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Rumours of AuthorRank a boon for writers, filmmakers, creatives

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28 September 2012

Clay Shirky

The world of SEO is thick with rumours of AuthorRank - how Google is about to include a ranking of authors in how it surfaces content.

All the signs point to it: Google’s emphasis on social, Google Authorship, their ongoing efforts to measure site trust, and their progressive devaluation of raw links as a ranking factor. People want to read content written by credible and knowledgeable people and using AuthorRank as a major part of their search algorithm just makes sense.

And SEO’s say the time is to prepare now.

It doesn’t matter when it’s coming because once it does, it’ll be too late. Now I’m not saying that the launch of AuthorRank is going to nuke site traffic like Panda, but the impact will be huge. While the rollout of AuthorRank obviously won’t be an algorithmic penalty, sites that have been prepping and carefully building AuthorRank for their site contributors are going to have a major advantage.

What signals will Google take into account? Speculation ranges from the average PageRank of the pages an author ‘owns’, to the number of Plus Ones on Google Plus and much besides.

The RAAK take

Whether AuthorRank happens or not does not change our view of the increasing importance given to people as producers of media by media platforms. Google and Twitter want their audience to view the most informative and interesting content, and they know that certain people tend to be better at creating and curating content. They have some of the best minds working making these two things merge.

If you keep that in mind, you’re broadly set for success in media.

In the meantime, you’d be well advised to set up authorship for your website.

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