The idea of Author Rank, or what was first referred to as “Agent Rank” in 2005 (when Google first announced the idea), was officially combined with their social network Google+ and released in the Fall of 2012. Coincidentally this was around the same time that the huge changes in Google’s search algorithm happened, with their updated versions of Panda and Penquin. These two algorithm adjustments caused almost every webmaster to change their strategy on how they were getting traffic through search engines and re-think what they were doing to get search engine traffic.
What is Google+ Author Rank
Basically, Google+ Author Rank is when you assign an author to your content, and allow Google to display your Google+ profile picture in their search engine result pages (Google Search) for that content. The process starts with linking to your business’s website/blog from your Google+ profile, and then linking the website/blog to back to your Google+ profile. This is using what they call the “Authorship Markup codes“: rel=”me”, rel=”publisher”, and rel=”author”.
The 2 Major Benefits of Google+ Author Rank
There are plenty of benefits to Google+ Author Rank that would make it great for any business (no matter how large or small):
- The first benefit is probably obvious to a lot of people: You will stand out among your competitors in the search results. This can be true even if they also have Author Rank, by using a different background color, etc. Often times people forget about ‘click conversions‘ (or click-through-rate) in the search pages, so while you may not be ranked 1st for the keyword, with a catchy enough display (including an Author Rank photo combined with a quality Title tag and meta description) you could get more clicks than whoever is 1st in the results.
- The second benefit of Google+ Author Rank is you get to establish yourself as an expert in your field. If people are searching for something in your niche and they see your Authorship photo appear multiple times in their research, they recognize you and may see you as a strong figure on the subject. Not everyone remembers your brand’s URL, title and meta tags (which are changing constantly per post/page), but your image should be something that really sticks with the viewer, especially since a lot of people are only skimming through search results and not necessarily reading each listed website.
Read our post for tips on how to correctly optimize your Google+ profile.