In 2013, one of the key factors of Google’s algorithm and how it ranks content could be AuthorRank, according to integrated search, social and PR agency Punch Communications.
AuthorRank, also known as ‘Agent Rank’ in Google’s patent, is a method used by the search giant to measure content quality. Historically a measure of content quality would be based purely on the authority of the domain or page that the piece was hosted on. However, Google is continually refining its methods of judging page quality by accounting for ‘human’ factors such as social engagement.
AuthorRank offers writers the opportunity to increase their influence online, particularly through Google, by measuring the volume of social engagement of each piece of content. Endorsements, including comments and recommendations (tweets, +1s, shares and likes), from influential users will build AuthorRank and the search engine’s perceived level of content quality.
This algorithm evolution uses rich snippets to identify the links between authors and content, while using social factors to judge influence. Therefore it can be expected that in the coming year many businesses will continue using social along with mark-up languages, such as schema.org, across their websites in a bid to claim prominent positions within the SERPs.
Keredy Andrews, account director of integrated social search, SEO and PR company Punch Communications, said: “In the past year Google has continually refined and emphasised its focus on social influence as a ranking factor within the SERPs, and 2013 will see this trend continue. AuthorRank will increasingly be used by the search engine to measure each writer’s influence by considering content engagement while ranking a website.
“The continuing shift of ranking algorithms to focus on social aspects means that in the coming year it is going to be very important to ensure that social sign posting and rich snippets are used during site design. These will assist Google in identifying authors and building the influence of their content within the SERPs.”