 updates, here are some changes that caught our attention:

– “ng2. [project codename “Other Ranking Components”] Better ordering of top results using a new and improved ranking function for combining several key ranking features.” Could it be any more vague?
– “Lime. [project codename “Freshness”] This change improves the interaction between various search components to improve search results for searches looking for fresh content.” Highlighting the importance of consistent updates!
– “Challenger. [project codename “Snippets”] This is another change that will help get rid of generic boilerplate text in Web results’ titles, particularly for sitelinks.” Just another example of how Google hates spammy sitewide links and boilerplate anything.

Next Penguin Update
In a keynote at SES San Francisco, gave SEOs everywhere quite a scare when he mentioned that the next Penguin update will be big. Online, Matt went on to later clarify that he meant that Penguin updates will take longer (as opposed to the almost monthly Panda updates) because it will incorporate “additional” signals. As we mentioned the vagueness of these additional signals, the overall goal is to create a more noticeable impact that will improve user experience.

7 vs 10 Results
Have you noticed less results in your searches? Google has been testing 7 results per page, as opposed to 10. On these certain searches, you’ll probably see more sitelinks for branded terms. Less results on a page means more clicking and more opportunity for paid ads… interesting. On the other hand, some proponents believe that Google is sending them higher quality results for their queries so that they’ll have to do less digging around for what they want. Any thoughts on either argument?

Panda 3.9.1 Refresh
The latest Panda refresh was unleashed this past Sunday. Again, Google has been criticized for releasing these updates on the weekends as webmasters have a hard time analyzing data that usually naturally trends downwards because of cyclical search behavior. This update supposedly only affected less than 1 percent of queries and it will take a few days before all the dust settles so that webmasters can properly analyze their rankings.

For now, that’s it for Google but don’t expect things to slow down after summer! What are you worried about and what would you like to see addressed?

Is It Possible to Have Too Much Content?

Believe it or not, there IS such a thing as having too much content (and we’re talking about onsite content here). Effective SEO strategies are linked with quality content but people may often mistake that for just adding more content. Notice how quality gets left behind?

This is becoming more clear as Google Panda updates are rolling out. The goal is to weed out pages that are not helpful to consumers. So, how do you explain this to a client who wants 50 pages of content put up simultaneously?

Content, Search Engines and Customers

Dumping a ton of content in a single move looks suspicious to search engines because they are aware of many things: the quality of your content, the potential of its usefulness and in the end, it helps them uncover your motive (black hat or white hat SEO). I think that making this move gives off a hint that this is a one time thing and that your site won’t be updated frequently.

There’s only so much content that customers can digest without being completely bored or disinterested. As a consumer, when was the last time you sat down and made time to read more than a handful of pages on a website?

Consistency and Quality over Quantity

The next time someone urges you to add massive amounts of content at once, it’s important to let them know why it’s not a good idea. (And no, it’s not because you’re looking for an excuse to not do work!) SEO content strategy requires a consistent schedule and more does not mean that you will rank any better. If anything, posting too much content that is not useful to users can actually hurt your rankings nowadays.