SEO: What the heck is AuthorRank and should Google+ matter

By | January 9, 2014

Firstly, I am aware this is old news, but has somehow bypassed me completely. You have to bear with someone who is new to all this. I’m think I’m starting to grasp some of it, better write it down before I forget.

According the SEO pages I’ve been directed to read by Reddit users, Google ranks pages on how relevant it thinks the content is to the search and how much of an authority on the content the page author is.

There are lots of ways that Google does both of these things, but the rules are hard to decipher and keep changing. This is presumably because Google make a lot of money from their search engine and don’t really want everybody to know how the magic is done. Getting to understand it makes me feel like a badly drawn wizard.

Exactly what SEO experts look like

Exactly what SEO experts look like

I’ve constantly amazed at what people can do with text mining so I’m not surprised that Google can pick up relative content for a users search. I was however, particularly interested in how Google works out how much of an authority authors are on the subject. I had already guessed that domains might play a part; having helped to host websites on a .ac.uk domain I was pretty certain that links from trusted domains would also count. My reading tells me the age of a domain seems to be taken in to account and sometimes even the IP address/host of the content.

Anyone who uses Google services will have no doubt been dragged in to Google+.  Android, Hangoutsand Youtube users  are all forced to have + accounts (With the youtube users being dragged by the hair kicking and screaming  )

It makes sense to Google then to use all these services attached to your Google+ account to judge you as an author. In fact Google filed a patent describing such things way back before Google+ was even released.  and earlier this last year a Google engineer gave a keynote on the latest major ranking algorithm where he made a big deal about author authority.

To associate what Google knows about you through Google+ and your website Google run an authorship program that allows people to associate the content they write on the web. They can then use the rankings from things they know from your Google+ account to change your websites ranking in it’s search engine.

This is all very ‘wooly’ and the one thing I have picked up on quickly is that these things change constantly. It would appear that author authority has taken a dive in Google’s page ranking algorithm recently. Still, something to be aware of. Now to find some pictures of cats playing keyboards to attach to this post as linkbait.

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