4 Reasons Employers Should Invest in Building the AuthorRank of Employees

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Inbound marketers are undoubtedly aware of AuthorRank and how much of a factor it can play in the success of content marketing efforts. If AuthorRank is a new concept to you, Google defines it as “the identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings.”

In other words, content written by established experts carries more authority, and ranks higher than content with less-credible authorship or no authorship whatsoever. By facilitating the development of internal subject experts and encouraging them to publish on the company blog (and on their own personal blogs), employers can reap tangible rewards that will impact their business’s bottom line.

Reason #1: Content Credibility

The kind of content that first won at SEO required nothing more than keyword and anchor text link-stuffed gibberish. With improved algorithms, content quality increased to better serve human users. Now, a third layer has emerged: authorship. It’s no longer enough for content to be readable and helpful. The authority and credibility of an expert author, whose identity is authentic and transparent, is required for content to be truly successful.

Reason #2: Brand Amplification

Over a period of time, communities will begin to gather around your internal subject experts, in the form of social media followers. And if they’re publishing expert content on your company blog, traffic will naturally increase as their communities share that content.

Reason #3: Employee Wellness

Employers should not only encourage their internal subject experts to write, but they should take time to train them on blogging best practices, give them time to write, and perhaps offer extrinsic rewards for doing so.

A robust training program can be a perk for employees, leading to increased retention rates. As employee expertise becomes more vaunted, they may be asked to speak at events or solicited for quotes in publications. A culture that promotes this kind of growth and activity will be very attractive to prospective employees, allowing companies to recruit top talent.

Reason #4: Improved Customer Service

As content production begins to scale, your company will find itself with a large library of resources that current employees can draw on to answer customer questions and solve customer problems. Developing training material for new employees will become a thing of the past (or at least considerably less laborious), since content can be repurposed into up-to-date training collateral.

Investing in increasing AuthorRank among employees represents a win-win for everyone; the company gets expert content and employees get training and motivation to increase their personal brand standing.

For more information about AuthorRank and setting up authorship, check out this excellent and comprehensive guide to Google Authorship Resources from Jeremy Rivera over at Raven Tools.

Steven Shattuck

Steven Shattuck

VP of Marketing at Bloomerang
Steven Shattuck is VP of Marketing at Bloomerang, which helps nonprofit organizations to reach, engage and retain the advocates they depend on to achieve their... Read Full Bio
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  • Michael

    When cloud services are the norm, what you describe will be in the heart of businesses – beyond blogs, social profiles etc – in documents written, edited, etc.

    Gmail, Gdocs, etc. all have it now, but we’ve not enough demand yet. In time.

  • Robbie

    Agreed, employers should most certainly invest in the authorship of their employees. Perhaps more importantly, they should be investing in their employees’ personal brands. I love Slingshot and everything you guys put out, but I feel like you’re missing out on a huge component of this project. When you empower your employees, they will re-invest that power back into your company and into their roles within your company. Not only that, but you will them reap the benefits of several individual brands within your walls which will build your “Klout” as a company that’s on the cutting edge of Inbound Marketing/SEO/Content Marketing. This “Klout” is almost like gold in this day in age, but can only be harnessed when you seek to empower your employee’s personal brands. Don’t forget that. Don’t cut out that personal flare that they’re seeking to put into your content.

  • Rick Elenbaas

    But what happens if a employee leaves the company? Does he need to hand over his authorship, including use of his own name, username, passwords? And would employees really be this interwoven with a company? It could turn out that basically everything they are saying on the net could be brought into relating with the company, including their travel stories of their trip to Bali.

  • Chandler Bryson

    Nice post Steven, Author rank is going to play a crucial role in SEO. I agree with you that employees should invest in making employers author rank because it sets a brand value and more people follows, shares and admire your content if you do have a good author rank.

  • Dallas

    You are absolutely spot – on. This is going to be a key issue in HR, PR and business development.
    What happens when a business has a social media superstar or an influential online author amongst its ranks? This can be a big threat to businesses, and especially to the leaders, owners or other team members it it isn’t handled well. Currently many businesses would prefer that “problem” went away, especially if the employee’s agenda doesn’t align perfectly with the company. It also raises the risk the employee will be poached or go out on their own in competition with their employer.
    Lets view this another way though – What if instead the company had the goal of having a whole stable of people active on social media! Do you think this would be an appealing place to work? Do you think this would attract and engage customers, colleagues, referral partners, prospective employees and investors? Do you think this would improve employee retention?
    You bet.
    The “best places to work” of the next decade will be the businesses that build a world class team and a world class brand that is visible, credible, engaged and profitably producing content on the net.