Google Author Rank and the Have Nots

Image by Mukumbura

Image by Mukumbura

The rush to become officially integrated into the Google Author Rank system or has begun. It’s unfortunate, because Google Authorship forces weighted search rankings that favor popularity and SEO skills over substance.

If content creators want to optimize our chances of being read, what choice do we have but to implement the system? Our search results depend on it.

There have been many blogs about how to implement Google’s Author Rank system, but this isn’t one of them.

We know the Google search algorithm will prioritize verified bloggers via Author Rank, which is a combination of Page Rank, the Google+ social network determinants (engagement and +1s), and the usual blogging BS that Google supports like frequency.

As you can tell by the little Google+ Follow Me ad at the bottom of this post, I have complied as have thousands of bloggers across the interwebs.

Unfortunately, not every blogger is an SEO whiz, a WordPress maven, or a DIY blogger, nor do they use Blogger with its easy Google+ integration. And those that don’t have those skills will become the have nots. They won’t be included in the author rankings, regardless of their content strength or how well read their blog is, because they are not playing.

Beyond Compliance

Image by spankratchet

Image by spankratchet

Even if authors do comply — usually by paying an SEO consultant to implement a plug-in and verify their site with Google — they still have to play the game to rank well. Factors considered in Author Rank include:

  • Engaging readers actively on Google+
  • Number of +1s received
  • Number of circles you are included in
  • Develop “authority” on other indexed sockets
  • Blog posting frequency
  • And more

Author Rank is an imperfect system, as you can clearly tell.

By the way, have you noticed this ranking doesn’t have anything to do with the actual quality of the writing?

Instead, it “trusts” social verification to vet content, primarily in the Google+ community. And that means rank requires gamesmanship. Authors have to run through Google hoops to receive better indexing.

And that’s too bad. Because I’m tired of reading blogs with multiple posts a day that sacrifice quality to meet content marketing and SEO quantity quotas. I’m tired of receiving highly indexed content, not because it was well-written or particularly insightful, but because the author was a social media star.

The big loser in Author Rank? Well, it’s the humble scribe who writes great content, but doesn’t get SEO, or is just maybe a bit shy and not a social animal. Or worse, perhaps the author is just a little too busy to spend a half hour or more online a day participating in social networks, all so they can become found.

The second big loser? Us. But let’s not shed a tear. We made this social/search bed, and now we get to sleep in it.

What do you think about Google Author Rank?