Sep 2, 2014

Google Authorship Dead But Quality Content Lives On

by Digital Marketing Institute

The digital marketing community received some sad news last week – Google Authorship had died. Suddenly and without mercy. Twitter became awash with Authorship chat – content writers were annoyed with the amount of time they had invested and agencies were unsure of what to tell their clients.

While the removal has indeed stripped away some of the privileges writers enjoyed under the Authorship scheme (like shiny images and bylines), it’s important that we remember why we started writing quality content in the first place. Increased traffic, improved search rankings, higher engagement rates – they’re still happening. What you write still counts. As does who you are.

What Was Google Authorship Anyway?

Google Authorship allowed writers to link their Google+ profile to the content they created. This enabled them to claim ownership of their work. Google tracked the rel=author tag data to help determine which authors held more authority and deserved to rank higher in search engines.

Okay, so now that’s gone. But Google insists that content writers will still get rewarded for their efforts. Below we’ll discuss some awesome digital marketing benefits writers can still enjoy. Phew!

Why Quality Content Still Matters:

1. Author Rank

Google has other ways to identify who wrote a story. It’s called Author Rank. And this still very much rewards influential and trustworthy writers. Author Rank was a term coined by the SEO community. Head of Google webspam, Matt Cutts, then confirmed that Google Author Rank does indeed exist. The concept is simple: if Google knows who has written a story it may be given a boost in search engine rankings based on the authority of that writer.

What’s more, Google still looks for bylines that appear frequently in news stories. And rewards authoritative writers accordingly.

2. Engagement & Visibility

Posting quality content helps you keep your social media community engaged, informed and loyal. You know this. You’ve seen it work first-hand. But just how closely have you been monitoring the latest social media updates? Have you noticed that social networks are increasingly rewarding you writer types?

Facebook, for example, are now dedicated to making sure high quality, relevant and timely content gets seen. Their new algorithm takes into account key factors like the article’s source (that’s you) and whether your piece will spark genuine interest and engagement.

3. Influence

Let’s not forget the importance of influence. Who you are online matters every bit as much as it does in the real world. The amount of social media followers you have is often an indicator of the level of respect you’ve built in your field. It’s the reward you’ve received after dedicating a lifetime of passion to your content and its promotion. The fact that Klout (an online tool that measures your social media influence) even exists is testament to this. Last year American Airlines rewarded influencers with a Klout Perks programme that included incredible experiences and products from the likes of Microsoft, Disney and Audi. You see – benefits!

It’s still worth your time building your author profile and positioning yourself as an expert. Social networks actively encourage content creation, giving writers a distinct influential advantage. And what can you do with this influence? Get more eyes on your content prize.

Instead of mourning the death of Authorship, we should look forward to what’s next. Content is still king and its creators will always be rewarded.

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