In the past, marketers were focusing on keywords and search engine optimization to highly influence their brand’s search engine results page (SERP) ranking. In 2013, there is a strong likelihood that will change.
What will be the focus? Author rank (AuthorRank) or agent rank.
How does it work?
The more an agent writes on a topic, and the more social engagement with and for that agent, the higher the agent’s “grade” in Google’s eyes for that topic. For those who author content on the web, the content is tied to an author’s Google Plus (Google+) profile.
Don’t have one? Now’s the time to create one. Engagement factors are the next piece of the pie. Factors like social engagement, influence, comments, and relevance will all play a larger role in 2013 as well.
Good News for Marketers and Agents
Why is this good news for marketers? They will be able to influence their content and rankings by leveraging agents—both internal and external—who have a high-profile rank by industry or topic. Of course, tying agent’s signatures, social profile handles, and names will be key in helping to rank site content.
It’s also good for agents, because those of us who blog for organizations, will be able to strongly suggest our customized content at least get a keyword with our name or handle on it; thus increasing our online reputation as well.
What does that mean for marketers?
When it comes to page quality and search engine ranking, according to Google’s Patent, the new quality metric will take precedent in 2013.
The abstract, as noted on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, states, “The techniques include receiving multiple content items … receiving digital signatures each made by one of multiple agents, … associating one of the agents with one or more of the content items; and assigning a score to a first agent of the multiple agents, wherein the score is based upon the content items associated with the first agent by the digital signatures.”
Further, it claims, “The use of digital signatures permits the reputation system to link reputations with individual agents, and adjust the relative rankings based on all of the content each agent chooses to associate itself with, no matter the location of the content. For example, the content can be located across multiple websites, or mixed with the content of other agents on a single website.”
In short, content quality will no longer be the single, most important measure for search engines, well, at least for Google. Nor will it be based solely on the authority of the domain or Web page. It will be influenced more by those who author the content; thus, creating an even greater emphasis on the content authors’ online “klout.”
According to the Search Engine Journal, “This reputational score grades authors on the Web and uses that grade when ordering natural search engine results.”
How to leverage AuthorRank?
There are many ways a marketer may leverage AuthorRank, such as:
- Find external authors with a good AuthorRank, e.g., bloggers, copywriters, content developers, thought leaders, influencers, etc. Then engage them for a contracted period.
- Build AuthorRank with and for employees, e.g., staff, marketing and sales professionals, thought leaders within the company or organization, etc.
- Conduct a Google keyword search for the brand’s rank using those keywords. Then find authors or agents fluent in those keyword spaces. Then, identify the Google Plus circles the author or agent is part of; this should surface as a result of the keyword search.
- When leveraging agents, post his/her name and/or social handles in the SEO keywords on your site to help influence SERP rankings.
- Target influential blogs, websites, and forums to comment on and engage with to also help drive author influence; especially when building an authorrank for internal staff and thought leaders.
- If you have an eCommerce site, product reviews will also be very influential moving forward. Thus, revisiting and possibly revising the reviews strategy to increase engagement will be key going forward.
- Increase your brand’s Google Plus engagement strategy via circles, authors, comments, and engagement.
Author’s Google Plus circles + number of relevant search queries the author appears in = Higher AuthorRank
This formula helps generate a prioritized list of potential candidates for content development consideration.
When it’s all said and done, now is the time to consider your options and rethink your company’s 2013 marketing content development strategy.
How will this change in Search Engine methods affect your marketing strategy in 2013?