“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

The controversial quote from Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt above conveys the increasing importance search engines are placing on quality content. Google’s author rank is an excellent example – it has many benefits, from increasing click-through-rates to establishing credibility.

To begin building your author rank, you must first claim authorship. Search Engine Land has a detailed guide on how to do so here: The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup.

Google Authorship ties an author’s work to Google+ profiles – shown in the “rich snippets” (author image next to article links) you see in search engine results. There is a publisher tag along with an author tag for companies who are not publishing work from individuals; however, author tags are more prevalent.

“A linked profile increases quality and reduces spam” – Jason Squardo

Google Authorship aids in building relationships along with links, giving authors more credibility. It’s more likely to be trustworthy, high-grade content if someone has taken the time to link their name and information to it.

Author rank, then, means building up your authorship in order to show up higher in results and further your following. One of the many benefits of doing so is increasing click-through-rates, which helps your link stand out on search engine results pages.  Search Engine Land reports that the implantation of rel=author increases click-through-rates anywhere from 30% to 150%.

Social signals can also contribute to author rank. According to Search Engine Journal, these content engagement factors could include: “social endorsements (tweets, +1’s, shares, likes); the influence and relevancy of those providing the social endorsements; comments on social networks (such as Yelp); the influence and relevancy of those commenting; and the quality and relevancy of inbound links pointing to the content.”

When it comes to establishing authorship and putting effort into building your author rank, there really are no negatives. Google+ continues to grow and establish a social presence – in fact, it’s one of the three vital channels of 2013. In order to take advantage of the social and SEO benefits as an author, it’s important to begin connecting authorship and working on your author rank.

Contact ZOG Digital for SEO and social media marketing solutions.