SEO in 2013: Getting The Hang of AuthorRank

As 2013 approaches, many are left wondering what is in store for SEO. No one want to be caught napping when Google makes their next move. Webmasters are more keenly keeping their eyes trained on Google. One of the biggest game-changing future additions to Google´s algorithm is AuthorRank. Industry insiders are predicting it will change the foundations of online marketing forever.

About PageRank

Google’s standard high-level metric that has been used to determine the quality of a web page is PageRank. This system has been used for many years to classify web pages according to their authority. A site with a higher page rank (PR) is noted as having a higher authority which also meant that they had a higher crawl rate. It would seem that the use of PageRank is set to come to an end as its effectiveness in providing quality metric has dwindled over the years. While it may still have some relevance if it is used along with other quality metrics such as domain authority and page authority, it can no longer be relied on as the only quality metrics tool.

About AuthorRank

Out with the old – in with the new? The year 2013 will see the introduction of a new quality metric tool to measure and classify a page. AuthorRank seems set to take its place as the new master of page quality and SEO ranking, but it will inform rather than replace PageRank. It would seem as if Google had this card up their sleeves for a few years now just waiting on the right time to play it. They filed for a patent for “Agent Rank” in 2005. This Agent Rank is one and the same AuthorRank.

David Minogue of Google – in the patent – made references to the use of the patented instrument to rank those he referred to as agents. The content received from these agents along with their interactions (which we would guess refers to web activity) were to be used to determine their rank. Those agents that were more well-received and popular would possibly see their associated content gain a higher ranking than those agents with unsigned content. We determine that the agent in the patent refers to web site owners and everyone who submit content to Google.

Agent Rank – it would seem – was put aside for several years because without a system to identify agents there was no way the ranking system could be implemented. Google evidently never lost sight of its mission to rank agents as the ultimate goal is to improve search quality. Google and other search engines have moved away from the practice of using just the authority of a domain or Web page to rank the quality of the content. The focus is now geared towards ranking based on the reputation and authority of the author of the content. How does Google know who’s the author?

The Role of Google Plus in Identifying Authors

In 2011 Google’s Eric Schmidt indicated that Google still had a desire to be able to identify agents as a means of improving search quality and getting rid of spammers. Google determined they needed a strong identity for agents if it was going to achieve that goal. Shortly after Schmidt’s proclamation Google Plus came on stream. Google Plus has so far been the most effective means of capturing the digital signature of those who supply content to the web. Once there is a Google profile it is much easier to get those signatures.

And Now What of Google Authorship?

We determine that this new roll out feature is meant to tie a Google signature or rather a Google profile to the content produced by those with a profile. Google has been working smartly and quietly behind the scenes developing a method to finally identify agents and the content they produce. With this accomplishment they can now roll out the now several years old Agent Rank to carry out the ranking process it was first meant to do.

Also read: How To Set Up Google Authorship Markup With rel=author

AuthorRank’s Ranking Process

Google Authorank 2013Google credit authors who submit content to the web by tying the pages they write their Google Plus profiles. Rich snippets are used to enable the process, and the engagement factors of the content the author produces is used to give the ranking. The engagement factors include activities coming social platforms such as shares and likes from Facebook, tweets from Twitter and +1’s from Google Plus. The influence and relevance of the endorsements and comments, along with the influence and relevance of those who endorse and comment on the content will be taken into consideration for the ranking process. The inbound links connected to the content will also come in for scrutiny based on their quality and relevance. Authors will receive higher rankings for the topics based on how much content they provide on the topic. The more content you produce on a particular topic and the more engagement you get for that content, the higher you will be ranked. The basic idea seems to be centered on giving those who are experts on a topic the edge over those who are not.

As Google prepares to roll out the new tool to help clean up the web, it would seem that those who are serious about providing quality content will be given high priority.


Charles Dearing

Charles Dearing has extensive experience in website development. His articles mainly appear web development blogs. For more information on how SEO Works visit the website.

23 thoughts on “SEO in 2013: Getting The Hang of AuthorRank

  • Truly in depth post on a subject matter that is relevant today. For me, I knew from the begining that Google was up to something when they launched Google authorship. If they will truly use it for ranking webpages then it is a good thing for it will help sanitize the internet. More content publishers will concentrate on producing quality content.

    • Thanks for your comment Chadrack, you are right hopefully webmasters will try to publish only quality content…

  • It’s now more about the people who write than people who own blogs. The importance of authorship will continue to rise, and the worth of established authors will increase in the future. It’s a good idea to add authorship to blogs as soon as possible.

  • I tried using lot many plugins with wordpress which could help me verify google authorship. But I haven’t been able to achieve that. Can you please help me?

  • With the step in the new year today, I am expecting Google to pull out many more updates to algorithms like the two major ones panda and penguin to make the life of the Webmasters and bloggers more difficult with respect to SEO.
    Author Rank criteria might be for classifying the popularity of the author who has written the post in respect of the comments blog gets, the roar of the blog in various social media, the contact lists of the blogger, in short, Google will give mor preference to the bogger rather than the blog.

  • Basically i asked my many blogger friends that why are they onto opening so many blogs and why not concentrate on one blog.. But when i came to know about Google Author Rank i figured why was this happening.. Thank You for Such a well written post…

    • But I still don’t understand the strategy of your blogger friends. Why would they start many different blogs now?
      Even if they open up 100’s of blogs, they still can promote only maximum a handful of blogs effectively, and without promoting their blogs, they would not get social signals like shares, +1’s and tweets, so they do not get a high author rank, thus they are wasting their time there when you think long term.
      I think they would be better off concentrating on one blog, and guest post on other related blogs, where rel=author is active.

    • I am glad that you liked it Ravi, thanks for your comment…

  • Google Author rank will be playing big role in 2013.You have shared such a nice post.Thanks for the great post.

  • Hi Charles,

    you covered it super well here! Wow! This gave me a bigger perspective about the usage and importance of Google+. I’m an active user (and lovin’ it) but never really thought in depth about the reach of networking on it and how it might (it certainly will) impact search rankings.
    thanks for share this article.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing great article about about getting very important page rank. This is very useful information for internet marketing people. Keep it up such a nice posting like this.

    Sekhar Reddy.

  • this is a very informative share. this is indeed going to play a huge roll this year. thanks

  • Yeah, I noticed this too in one of the website we promote. Each author was linked to their respective Google Plus profile. The rich snippet became visible in search results but it also affected the ranking positively. I am not sure if the ranking and the number of GPlus shares, likes or retweets had some connection though. If this is really what Google is planning, spammers will try to manipulate it again like they did with PageRank.

  • As we all know, social activity has become of enormous importance, you just can’t fake a community. Which is the reason social media has become such a big player on the scene. It is therefore with great interest that we see Google pushing Author Rank as they begin to highlight content creators within their search results.

  • Will this new Authorank concept affect the authorship ? Actually launched a new blog, after implementing authorship perfectly I am still not getting my profile’s link on my website’s search result.
    However, In my second blog, things are going all right.

  • Nice Post,
    It was very in depth and explained author rank really well. This will be something that all bloggers will have to take more notice of this year.
    Thanks for the share 🙂

  • Very good article indeed.

    I am just wondering what will happen to the SERPS when Google implements changes in the algorithms in order to promote authorship. I can foresee thousands of webmasters crying loudly because his hard earned SERP rankings are buried in minutes.

  • Very nice approach on the topic- I had myself some controversies with Google at a certain point but now I m more socially oriented and try to deliver content as trendy and relevant as possible. That is not always easy but it is definitely worthy!

  • great article!! I was totally unaware of this author rank thing, After reading this article i immediately confirmed author identity. thanks a lot

  • Google is weighing every little thing that you do and relate your author rank. How much influence one has for a niche on share/reshares/G+/comments. Google plus will be a game changing platform for writers. Have you seen ripples?


  • Charles, you’ve said it right. PR should be replaced with author rank. Currently I’m studying more about this. Thanks for sharing.

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