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After the roll out of Penguin 2.0 by Matt Cutts and the Google Webspam Team, the SEO industry as a whole is just starting to get to the bottom of who was hit and why. The ins and outs of the latest Penguin installation are another story altogether; however, it’s surely not going to be long until people start asking ‘what’s next?’
Matt Cutts has already outlined what is in store for SEO’s this summer in a recent blog post and video. Only a small proportion of this seems to have been rolled out with Penguin 2.0. Matt did say that they were the updates currently being worked on and that they would be rolled out in the next few months. It looks likely that Penguin 2.0 isn’t going to be this year’s only major update and that there’s plenty more to come.
Higher Rankings For Industry Authorities
One particular point which Matt touched upon was the concept of higher search engine ranking positions for those sites and individuals deemed to be an authority in their industry. To quote from the video: “We have also been working on a lot of ways to help regular webmasters. We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space (could be medical, travel or whatever) and trying to make sure that those rank a little more highly.”
Is ‘Author Rank’ Set To Shake Up The Search World?
On that front, it looks as though this could well be the theory of ‘author rank’ which has been doing the rounds more than ever over the past few months. The process of putting your name to a piece of content, via your Google Plus profile, could offer some form of protection against future Google algorithm updates.
When you think about it, it makes complete sense. If a webmaster or business owner is regularly putting out high quality and authoritative content, then they deserve to be rewarded for that. If a genuine figure of authority is sharing their industry knowledge and understanding on a regular basis and putting out content which people actually want to read, then why shouldn’t their website rank highly on the search engines?
On these grounds, it seems only fitting that having authorship in place, alongside distributing high quality content, will offer protection against the coming updates. To put in a different light, will see those who create high quality and visible content rewarded whilst those who continue to publish ‘borderline’ content under anonymous profiles will be the ones who suffer.
Think Of Authorship As A Protective Shield
Perhaps we need to think of authorship as a protective shield. As you create and distribute content within your niche, you build up this level of protection. By creating high quality content, you are standing up and saying, “I’m an industry authority, here’s my justification through the content which I create and distribute.”. By publicly sharing all of the content which you author via your Google + profile, you’re opening everything up to Google. This provides credibility.
As far as I’m concerned, it seems only right that as ‘author rank’ develops and potentially rolls out into Google’s main algorithm, those who regularly create, publish and distribute high quality and unique content are rewarded for it to a greater extent than is currently the case. We’re all aware that webmasters are already rewarded for creating great content; however, I suspect going forward that those linked with authorship markup to their Google + profiles will see an extra level of protection from algorithm updates. This is based on the grounds that if they’re displaying their content for all to see, as well as simply creating it, then they are a easily identifiable as a visible industry authority.
A Great Author Deserves Recognition And Reward
It’s still speculation as to the form which ‘author rank’ will take, if and when it ever materialises. However, it seems only fitting that those who have linked their websites and Google + profiles together via authorship markup will benefit from it. At the end of the day, any great author deserves recognition and reward for their work.
Have you linked your website with your Google + profile via authorship markup? If you have, then great! You’re already going to be well on your way to building up an in-depth portfolio of your online content and are in a great position to benefit from the content of ‘author rank’. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for?
It’s easy and straightforward to link the two together. When you’ve done this, you will benefit from increased click through rates. To find out how you can quickly and easily link your site and Google + profile; see here.
Do you agree that Google authorship offers protection against future updates? I’d be very interested to hear your own opinions on this much talked about concept.