The Boston SEO Meetup group met on May, 2nd 2013* at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge, MA. This month the Meetup featured speaker Mike Tekula of Distilled NYC and his presentation was entitled Integration of Authorship & AuthorRank into Search.
*This was a rescheduled date as the April SEO Meetup had been originally scheduled for April 15th, however due to the bombings at the Boston Marathon the event was rescheduled. Please consider donating to the One Fund to help those affected.
Here is a brief overview of Mike Tekula’s presentation:
Links have always been the most basic component used to measure online authority; the more links a site had the more valued it would become to the search engines. For a while Google’s PageRank system worked really well and that it was made Google the search giant it is today. But spammers began to find and uncover the loopholes in Google’s PageRank system and used “black market” link building tactics like link directories and blog networks to build more and more links to their site as a way to build authority. Mike even admitted then when he started out in SEO his job was to comb the Internet for those directories and get sites listed.
Google, being no longer able to trust links as the sole source of authority, is turning to social signals to help create a more “pure” authority signal. And one of the ways they are doing is this with the rel=“author” tag.
As Mike pointed out, people are less likely to spam and engage in “under the table” link building activities when their name and identity is front and center. Anonymity makes it easy to get away with spam, so the rel=”author” tag incentivizes being upfront and “above board” with who you are online. By associating a face and name with the content Google rewards site owners and bloggers that produce high-quality content that is shared and promoted within Google+. The rel=”author” tag can also help writers “claim” their content, so if someone else republishes it they don’t steal away your authority. The rich snippet that the rel=”author” tag pulls also helps make your posts stand out in the SERPs. Even if other content outranks yours the rich snippet grabs the attention of searchers. Mike pointed out a study that showed 150% CTR boost for rich snippet links.
Google+ is the #2 social network by active users so site owners can’t afford to ignore it. And while AuthorRank is not yet influencing rank Mike predicted that it will soon, in some way shape or form. It’s important that you let the people in your organization become thought leaders because your website will benefit from their growing author authority. Mike pointed out that Google will most likely combine PageRank and AuthorRank in some way to determine a brand’s or blogger’s true online authority.
The next SEO Meetup has not yet been scheduled, so be sure to check out the Meetup page for updates!
Distilled will be hosting SearchLove, a two day single-track conference aimed at SEO practitioners wanting to advance their skills on May 20th and 21st at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center. Distilled is offering our group an exclusive discount to their conference: $100 of the standard rate - only $699! (Usually $799) Simply use the link below and the discount will be automatically applied:
Brick Marketing, food sponsor to the Boston SEO Meetups will be hosting a full day SEO workshop on May 22. Visit http://boston-internet-marketing.eventbrite.com for more information.
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