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April 23, 2012, 4:46 am UTC
Online marketing landscape has undergone a tectonic shift in last year or so. Google has entered the scene with its new social site, sharing on which is affecting ranking and traffic, and along with that it has also brought into fold something called “Author Rank”. It is something like PageRank, but it has more to do with the content agent than with the website, to put it in Google’s own term.
To understand what is Author Rank and how it is going to affect your online business or your marketing effort on the Internet, let’s take a leaf out of Google’s Author Rank Patent, which says,
“The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings.
Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.”
But why Google needed Author Rank
The short answer to this question is this: Google is doing it in its self-interest, but as this will not satisfy your curiosity, I am giving you a slightly longer answer.
Google is after giving a better search experience to its searchers, but because the web is full of low qualityand highly optimizedarticles, Google end up deliveringbad content for majority of keywords, which takes away from the users’ experience.
The search giant had been struggling to defeat the black hatters who spin, rewrite, create backlinks in bulk, and do other nasty things to rank higher without success, so it needed some solid mechanism to keep baddies out of its SERP, and Author Rank is that tool.
Why you should think about Author Rank?
So far, you only needed to be concerned with creating unique content that adds value to the readers’ experience, but the new patent is going to put a lot more demand on you. Now, only good content will not cut it, one needs to develop a reputation which will ultimately affect the ranking of the article in search engine.
Google believes, and rightly so, that a certain author can be an expert in a couple of fields, and if he or she is an expert in his field, his/her article should be given more weightage.
In order to make your brand stick on the first page of the Google SERP, you need to build a reputation for your content creator. But there is a problem. If you are not running a business in which you are the person who creates content then the new filter will make it difficult for your business because the moment your writer will leave your office, your rankings will plummet.
There is a lot of discussion going around this topic. Some experts believe that Google will come up with a way around this problem because Google knows that employees come in and go out of organizations all the time, so it will factor that in, and then there are experts who are not so upbeat about Google’s prompt action on this.
So how one can protect the ranking even when an establish writer quits?
There are two ways: either wait for Google to do something, if it is not doing something already, or make your content independent of its author(s) by creating a brand persona.
How brand persona will help
When I say brand persona, I mean to suggest that a business (of all sizes) should invest in creating a personality with all the human traits, moods, style, etc., and use that to represent the business. This can also be used to hire writers. When you hire a writer, ask him to fit in the mold (brand persona) you have created. This way you will be able to minimize the damage done when an established writer leaves your team.
In fact, after you have created a detailed brand persona, you should use that as a benchmark to test writers against when hiring any one for your team. This will save your time training a new writer so that he or she can fit the mold.
Author Rank brings good news for honest marketers and bad news for spammers. If you run a legit business than you should be happy about it. You will get many more opportunities.
Once this algorithm starts filtering all the content, web will not be the same. It will not belong to maniac backlink builders, but to those who can create high-quality content and give better experience to the readers.
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