Could Google Author Rank be a bigger shake-up to the way SEO works than any other Google algorithm update? You may have noticed Google search results have been showing thumbnails, along with author information and a link to the author’s Google+ profile. This is just one of the steps Google has taken to help weed out spam and disreputable web content.
With the rise of quality web content comes the rise of the author – a good author will want to share their content, and a good author will write content that people will want to link to. So, hey presto! Look at all those inbound links! This is the theory behind Author Rank, and this is how Google envisions the future of reputable search.
This is intended to replace the old search model which relied on one page linking to another, with no system in place to determine the value of these links. Any website that could rake in plenty of links, regardless of the source, would rank high on Google.
How to set up Google Author Rank
First up you’ll need a Google+ profile. This should be a professional account, so try to avoid using it to share pictures of last night’s shenanigans. You’ll also need to make sure you use a recognisable headshot, as this will be showing up in search results.
Next up, make sure your name is appearing in the byline of all content you publish, all the time and everywhere. This is particularly important as it’s the key indicator to Google that you are the author. If you guest post to another blog, try to make sure you get an appropriate byline there too.
Update your Google+ profile with all the websites you contribute to, even if it’s just a one time guest post you should still include it.
The next step is to go to the Google+ authorship page and verify your e-mail address, which should have the same domain name as the website you’re linking to. If you don’t have an e-mail address with the correct domain, then you’ll have to create a link to your Google+ profile on your website using the following HTML code:
Replace [profile_url] with the URL to your Google+ profile.
If you want to see how search results will show up, try using the rich snippet testing tool from Google Webmaster tools.