Google has stayed at the top of the search engine game for so long because it continues to innovate, introduce new products, and continually improve its search algorithms to reflect changes in the real and online world. Overall, their goal is to make their search results the most useful on the web.
However, if you’re dealing with an online reputation management problem, sometimes it can feel like Google’s practices are unfair. If someone with high authority has written nasty things about you online, Google shoots it to the top of the results for your name—damaging your reputation and good image. But now Google has started to roll out a feature that can help you build some authority for you name on the web. It’s called “author rank,” and by implementing a few simple practices into the way you create and distribute content on the web, you can gain some great screen real estate in the SERPs.
What is Author Rank?
Google has now devised a way that you can link published content on the web to your personal profile. This creates two results. First, it means that your image will appear in the search results when someone searches for an article or other piece of content you’ve written on the web. Second, Google will be able to link ALL the content you create back to you, so you can start to build a solid reputation and some authority on the web. In fact, Google has said that when author rank signals are incorporated into your content, the amount and quality of that content will be used as a ranking factor for yourself and the websites that you spread content to.
In other words, the better online reputation you can build with author rank signals, the better your content will rank on the web. Then you can use your author authority to influence the rank of content around the web, bringing more positive results to the SERPs for your name and anyone associated with you.
How Do You Do it?
To start using author rank signals as part of your reputation management strategy, you need to implement a few pieces of code on your website and within the content you produce around the web
1) Get on Google+
If you’re web savvy and concerned about your online reputation you probably already have a profile, but, if not, create one now. Google can only track your authorship if they know where to find you on the web, and they’ve determined that Google+ will be where they can find you. Is it monopolistic? Sure. But that’s Google.
2) Create an author page
On your personal or company website, create an author page with a small blurb about yourself and a link back to your Google+ profile using rel=”me” or rel=”author” tags in the link. For example:
<a rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/109637006071618937451/posts”>Your Name</a>
3) Link Your Posts to Your Author Page
If your blogging platform has an automatic author bio section added to your posts, make sure it links back to your profile page. Alternatively, you can manually link to your author page in every post. Also, when you author content for other sites, make sure you link back to your main author page, so that Google will recognize that the credit for the content goes to you.
Alternatively, on 3rd party sites, you can use the rel=”author” tag with a direct link to your Google+ profile. But if Google is going to encourage you to link back to an author profile on your site, why not benefit from the link juice that those 3rd party sites will create when you link back to your own site?
Improved Reputation Management
When you can successfully use the rel=”author” tags and show Google where you are publishing content on the web, you’ll benefit from increased rankings and an improved SERP—creating a better online reputation.