Google+ and Author Rank

Google+ and Author Rank

In this post we will look at Google+ and Author Rank as a possible tool for SEO., especially from the perspective of small businesses and sole traders.

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What is Google+

Do you have an email account? Me too, it’s Gmail. Do you search the internet? Me to, I use Google. Do you use RSS? Me too!!!! I use Google reader!!! In fact, a lot of my online activities, either directly or indirectly involve Google!

Google+ is a social network / layer for google services. It meets the personal needs of an online social media platform, and the professional needs of a business with an online presence by offering a range of tools and support. The point of this blog is to ascertain whether being part of Google+ will benefit businesses in terms of SEO. The strategy below would suggest it does, and it stands to reason that businesses certainly couldn’t be impacted in a negative way by signing up to Google+

Google+ business strategy

Google+ and Author Rank in Relation to Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Typically, digital marketing is understood to be the combination of different aspects of online components, that are amalgamated in a bid to optimise a product or service for success ( the bottom line of campaign success being targets reached or surpassed ). This sounds simple enough, but when you actually go to do it, you’ll find that it can be challenging enough when it comes to choosing the right kind of online platforms for your business, in terms of being found in search.

There are several strings that can be added to your bow when researching social media, and you can save a lot of time and energy by figuring out which social media platforms work well together, and reach your target audience and which ones don’t.
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Relevant Platforms

Creating a link between all social platforms is so important in terms of reaching clients.Determining which online platforms  enhance your online business presence and awareness is key. If you are the face of your business, then it is important that you are reaching your target market, that you are engaging with them and building a rapport with them. I think this is especially important for sole traders, and small business owners, who are the face and personality of their business. Whether you are selling a product or a providing a service, potential customers  will be more inclined to build a relationship with you if they feel that they know you, and if they trust you. A great way to build this kind of rapport is through blogging. A lot of businesses use WordPress as their content management system and utilise Googles’ plugins.

10 Google+ plugins for wordpress
Google Authorship

Initially Google+ users enjoyed a system called Google Authorship and Author Rank. Establishing Google Authorship was a very simple process, and meant that any content submitted by you would be filed by Google as owned by you ( Authorship ). You then added your website to the links section in your Google+ account. Added your name to your website, then you linked your name to your Google+ profile using a code. This resulted in a search result similar to a Twitter search result which includes a photo or image. In 2013 Google reduced Authorship by 15%, only showing the most highly ranked. In August 2014  Google removed photos from search results, and effectively killed off Authorship.

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I know! . . . . However,  some are saying that Author Rank is still alive and kicking, and has a lot of value in terms of optimisation. The recent partnership with Google and Twitter tied in with the cancellation of Google Authorship might mean that Google might be looking at getting the exposure that it denied itself when it initially allowed Google+ to trickle onto the market instead of releasing the Google+ dam and flooding the market with in 2011. However, if there is value in Google Author Rank, then it may be worth signing up for Google+ as a possible tool to help optimise your blogs. Google insist that Authorship has become obsolete.

August 2014 Google confirms cessation of Authorship.

However. . . . 2 months later….

October 2014 Google confirms Author Ranking.

Author Rank

Author rank is your personal online reputation created by you, filed by you with Google as your work, and subsequently ranked by Google. Your Author rank value is based on your content. CONTENT IS ALWAYS KING, and this is more important now than ever when trying to optimize your business. Businesses are looking at every available opportunity to be found in search, Google+ is just another string to your bow. However,it may be a string that a lot of businesses are overlooking.  Things that impact author rank include social media activity, in particular, +1s through Google+ on your Youtube videos, the value of websites/users links  in terms of influence and those who are sharing your content. Like so many things with Google,they haven’t publicised how Author Rank is calculated, but link building and sharing of content is crucial.

According to Danny Sullivan,  Google authorship may be dead, but Google author rank is not

There are varying degrees of optimism and negativity depending on which side of the Google+ fence you sit. I sit with the optimists. Why not? What possible harm could come to my business by being connected to Google+?

In Conclusion

It’s not unusual for Google to stay quiet or to be vague about Google tools that could be abused by businesses in a bid to be more competitive/successful in search results. Every time we access the internet we are entering into an ever changing landscape. Businesses have to adapt and embrace change to develop a structure re growth and development. Google is a huge part of this sea of change, with so many products and interlinking components, sometimes we need to move with the current, in order to grasp the magnitude of Googles presence. If author rank is still valid in terms of SEO, then being connected to Google+ may indeed be a lot more relevant to your business than you think.

Some useful links:

Create your own Google+ business page

Create your own website/blog

Create Relevant Blog Content

Entrepreneurial traits

I hope you found this blog insightful.

Melanie Hoskin

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Danny Sullivan, 29/08/2014


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