AuthorRank and the Hummingbird updateUPDATED Oct. 9, 2013
Read our latest update on all this since Google launched the
Hummingbird update on September 27th. Now your
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Content Marketing just got more complex, and more rewarding.

For decades, Google has used links to assess the value of a website page. Lots of links from other websites meant your website got a higher ranking for particular search phrases. This led to a lot of unethical SEO practices. Now Google intends to set that straight.

Sometime in 2013, Google will begin changing the balance from valuing links to valuing the credibility of the page’s author.

This is going to be a dramatic change for web marketers.

The why, when and how of the change

The Why - This is simple. For faaaaar too long, Google has allowed linking scams to effect website rankings in their search engine results pages. If they want to continue to dominate Bing and Yahoo, then Google has to offer better search results. And they have to come up with a way that can’t be scammed by SEO companies. They finally arrived at a brilliant solution: Reward great content marketing by rewarding the author of the content.

The When - Matt Cutts of Google has already signaled that the change will begin in 2013. Beyond that, Google maintains their usual secrecy. At ion Leap, we think the change won’t be immediate. They’ll probably slowly wean the SEO companies off their focus on links. After all, they don’t want to totally destroy an entire industry they accidentally created. They’ll gradually increase the importance of authorship and decrease the value of links.

content marketing the Google+ way

The How -

  1. Anyone who writes for their company’s blog will have an identity tied to their Google+ account and will carry it with them wherever they post content of value. The more popular the author, the more highly-ranked the website that publishes their content.
  2. The “By Your Name” title on each blog post is critical. There is a step where Google actually connects your Google+ account to your blog. That’s the easy part. Once that connection is done, there’s a lot of work ahead.
  3. Start sharing content and becoming a valued member of Google+ and their Communities.
  4. Most important of all, post brilliant, useful, beloved content onto your website. Then market that content via Google+ and the other standard social media.

Getting on this fast is important

It’s going to be very hard to beat the Authorship ranking of the people who write for Facebook, The New York Times, and CNN.com. In fact, Google+ had already started working with them in early beta testing. If they decide to write an article about “Blog Writing,” for instance, then your ranking on that phrase will drop one spot instantly.

         One of our fears is that this change will give a huge advantage
         to the publishing industry and hurt content marketers.
        We’ll be writing more on that in the future.

Quickly carve out a niche. If you don’t you’ll soon be over-run by others and blend into the muck. Become known as a consistent resource for unusually good information in your category.

Steps for getting started

  1. Set up your Google+ account – click here
  2. Link that account to your content writing by following these four easy steps – click here

WordPress makes the code part of this very easy. Your webmaster must set you up as a contributor. The name they use must exactly match the spelling on your Google+ account. This is very important.

Content marketing the Google wayThe setup of this is critical. If your webmaster can’t set you up with something that will automatically generate the <rel=”author”>your name</a> code, then it appears that simply putting “By your name” at the top of each post will do the trick. Again, the spelling must precisely match that on your Google+ account. For good measure, I would ask them to link your bi-line to your Google+ page.

If you’d like to learn more about Google+, the Authorship changes, and content marketing click here to contact us.

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