Author Rank is Google’s new way to prove page quality and authority.

In the world of SEO, it just seems that we’re constantly bombarded with updates and new technologies from the search engines. In fact, it’s reported that Google updates their algorithm nearly 500 times a year! With all of this, it is tough to know what’s what, how to do it, as well as when to start. All one can really do is stay diligent and read SEO blogs like this everyday to get a clearer picture of what’s coming.

Author Rank is indeed on its way, and if you want to stay relevant, you need to learn what it is, why you need it and how to prepare.

Google wants to leverage authors as a factor in ranking pages and sites so that the experience for users  is easier to find the work of their favorite writers.  Getting a head start in the Author Rank process and staying proactive, you will have a great opportunity to rank higher as author profiles are not being practiced very widely yet.

It is highly likely your competitors haven’t looked into Author Rank markup yet.

How Author Rank Works

In Google’s words (Author rank was originally Agent Rank)

The name of the writer can be used to influence the ranking of web search results by indicating the writer responsible for a particular content piece … Assuming that a given writer has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that writer will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable writers in search results.

Here is a nice graphic from Mike Arnesen’s Author Rank post on SEOMOZ that paints a picture of the concept:

Author Rank

As you can see here, the left side is before and the right is after. What is happening in this example is the authors that have setup the Author Rich Snippets are being rewarded. They have author rich snippets integrated into their page or post and this allows them to show a photo, give the name of the author, how many people are following this author and more content from the author. Author Rank adds a lot of credibility to the content and Google will reward that.

Which ones in the example look like a credible source? Which would you choose to view?

How to prepare for Author Rank.

There’s only one way to make sure you’re ready, and I wrote about it in my post about author rich snippets as they help will help with Author Rank. Follow the steps in that post, and you will be ready!

As I mentioned above, SEO, search engines, content marketing is not the easiest subject to tackle. GuruBloggers is here to help you learn or assist! So subscribe to our blog and newsletters to stay on top of the trends or give us a call if you need our assistance with your business marketing needs. We are here to help you!

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agent September 26, 2012 0 Comments

Author Rich Snippets help Google organize your pages and posts!

In the world of SEO and content marketing, it is very important to not only appear high in rankings, but that your displayed result is both eye catching as well as informative as to what the content is about. This will help users better identify with your search result as your message comes across before visiting the page.  Author Rich Snippets also give credibility by making well organized content stand out over spammy sites and amateurs by displaying your name as the author along with your G+ profile picture. There is also information on displayed about the number other posts or pages created by the author.

Author Rich Snippets

Can you spot the Author Rich Snippets?

Author Rich Snippets take direction from Open Graph Protocol tags that are inserted into pages and posts.

If you are familiar with OGP (open graph protocol), then you’re more than half way there! I also did a write up about how OGP works, a post that lists the tags and even a write up about a WordPlus plugin that makes it all very easy. Feel free to reference those posts if Author Rich Snippets and OGP are unfamiliar.It will be best to know what you’re working with and exactly why you’re doing it.

How to setup Author Rich Snippets

As with just about everything on the Internet, there are multiple ways to accomplish a single goal. The same applies to Author Rich Snippets. No matter what path you take to get this done, there is one step that can not be skipped, over looked or even worked around to get your Author Rich Snippets to work…

First you must create a Google+ profile.

That’s right! In order to take advantage of Author Rich Snippets,  you will need a G+ profile with your full name and a facial photo of yourself that you want displayed! You will also have to set yourself up as a contributor to your website in your profile settings.  If or when your profile is setup, follow this link and enter in the website, or sites, you write for.

Take notice to the image I have to the right, it is a screen shot of Google’s search results, you should now be able to see which are the Author Rich Snippets and which are not! Which search results stand out to you? Which ones build that instant trust?

Adding HTML tags to your posts for Author Rich Snippets.

Now that your G+ is ready, you will need to add a few things to link your blog posts so that Google can clearly identify the relationship to display the Author Rich Text Snippets. This can be done by using a link to your Google+ profile, coupled with the rel=author query string parameter.

  1. Go to your Google+ profile and copy the URL, don’t copy “/posts” only up to the last number prior.
  2. Insert a link in your blog post and use the copied URL as the destination (make sure /posts is not at the end).
  3. Make a link using your full name as anchor text that matches the name used on your G+ profile.

Author Rich Snippets HTML Tags should look like this:

<a href=“{G+ profile URL}” rel=”author”>Firstname Lastname</a>

Mine looks like this:

<a href=“″ rel=”author”>Ryan Neal</a>

Where you actually place the link on your post is up to you, maybe use an “About the Author” section. Depending on the level of access you have, this option should work in most cases. Once you have placed your tag, don’t wait for days and just hope that it works, test it! Google has an Author Rich Snippets Testing Tool that will check the format on one of your posts. If Google returns an example of your Author Rich Snippets then everything is in order! Ok… now what most of you are probably here for…

A simple WordPress plugin that makes it easy and a one time deal to setup your Author Rich Snippets.

Author Rich Text Snippets plugin The plugin name Google Authorship by Mervin Praison does everything we need to make our Author Rich Snippets work.  You can download the plugin from the WordPress website, or install it through the dashboard. The best part is you just need set it up one time and your Author Rich Snippets are good to go! Just set it and forget it!

The plugin places “Google Plus profile information” into your User Settings through the WordPress dashboard. Setup the plugin by copying and pasting your G+ profile URL along with your full name. Click update profile and you’re done! Now any page your create on your WordPress blog or website will be Author Rich Snippets ready!

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agent September 24, 2012 0 Comments

I have been on the search for advice on monetizing my blog designs and web templates.

I don’t just mean the most elegant looking of blog designs, but a template that is designed to get the most out of the traffic that my website and blog may get. So, in the nature of GuruBloggers, I thought I would share with you some of my findings…

Eye tracking software on blog designs and search engines

Study on blog designs and websites

This is a screen shot of a study done on blog designs and website layouts with eye tracking software. The colors represent areas of where random people’s eyes concentrate on while viewing different blog designs and website layouts. The red area represents where eyes view the blog designs content, and where blog designs get the most attention. The yellow comes in next, with blue being last and rarely viewed with any attention at all.

On the far left, we have one example of many blog designs that is a text rich piece of content. We can see where the content has nearly all the web surfer’s attention. Notice the where the red is concentrated the most, this is how much focus the article actually received. Keep your content short but keep it interesting and do a soft sale in the last 100 words!

In the middle we have a website that has banners, a large image placed on top, an ad on the top far right and the content in the middle. Notice how the most concentrated on part of the content only shows red at the beginning of the lines— this means the content is barely looked at the further right and down as the text in the article continues…

On the far right, we have a search result screen shot from Google. This shot is probably the most important reason we blog, work and play on social media, as well as spend time and money on enhancing the SEO on websites. This shows where people pay most attention to in the search engines, and it’s not the ads on the far right. It is the organic search results. It seems to be a familiar result, I too often look to the first 3 results in Google!

15 tips to know about websites and blog designs.

  • Text actually captivates an audience more than pictures.
  • People begin viewing websites from the top left, much like a book!
  • Banners often get ignored.
  • Don’t use fancy fonts in blog designs, people tend to ignore those too.
  • Lower parts websites are usually just scanned, so keep the good stuff at the top.
  • Short paragraphs will keep your audience’s attention, keep it around 300 words.
  • Blog design and websites with the ads on the top or left part of the content to get the most views.
  • Place ads in your content or right below and get more views.
  • Big pictures catch more eyes than smaller ones.
  • Headlines draw attention and make your pieces more credible and convincing. Choosing the right CSS for blog designs can make a headline really stand out.
  • Web users spend more time navigating menus of blog designs and looking at the buttons of a website.
  • Bullet points are better at keeping readers’ attention compared to large paragraphs the also.
  • Some will skip large chunks of text.
  • Nothing wrong with white space! It helps blog designs stay neat and organized.
  • Place menus on the top part of a website, web-surfers are used to looking up for navigation.

While we may not implement some of these tips here on GuruBloggers, it is nice to know for our clients’ blog designs and we like to share information that we find even more! So when you in the creating process, keep all of this in mind to make the most out of layout!

Be on the look out for blog designs and web templates from GuruBloggers for you to download!

Sources: BBC News | GoogleBlog | DreamGrow

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agent September 20, 2012 0 Comments