Being the authority in your field is critical to how successful your SEO campaign will be. In fact, author reputation counts more than it ever has, especially when it comes to search. Google, known for experimenting with new features in search, continues to tweak how authorship is viewed and valued online.

Not too long ago, Google redefined – yet again — what it considers low-quality content, in an update to Google’s search quality rater guidelines. For the first time ever, Google mentions “reputation of the creator of the content,” with that term featuring prominently throughout the document. These guidelines were put in place to train human raters who evaluate the effectiveness of its search algorithms.

Their research offers up a benchmark of sorts, against which Google can determine how close their search results are to what actual humans consider to be “quality content,” says Search Engine Journal. While it’s not a search ranking factor per se, it does paint a good picture of what Google is looking for in pages appearing at the top of search results. Including author reputation and credibility in the guidelines is ground breaking, as it sets the stage for goals of the Google Authorship project.

Taking a Look at Google Authorship

Google Authorship was once a feature that appeared in Google search results between 2011 and 2014, allowing and encouraging web authors to identify who they were with a rel=”author” attribute on the links that showed up between their byline on a page of content, in addition to a page for author profiles.

Not too long after the authorship announcement, Google’s social-network Google+ was introduced, which meant linking rel=”author” to an author’s Google+ profile would now be the best and most effective way to authenticate authorship. Authorship was gradually taken out of search results in 2014, something many people thought would be gone forever. Not so. It’s back, with a facelift.

Guidelines can ask quality raters to look out for the following factors (to name a few) when building out a search algorithm:

  • Content creators who are recognized entities, linking to sources that can bolster their authority.
  • Unmistakable identification of the content creator appearing on the content page.
  • Small biography about the author from a link or right on the page.

Building up Relationships with Authors

The focus until now has been on searching for websites that publish content offered by others, contributing to a deluge of content farms, churns and burns, and black hat link-building. We need a new approach, and that starts with the authors of original content. Influential authors and bloggers write captivating content, plus they have access to channels in which they can distribute the content effectively, according to Moz.

It makes more sense to build relationships with authors rather than web masters, especially in regards to the scaling of high-quality link building.

Responsibilities of Authors

To be taken seriously and rank for authorship, content creators should:

  • Establish expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (or EAT for short).
  • Be active and responsive on all social media platforms.
  • Take all opportunities to be interviewed and quoted online.
  • Publish content that lines up with your area of expertise in relevant publications.
  • Request that your author bio on those publications link to your social media accounts and business website.

With so much fake news going on, now’s the time to establish how authentic and trustworthy you are as a business. Your reputation, and the experts who create content for you, will increasingly become a vital way to secure your online legacy.

Here at Content Runner, our writers know the value of SEO, and particular SEO done well. If you don’t have the resources to devote to author authority in your own articles and blogs, hire a writer who knows SEO and author authority inside and out. Why chance your online reputation with less-than-stellar content?

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