Despite the uncertainty that seems to hang in the air every time Google talks about its forthcoming author rank score, one thing seems very clear. It represents a huge opportunity for the PR industry.
At its most basic level, the author rank score will be for people, what page rank was for web pages – a way of assessing relevance and authority. Where page rank provided a link between search terms and pages based on what was on the page, author rank will link searches to pages based on who wrote the page.
Obviously, it’s a lot more complicated than that but let’s start with the fundamental concept; a search metric that takes into account the reputation of the creator when determining what content to return.
Author rank is important for the PR industry for lots of reasons but there are two that are absolutely key. Firstly, it plays to the strengths of proper PR people. By that, I mean the ability to construct a narrative that makes strategic sense for the client and resonates with the target audience. Secondly, it increases the importance of long-term relationships with external influencers, again, something that is core to the PR mind-set and rarely sits with any other marketing discipline.
Whilst social signals are already important in terms of SEO and will only get more so, author rank gives us a rare level of insight into the direction that the world’s biggest information gatekeeper is taking in the short term, and, as part of an industry that has been banging the drum for a more strategic approach to online reputation management for years now, this is a really positive step.
We will be publishing a guide later this week covering what you can actually do now about author rank later this week but in the mean time if you have any questions, do drop us an email/tweet/call/skype etc… (you get the point).