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This month we have advice from a new expert, Margaret Adams, on Google Author Rankings, Ten Top Tips is about protecting yourself online, Useful Websites covers, freelancing, story writing and the dreaded grammar and Inspiration is as inspiring as I can make it!

Google Author Rank: Why It Matters To Writers

By Margaret Adams

Most writers dream of being recognised for what they do and remembered for what they write. And, most writers also know that today they must do more than write well to achieve the success they are looking for.

It takes a lot of hard work to build a reputation as a writer. However, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the online world can make the task easier. Google Author Rank is an innovation that every writer needs to take seriously and use to build reputation, standing and credibility. And building your Google Author Rank is one way of advancing your writing career that you cannot afford to ignore.

What is Google Author Rank?

Millions of new web pages, articles and blogs are published every day. Somehow search engines, such as Google, must index and categorise this content. The search engines must also make judgements about the relative value and importance of content, when it is first published and as it ages. These judgements dictate which content will rank highest in online searches.

One of the approaches Google uses to judge the value of web content is to identify its author and then assess the content’s worth with reference to the author’s online standing. In other words, if you are a recognised authority on a subject, Google will rank your content above that of other, less exalted, writers in those important web searches. Google makes judgements about an author’s authority using such criteria as:

  • how often your articles are viewed, that is how much web traffic your work generates;
  • how often your content is shared via social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn;
  • how often your articles are linked to by other websites, which is the online equivalent of quoting your work.

 

When everything is put together, your Google Author Rank emerges. It is regularly updated as you, and other people, publish more content, to reflect your ongoing standing, or author rank, on the web.

Why does Google Author Rank matter?

Online authority matters to writers, even writers who write mostly for print publications. In your quest to become recognised as a successful writer, you need to build a professional persona online to tell the world who you are, what you have written and to make your work accessible to your target market.

You cannot rely on the search engines to rank you well and build your reputation without any input from you. You must take steps to make yourself visible in your marketplace and to enhance your status. Your Google Author Rank can help you.

Google Author Rank: How to get started

The first step towards building your author rank is to get a Google+ account. If you are not sure where to begin, type Google+ into Google and you will be offered the opportunity to visit the sign-up page. If you already have a Google account, add Google+ to your list of products via your account settings.

Once you have an account help Google to verify that you are the author of specific pieces of content and in doing so contribute to your online ranking. On your ‘About’ page identify the websites, journals and publications to which you contribute, including your own website. Add links to the sales pages for your books and to your work on Amazon Kindle.

By doing this you are going a long way towards indexing everything you have written both online and offline. This action alone will help to boost your author rank.

Making more of Google+

Now use the most important Google+ features to build your online authority quickly.

1. Create a Google+ biography that promotes you to your target market. Forget networking with friends and online acquaintances. Use this account to create your online writing persona. Remember to upload a head-and-shoulders photograph of yourself, too.

2. When you read interesting online content use the +1 option in the social sharing options at the bottom of articles to show you have found the material valuable. A +1 is a vote of confidence for an article. These votes build a writer’s standing online. Encourage your readers to +1 your content, too, whether you are writing for your own site or for other sites.

3. Create circles on Google+. Follow people by adding them to your circles. Categorise the people you follow by creating different types of circle. Create separate circles for your writing contacts, for journalists, for publishers and so on. Some of the people you follow will add you to their circles, which helps to build your online audience. It also enables them to see the Google+ content you share with that particular circle.

4. Write useful, relevant, interesting and informative content via your Google+ updates. This will build interest in what you do. When any of your work is published, especially online, write an update about it. Encourage people to read your work, to share it and to comment on it, either on the site where it is published or in the comments below your own Google+ update.

5. Remember to make your updates public so that anyone can see what you are writing. That will help to build your authority faster.

For the future...

Once your Google Author Rank starts to be established you will find that your entry stands out when people search for you by name online. Your photograph will appear alongside your name and your entry will note how many people have added you to their Google+ circles. The larger that number the more online credibility you generate and the more the world will notice you. Build your Google Author Rank and you will be taking steps to differentiate yourself from the other writers who are vying for the attention of your target audience.

Google+ and Google Author Rank are still relatively new promotional tools. Use them to build your online standing. Make your mark online via your Google Author Rank. Get started now, before your competitors get ahead of you.

Margaret Adams is a content marketing strategist and business ghostwriter. She is the author of several books and writes for a number of online and print publications. Find out more about her work at www.margaretadams.co.uk and on Google+.