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Author Rank: 3 Steps To Claim Your Online Content

Do you create great content? Find out how Author Rank allows you to claim ownership of your content regardless of where you publish online, become an authority in your niche and have your avatar and name show up in the search results.

Author Rank: Claim Your Online Content

What is Author Rank?

“Google needs a better way to sift through and determine quality in an age where content can so easily be produced and distributed” – Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google.

Simply put, Author Rank is the idea that your reputation as a content creator should influence the ranking of search results.

Why is Author Rank important?

Author Rank informs Page Rank (and probably visa versa):

  • If you write for an authority site, this will help you to build your Author Rank
  • Author rank will not replace Page rank but it will help Google to make it more accurate

Ideally, Google is looking to see content with both high Author Rank and high Page Rank.

How to manage your Author Rank?

Gaining Author Rank will be difficult but losing it will be easier.

  • This helps ensure that high ranking content creators don’t attempt to manipulate search rankings
  • Content creators will have to manage both the content and people that they choose to endorse

 Why content creators should aim for niche ranking?

Your author rank will be different for each topic that you write about.

  • You can have a higher ranking for “Facebook” and a lower ranking for “Google”
  • Links with high Author Rank on the same topic will carry more weight.
  • Comments, shares and endorsements from authorities (those with high Author Rank) will carry more weight

How to claim your content?

Google needs to know that the relationship between the author and the content is real. Individual content creators will need to claim their content, through the use of a digital signature.

# Step 1. Set up a Google+ profile

Google+ is the identity platform that allows you to claim ownership of your content.

Content creators need to have:

  • a Google + profile
  • and a recognizable headshot as your profile photo

# Step 2. How to Link to your content from your Google+ profile

The next step of the verification process is to add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you want to include.

To add links to your Google profile:

  • Sign in to your Google profile
  • Click “Edit profile”
  • Click the “Contributor To” section on the right (depending on how many photos you have, you may need to scroll to see this section), and then click “Add custom link”.
  • If you want, change the visibility of your link, and then click Save.

Note: Where you are adding a site where you are a guest contributor (like TweakYourBiz) – make sure you link to your guest author profile page and not the homepage.

# Step 3. How to link your content to your Google+ profile

Option 1: If you have an e-mail address on the same domain as your content, just sign up for authorship and verify that e-mail address.


Option 2: Create a link to your Google profile from a webpage, like this:

To do this, use the following: 

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>

  1. Replacing [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL
  2. And the text “Google” with your name

Your link must contain the? rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google profile.

Many sites like Tweak Your Biz also allow you to add your Google+ to your profile (see below).

What you can do to help build your Author Rank?

  1. Make sure you have a Google+ profile and that you know how to claim your content
  2. Guest post and get published on authoritative wedsites
  3. Build connections and interactions with authority authors in your niche
  4. Add them to your circles on Google+, share their content and link out to them
  5. Aim to get circled by others to help you grow your Google social proof


My guess it that Author Rank will become increasingly important and now Google have the ideal tool with Google plus. This represents a big opportunity for people who create great content and is a nail in the coffin of spammers and those who steal content. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Digital expert, top 10% influencer with over 10 years’ senior management experience - including managing projects and teams, and growing companies in the Irish, international and online marketplaces. Co-founded one of the largest B2B blogs in the world, helped grow a B2B social media to over 1,000,000 members, created the strategy for one of the most effective SME Facebook pages in the world and have grown 3 business websites (, & to in excess of a 100,000 unique visitors per month. Have consulted and worked with both corporate and SME clients on leveraging digital to drive business KPIs. Speaker at industry events, have authored several industry reports on the Digital Economy and appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Insider and other leading online and offline business publications. Specialities include: Entrepreneurship Business Development, Start-ups, Business Planning, Management, Training, Leadership, Sales Management, Sales, Sales Process, Coaching, Online Advertising, Blogging, Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media Strategist, Digital Strategy, Social Media ROI, User Generated Content, Social Customer Care.

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  • Done. A great post – thanks for the insight.

  • Nice helpful post Niall, done and done!

  • Nishadha

    Very interesting post. I didn’t know that authors have different ranks for different topics. I’m wondering whether it can hurt to write about multiple topics.

  • Nikko Marasigan

    Author rank will be the game changer for the average writer, content authors, bloggers that produces high quality content. Here are some blog posts about Author rank everyone should read: – A comprehensive guide about Author Rank – Steps on How to prepare for the Author Rank – A great visualization about Author rank

    Be prepared everyone 🙂

  • Hi Niall!
    This topic seems to be all the rage these days and rightly so. Thanks for the overview and for leading us through this simple but important process of claiming our content on the Web.

  • Martin Lindeskog

    Niall: Thanks for explaining the autorank in a simple way. When do you think that Google will do this automatically? We are more and more drawn into Google’s ecosystem. 😉 Have you heard that Bing and Klout are joining forces? It will be an interesting battle to watch! 😉

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Niall, thanks for the easy to follow instructions. It can be daunting to access some of these tools if you’re not naturally a techie. I’m looking forward to seeing how AuthorRank changes how people find and engage in my content.

  • Me too, I think it could be very interesting indeed!

  • Good question Martin, I’m not sure that they really can without the content creators involvement somewhere along the way. If Google really want to, this now offers them an option to make G+ much more important. I’m not sure with Klout, while I like what they are trying to do, it remains limited in my opinion.

  • Thanks Heather, glad you liked and I hoping you are keeping well!

  • Thanks for the links, Nikko! I’ll be sure to check them out.

  • Mmm, good question! My read is that you are better to stick to a narrow focus with author rank.

  • Thanks Anton!

  • My pleasure, Connor!

  • Niall
    I have postponed G+ thus far as it was an echo chamber for so long. Now though, you’ve given me a reason to go there, so I will!
    Thanks Niall
    ~ Helen

  • Good stuff, delighted I could influence your social media journey 🙂

  • So, Niall, how does Author Rank compare to Bing’s tag feature? I did a post on that recently, but it seems to be more of a social feature since it’s tied to Facebook membership. As for claiming the enormous amount of content I’ve got out there through Author Rank, it’s definitely on the agenda!

  • I think Bing’s tag feature is more to do with social search than SEO. Thanks for reading, Shawn.

  • Niall – great tutorial. Before today, had not even heard of Author Rank. Thanks for the tips.

  • I learned something today, thanks Niall. I finally have a reason to join the G+ brigade

  • Steve Jones

    What about places like ezinearticles/squidoo/etc (assuming the articles are well written and ranking)? Do you think you should put those kind of articles as part of your authorship?

  • Sure Steve, of course you can!

  • Thanks Bengii.

  • My pleasure, Warren!

  • Essential stuff, Niall. I think that the more businesses learn about the importance of establishing authorship using their true identities, people will be more encouraged in writing content of higher quality. Thanks for posting this!

  • Fantastic article. Very succinct and easy to follow. I just successfully linked up three sites where I have written articles.


    – Nate Wright –
    Small Biz Triage

  • My pleasure, Nate!

  • Glad you liked it, Christopher!

  • @barbaramckinney:disqus and @nialldevitt:disqus, thanks for your comments. I also prefer WordPress over any other CMS, however for those who want to experience something new, I recommend Concrete5. It’s easy to install, performs well in Search Engines, has excellent documentation and easy-to-use interface.

  • @darko “When comparing concrete5 vs WordPress in term of customization, a professional web design agency will often go for concrete5. This is because it is known to be more customizable than WordPress”

    How is it more customizable? You mean design or functionality? In what way can you customise Concrete5 that you can’t customise WordPress?

  • @Neil the ease of converting any HTML Template to Concrete5 in a matter of minutes, is the main advantage of Concrete5. A bespoke design can be turned into a working website without compromise. Also it’s very easy to develop extensions to Concrete5 or override the core functionality.
    Although its native blog functionality is more limited, this is a new platform and has room to grow.

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  • surgeMarketingSolutions

    any good seo engineer just needs the tools to do the job and his skills will do the rest. i can assure you that you dont need anything else as every seo task is built in. if you want to reinvent the wheel you can install a seo addon from the concrete 5 marketplace it takes all of 10 seconds.

  • A shame that Google killed authorship last week. 🙁

  • Thanks for the opportunity to write for Tweak Your Biz

  • You’re welcome Bryan & thank you for the great content.

  • Hi Sian, that’s for sure & a great editor 🙂

  • Honored to be featured on the list – thanks Niall!

  • No problem Adam, you’re very welcome!

  • Wow! Thanks for including me! Truly honored!

  • What a great line up of folks, I’m in good company. Thanks to all the team and readers. Special thanks to Sian and Niall.

  • Pas de problème 🙂

  • This post is primarily about the contributors I’m happy to let others take the spotlight! Anyway, I don’t think I could have left anyone above out!

  • Hi Nisha, thanks for comment and support. I’m looking forward to your return 🙂

  • ElliStGeorgeGodfrey

    Thanks for including me, Niall! I’m delighted to be included with so many people that I enjoy reading and connecting with!

  • No problem Elli, thank you for your continued support & wonderful insights.

  • Which article was the most popular in the whole year?

  • Thank you very much for featuring my article in top 10 articles of January 2015 ! I am really glad that your readers like my article and sharing it ! Looking forward to share some more knowledge on Tweak Your Biz platform !

    Thanks again for mention !

  • Congratulations Niraj and thank you for the comment and the article of course 🙂

  • Congratulations Sian and there was never any doubt with that monster 🙂

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