My very good friend, Sherman Tsang at E19 is a worthy ambassador of Android products, and that makes him my part-time nemesis, as an Apple lover. We have a running competition about tech, and such, and I alomst always win (jokes).
Today, though, he upped things a notch and sent me a fascinating article written by Erin Griffith about Google’s latest round of search changes. One thing that will affect writers, journalist and content marketers is Google’s Author Rank announcement.
Okay so let’s backtrack. Google has been master of search for eons, and it’s been for as long that they have battled people (including shady SEOs) who have bucked the search ranking algorithms through back-door trickery. Google has made it a priority to put fresh content above dirty SEO tricks, and now many of us in online marketing concentrate on:
- Good website structure
- Fresh, relevant content
- Social sharing and readership
But the story has gotten even more interesting. Google has centred new priority around “verified” writers by concentrating on its own social media channel within its search framework. Google+ accounts will now show a writer’s head shot and byline in Google search. Aspiring writers and content mavens take note!
As it says in the article, “Bylined stories rank higher, and they get more real estate. Most importantly, they return clickthrough rates that are 40 percent greater than normal…” In the image below, the byline and image are an appealing feature, and yes, they top out in this sample search. (A 40% improvement to content marketers is mighty tasty.)
What does this mean for us? It may be too early to tell, but one clear change will be the recognition of using journalists and professional writers (people who curate content) for the purposes of creating and promoting you work. A social component to the search equation means that they will have to put THEIR NAME on your content for it to rank well.
As a web writer, I welcome this change. Google in the past had spent little attention on the people who wrote the web, and content creation became a faceless industry. Google is swingin the pendulum back; frankly, I hope to see the other search engines adopt a similar model using other social media channels.
But what does Google’s Author Rank mean for you?
It means you will soon be able to affect your own rankings by posting and promoting your own online marketing through Google+, as Google will now attribute a real person to your posts, and this will give you personal credibility at the same time it boosts your ranking potential.
So to Sherman, I have to tip my hat—and now buy him a coffee… for he (and the rest of the world) will be seeing a lot more of me on my Google+ account.
Have a great week.