Katie L Fetting // Oct 12 2012
A bold ruler ascends—going by the name Google AuthorRank – and his reign will be a long one. Because, in the very near future, information will take a back seat to who supplies it.
We can no longer trust content – there’s just too much of it. And many of “the facts” are flat-out wrong. In an online environment, false information piles up, improving its credibility with every link, citation and reiteration, becoming exponentially more “trustworthy” despite an intrinsic lack of veracity. It’s one big evidentiary “toilet bowl of death”*.
The danger in this climate is that repeating a lie makes it “true.” Repetition = reinforcement = legitimacy. And the situation only gets worse as the amount of information grows.
So, if we can’t trust the information itself, we will have to trust its source. The sorter. The filterer. The “expert.” Those we designate to vet our reality. Thus, the evolution of Google AuthorRank.
Like Billy Joel says, “it’s a matter of trust”.
So just who is this new monarch? Google AuthorRank is a system that allows the search engine to verify and rate sources of content by ascribing trust rankings to writers.
AuthorRank will help readers by allowing them to be more confident in the content they consume. And if you are wondering if it’s worth it to the writers, check out the following example of its predecessor Google Authorship…
My amazing article in search results:
Yoast founder Joost de Valk’s amazing article in search results:
His listing is a lot more utilitarian from a branding perspective and, well… cooler. Not only does the result direct readers to additional Joostian content, it includes his PICTURE. (And since we writers are known for our matinee idol good looks, this is a definite plus.)
But I’m not alone: according to an August study, only 9% of tech blogs (TECH BLOGS!) have “fully implemented” Google Authorship.
In 2011, Google’s Othar Hansson said the following:
“We hope to use [author] information and any information as a ranking signal at Google. So in this case, we want to get information on credibility of authors from all kinds of sources and eventually use that in ranking.”
So I’m guessing pretty darn influential.
But you gotta take the good with the bad… And there’s certainly the potential for some bad:
Our collective conscious continues to grow, but not all information is created equal.
It’s time to cybercircle the wagons around specific, legitimate, attributable human sources.
Consequently, in today’s world and moving forward, not only must you have content that matters, you must have writers who matter.
Katie earned her marketing degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has subsequently written for a wide swath of websites, newspapers, and film production companies. Read More