What if Author Rank Never Happens? [Update]

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Editor’s note (6/27/14): This week, Google announced they killed profile pics in search. This does not kill Google authorship nor indicate doom for Google+.

It’s simply a business decision meant to enhance the experience of the end user (searchers), particularly in mobile. Google makes hundreds of these decisions a year. What’s the best way to keep yourself on the good side of these decisions? Build online authority.

With that in mind we thought it would be a great idea to republish Brian Clark’s article “What If Author Rank Never Happens?” His message is aimed at Author Rank, but it’s appropriate for this event, too. Enjoy.


We recently concluded an entire series of articles by our own Demian Farnworth on the topics of Authorship, Author Rank, and Google+ for the online content creator.

It was a smashing success, which indicates that writers and other online content creators are excited about these topics. And you should be.

But let’s be clear – as best as anyone can tell, Author Rank has not been implemented yet. And that means there’s some chance it may never become an algorithmic aspect of the way Google ranks web pages.

To briefly recap:

  • Authorship is the way Google knows who the creator of a piece of content is, no matter which site that content resides on.
  • Author Rank is the idea – supported by patents filed by Google – that who creates a page of content (and links out from that page), based on their historical reputation for creating content people actually like, would become one of the signals Google relies on when ranking relevant results of a particular topic.
  • Google+ is a massive topical network (as opposed to a traditional social network) that provides Google with direct data about what people like and share when it comes to content on the web.

Authorship and Google+ are the real deal, right now. And they both have demonstrated value to content creators and site owners.

Author Rank is still in the speculation phase. So what happens if it never happens?

It absolutely doesn’t matter.

Everything you need to succeed is already here

During the last 7 years or so, there have been two different approaches to SEO.

One approach was to game the algorithm, get slapped, get back up, and game again.

The other approach was to create great content, attract natural links and social sharing, and focus primarily on pleasing people while also artfully spoon-feeding Google.

Guess which approach won?

You already have the ability to own the search rankings as a savvy content creator. Let’s look at what would matter if Author Rank were actually implemented.

  • Find out what topics people want
  • Create great content that people want
  • Gently tweak that content so Google knows what to do with it
  • Have a strong distribution network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
  • Have real-world relationships with influential people in your field
  • Build an authoritative website
  • Write at other authoritative websites

Do all that right now, and you don’t need Author Rank. Because, as AJ Kohn recently pointed out, you’ll have authority.

And authority is all you need.

All You Need is Authority

Since 2006, we’ve been telling you how it is. We told you 2013 was a tipping point for online writers.

It’s still all about authority.

Authority is what people respond to.

Authority is what Google wants.

We’re here to help you get more of it.

Brian Clark is founder of Copyblogger and host of New Rainmaker. Get more from Brian on .

The post What if Author Rank Never Happens? [Update] appeared first on Copyblogger.

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