Google+ LogoIt is pretty much a given that a business must engage people on Facebook to stay competitive. However, what about Google+? Though Google+ is still a distant second in terms of users, Google is introducing Author Rank, a change to it’s search algorithms that stands to make this social network battle interesting.

The essence of Author Rank, which has been in work for seven years and was previously called Agent Rank, is that it will prioritize content based on the credibility of the author. Since credibility is a subjective concept, Google is using social media as important criteria in order better establish the trustworthiness of a content creator. Author rank prioritizes content from a user’s Google+ connections in its searches, with the implication that users trust the authorship and expertise of those within their networks. This of course is going to give higher primacy to a presence on Google+.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as we know it was built with Google’s Page Rank in mind; links to a page have essentially been a “vote” for the credibility of a website. However, with the rise of social media, the primacy of blogging as an information source, and platforms like Twitter able to deliver well-regarded information or opinions almost instantly to millions, the game is changing and Google’s introduction of Author Rank is a natural move to try and stay on top.

It could be argued that the move is an aggressive attempt to gain market share in the world of social media. However, no matter how it is looked at, Author Rank will signal a change for businesses. Current SEO techniques are centered on the presence of meaningful, quality content, rather than the flood of duplicative keywords and links that some webmasters would try to use to game the system. However, Author Rank means that there is now a new dimension to search results – an organic human network. This can be especially important to professionals such as physicians and lawyers who tend to build their networks around other professionals and therefore have a built-in advantage when it comes to Author Rank.

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About Ryan Perry

Ryan Perry has taken his 10+ years of business ownership and hands-on marketing skills and focused them on online marketing. In April of 2009, he started Simple Biz Support with an emphasis on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Ryan is propelling local business websites to the top of Google, Yahoo and Bing resulting in increased market exposure and revenue for his clients using a variety of internet marketing tools including blogs, article submissions and video. Additionally, Ryan speaks and vlogs (video blogs) about internet marketing, educating business owners how to effectively use various SEO tools and techniques to promote their business on the internet. Ryan currently resides in Santa Rosa, CA. Connect with Ryan on Google+