Google Authorship, Author Rank and Social SEO with Mark Traphagen

 
Google Authorship, Author Rank and Social SEO

An interview by Martin Shervington with the authority on Google Authorship, Mark Traphagen.

Here is a video interview I had the honour to conduct with +Mark Traphagen.

We cover the subject of ‘Google authorship’ ‘author rank’ and social search engine optimisation.

It is over an hour long and crammed through of instructions and tips as well.

This blog post will be turned into a full resource on this subject over the coming week. I am organising the transcript for the video and will get it all into shape in good time.

Until then, check out the video and links below – Mark is incredibly knowledgeable on this subject and this interview has been one of my most popular ever.


Here is a full transcript of this event for those who would preferred to read instead of watch! I’ve also added a load of links which will be of interest as well.

New: Listen to the podcast…

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Transcript

Everything You Need to Know about Google Authorship, Author Rank, and Social Search Engine Optimization
Martin Shervington interviews Mark Traphagen, March 2013 – full transcript with added resources:

Meeting the people in the hangout…

Martin: Hi, this is Martin Shervington and we’re here today to talk with Mark Traphagen about Authorship, Author Rank and Social Search Engine Optimization. Before we get to Mark, I‘d just like to introduce a few people in the room. We have Fendy. Hi Fendy.
Fendy: Hello, hi Mark, hi guys.
Martin: Next to Fendy we have George Cohn. He is in Mountain View.
George C: Hello.
Martin: Good to see you and then we have George Sepich.
George S: Greetings, great to be here.
Martin: Thank you very much George and your lower third looks fantastic, by the way.
George S: Well, thank you.
Martin: John Skeats, good to see you too.
John: Hello everyone.
Martin: And next to John we have Marilyn who’s also in Mountain View.
Marilyn: Good morning.
Martin: And I’m delighted to hear, because you balanced out because what would otherwise be a bunch of lads in a room together, so thank you. You bring some style to us well, so thanks. I’ll come back to Mark in a second and then we have Paul Ramsay.
Paul: Hello.
Martin: Good to see you Paul and we have Randy Wilson on the end.
Randy: Good morning, good afternoon everyone.
Martin: Great. Now what I’m going to do, I’m going to put Mark at center stage. And welcome Mark and thanks for saying that you’d do this event. I know a lot of people – We’ve got a lot of people watching and a lot of people very interested in the content.

Introduction

Just to set the scene before I start firing questions at you. Google, since they launched Google+, they regularly say that they put a social layer across Google’s products and services. And that means that one of those services, one of the products they have is Google search.

And so really you are one of the people, if not the main people, that we will come to ask questions and sometimes very detailed questions about what this means? In this session, I think I think that we’re going to pick through, hopefully, some of the main issues that people face, some of the main questions that they have, but beginning with this idea of authorship, if that’s an appropriate place to start. And what Google authorship is?

So on that note, I’ll pass over to you and you take the reigns.

Mark: Well first of all, thank you very much for inviting me to be here today Martin. This is a delight. I’ve loved following you for as long as I’ve known you, and all the value that you bring to Google+. I shouldn’t even have to speak about, I’m sure that everyone who’s watching today knows and appreciates all that you do for us and all that you bring, in terms of instruction and just helping people to get to know this network and learn to use it. So it’s a great honor to be with you.

It is also even, maybe more than honor or a delight, a few moments ago when you included me as one of the lads at 55 years old, I can deal with that.

[Laughing]

Just a quick little background of how I connect into this and why I might know anything about it, for folks who might not know me as well; I managed to get invited to Google+ on its third day. And I plunged right in, partly because I’ve been following rumors about its existence for almost a year before it came into being. Some folks that follow these things might remember that there was a talk about a Google-me or a circles even, was one of the rumors that came out which was closer to the truth.

And then, I think it was June 28th 2011, there was Google+. On the third day I found somebody at Google I knew who gave me an invite, and I was in.

The reason I was so fascinated with it and wanted to explore it so deeply from day one is partly because of my job and where I work. I’m, for lack of a better term, basically a social media guy. But I work in a SEO agency. Virante is a SEO-centered agency, that’s where it grew its business and cut its teeth.

And so being there, I was exposed to the world of SEO, learned it from some wonderful experts. But seeing this as a network that right from the beginning Google are saying very publicly and very openly, this is going to be Google, this is what it’s going to look like in the future. We’re going to tie this in to all things Google and that caught my ears and my attention. And I said, I’ve got to get under the hood of this thing from day one. Because anything that’s going to affect search is going to be interesting to me, interesting to my agency and interesting to our clients.

Search is where the action is if you’re a business. It’s so important. It’s where people go when they’re researching a product or service and especially when they’re ready to buy – it’s where they look. So anything that we can do that can naturally and in a way that Google likes and approves of, to increase our position in search, in a useful way to people is something I’m going to be interested in.
And so that was my introduction and that’s where I’ve been crawling around under that part of the engine ever since. Watching, observing, testing, trying to see exactly how does this link in to Google search? So that’s where I started Martin.

Martin: That’s great, thank you. I think that was a very good introduction, because it’s something that remarkably worth picking up on. So search engine optimization to you is “what can you do that’s naturally available to do that Google likes that will improve your search results”. Is that a reasonable definition?

Mark: It’s a very good one, at least for me. My department – Now my title is Digital Outreach at Virante, which is a great kind of made-up phrase because we get to define what it is. But we moved it away from SEO – we do SEO – and social media even because that puts you in a box and people think they know what that means.

What me and my department are interested in helping people with, helping businesses in particular with is the things that you do that build authority online, that build influence, that build credibility and trust. And we find that over-all, if you are doing those things and you’re doing them well and doing them right, you will do well in Google search.

That’s particularly important now, without getting into many technical aspects of SEO, but many people may have heard of how in the last couple of years Google is cracking down on some of the old tricks that people used to use to rank in search, in manipulations, Google, with the Google Panda update, the Penguin update, those things have made those older tricks much more risky to do. I won’t say that people aren’t still doing them and I won’t say that they don’t work still on some circumstances, but the risk is so great of having your business fall out of Google search and what that would mean – it’s not worth it anymore.
So that goes with the kinds of means we’re pursuing. And I think Google+ is a door that Google has opened and said, Come on in and do that here. Influence our search results in natural way. Show us what’s important. Show us what we should be looking at. Show us what we should be ranking. It’s certainly not the only way to do that, but when Google opens the door, being the largest search engine in the world, it’s wise for us to pay attention and look at what that means.

Martin: That sounds fantastic, I think I was going to dive in and talk about authorship. I’m so glad that you’ve steered me into the broad context, which is great; because the next question I’ve got actually is going to be around – On www.google.com, there’s a setting; And I say that because that’s not on .co.uk at the moment. But on .com it’s a setting that allows you to Search Plus Your World.

When did that start? And what effect does that have as well in relation to search engine optimization?

Mark: That’s a great question. Google has been pursuing personalized search for many years, at least since 2007 or long before that. By pursuing, I mean where it’s actively seeing it affect the search results. And by personalization, we mean that increasingly, with every month that passes, any individual search results are not the same as any other individual’s search results. That’s just simply true now.

Now on the whole – In aggregate, there is a lot of things will be similar, but all kinds of things, like the location that you’re at, your history in your browser, history of past searches that you’ve done, how you’ve interacted with Google search, how you interact on the Google products increasingly are becoming effects on the search results that Google will show you.

Search Plus Your World was the most visible and forward move into that personalization that Google has ever made. It came into being in late January of last year and it’s called Search Plus Your World. Obviously, they wanted to emphasize that brand term of ‘plus’.

But the most visible function of it is, if you are logged in to Google, then your Google contacts directly affect the search results that you will see. I say Google contacts because it’s not just who you have circled on Google+ but any other kind of contacts that you have. In particular, your Gmail, if you use Gmail. All your contacts in there potentially affect the search results that you are seeing.

So it’s kind of personalization on steroids. In the US or anywhere else where this is active, as you’ve mentioned Martin, you can tell if you’re in Search Plus Your World, because at the upper right, in the search results, you’ll see two little icons. One looks like a head and shoulder silhouette of a person. The other is a globe.

If you’re in the head and shoulders, which is the default, then personalization is on. Search PlusYour World is on. You can also, it’s interesting – some people may have noticed, again in the US that they’ll see some search results that, to the left of them, will have that same little gray silhouette. That indicates that that particular result was pumped up in the search results because of your personalization, because of associations that you have that Google sees, and says, This might be more interesting to you because you have some connections with this person or business.

Martin: Perfect. And I know that a lot of those personalized search results have a little icon, a little face, a little image of the person next to them, and this is going to lead us onto Google authorship then. So what is Google authorship and how does that relate to search?

Mark: Well in the simplest definition, Google authorship is a program that Google introduced. They first talked about it publicly in a blog post about a month before Google+ came out, and there’s no accident in that.

Now it goes back further than that. We can see the roots of it in various patents that Google had an interest in identifying individual, author’s individual content creators on the web as well as being able to identify a lot other things, we’ll talk about this later, which Google calls agents. And an author would just be one kind of agent.

In any case, Google began talking about a month before Google+ that they would begin to use certain mark-up that already existed. There’s a non-profit organization called www.schema.org. And www.schema.org has come up with a number of tags that you can add on to links on the web or you can add on to all kinds of information on the web, on your website that are designed to identify different bits of information and particularly for search engines to be able to identify and use those.

So Google said, We are going to begin to use the relic as author tag in a particular way. We’re going to begin to link that to individual content creators and give them the ability to link their identity to their content. When they first said that, we all kind of said, That’s interesting but how are they going to do that? Well, a month later we have the answer, that was Google+.

Part of the reason for the existence of Google+ is for Google to get a better handle as it were on individual identities, like creating Google+ profile. Then by following some sub-methods that Google has approved, you can indicate to Google where in the web, anywhere in the web is original content that you created. Then Google makes an association, you also link that to that from your profile to that content stores; that 2-way verification identifies, This is my content in Google.

The most immediate result to that, that you just hinted that people would see most visibly is that that can qualify you for – it does not guarantee, important to say – but it qualifies you for the authorship rich snippet search result. Just very quickly, a rich snippet search result is any searches that you’re seeing as more and more in Google, where you see more than just the famous, blue link headline and quick description where you might see rating stars, you might see added links underneath; those type of things.

Setting up Google Authorship on a website:

Blogger – Heavy integration by default. Go to the Google+ area on your dashboard and fill in the results.
Wordpress – Numerous Plugins available for doing this.
Google Sites

An authorship snippet, and I’ll stop here for now, you can ask the next question (there’s so much to say about this), this is again at its fullest level, is it shows the author’s picture next to the content that’s associated with them in the search result, a little byline link underneath the headline link title. It will say like, By Mark Traphagen that you can click to go to that author’s profile. It sometimes shows the number of Google+ circles that you’re in, which is a great trust mark if you’re in any number of them. And then finally there will be a link that says, More from this author, more from Mark Traphagen. If you click that you get – You actually go into a unique set of Google search results that’s just for that author.

Tools you may like to check out:

SPYW (Google Search Plus Your World)
Authorship page on Google
Rich Snippets Testing Tool (check if your Authorship is working)
Rich Snippets Testing Tool Bookmarklet by AJ Kohn (one click check any web page for Authorship)
Google Webmaster Tools Author Stats Metrics

You can actually then search within those pages to get more content from that author, so that’s fundamentally what authorship is.

Martin: Fantastic. I’m going to come back and just hand you some questions in a second. But let’s just say, if you’re watching this in a non-live version then if you click on the annotation, that’s in the upper right, that will take you to my website. And I’m going to have a lot of links and a lot of our scores from Mark as well, so if you just click that. Any resources is like the rich snippets tool and so on, we’ll have all of that ready for you on that particular blog post.

Okay Mark, let’s now go to the questions. So beginning with the Google+ profile. In order to have authorship for your content on Google+ itself, appearance search with the little icon next to, little face, next to it, what’s next to happen? Does it potentially appear? What are the criteria?

Mark: There’s a few basics that you have to have. First of all, on the profile, you have to use your real name. I know that rankles with some people. There’s been some controversy on Google+ and outside about Google’s real name policy. But for authorship, authorship is about trust. And it’s about identifying real people connected with real content. So nobody’s holding a gun to your head to be a part of authorship, but that’s Google’s rules. You have to give your real name.

It should be the name that you use on your content across the web. We’ll get into that in just a moment, why that’s important. It should be exact match. If I use Mark W. Traphagen on my bylines across my content web then it should be Mark W. Traphagen.

The next thing that is an absolute requirement for, not for Google to measure or track your authorship, but to show up in search results, with that rich snippet result is to have a clear photo on +profile. They don’t want cartoon avatars, they don’t logos, they don’t want pictures with your family in them. It should be a clear head shot.

We recently discovered a way to test that, actually if you have good enough photo. I won’t say that we can absolutely prove that this is the test, but it’s likely that Google’s using the same facial recognition software within Google+ that they’re using to recognize if an author photo is acceptable.

So if you go to your profile photo, click on it, open it up in the light box, full screen and then click the bottom on the right that says, Tag people in that photo and hover your mouse over your face. If a dotted circle appears around your face and asks you to tag it, then that means Google is recognizing that as a face. If you don’t see that, then you need to change your photo.

So the first requirement is your name, a clear head shot photo. Beyond that, the simplest level you would, on your profile side, you would link in the ‘contributor to’ section of your links, on your profile to every site where you post content. ‘Contributor to’ is particularly set aside for authorship and you can put other things there, it won’t hurt anything but that’s what the intension of it is for.

Then from the content side, there’s a number of ways that Google has given to link up. The good old fashioned original way and what we still think is the most stable and secure as far as Google getting it accurately as possible, is to hard code a link back; so to have on the content or on the site or on – If the site provides you with an author page on site to have a link back to your Google+ profile. And while it’s not absolutely required, it’s helpful if that link is tagged with real equals author in quote.

Martin: I’m going to dive in. Can you take us through the next steps. First step is to make sure that your Google+ profile has got an image which is clear, and it’s a head shot and you can do the test on that and that you show your real name. So that – If somebody hasn’t got a website but they’re using Google+ and blogging within Google+, just there, then that potentially is enough for author share, is that right? Just on this own right.

Mark: Just linking from ‘contributor to’?

Martin: No, so not linking to ‘contributor to’. So just – if they’re blogging, they haven’t got a website, they just want to use Google+ and the content that they’re writing on Google+. Is that authorship in its own right, potentially?

Mark: Right, as long as you have some kind of two-way linkage. Google wants to see it on both sides. So if you’re using the link method, you would – for instance let’s say that you’re writing a guest post on somebody else’s website, they would hope – I would hope, allow you to have a link to your profile, so, Follow me on Google+.

Martin: I’m going to dive in again. Just to be clear, so leaving aside any other website stuff. Just be clear on the Google+ platform itself, on destination. If somebody is writing just within there and they got credentials, got their real name –

Mark: I’m sorry.

Martin: Is that Google authorship?

Mark: I follow you there. Yes it is and I’ll tell you how we know. There’s 2 ways that we know.
One is I have Google+ post regularly show up in search with my author photo next to them. The other way is, a good thing to mention and we’ll have this in the links that you’re going to provide the folks afterward, there’s something called, used to be called the rich snippet testing tool. Now it’s all – I’m sorry, I’m now referring to that. In Google Webmaster Tools, which anybody can go to if you’re logged in to same Google account you’ve used for Authorship. Go to Google Webmaster Tools, you’ll find a Labs tab on the left hand side. Under Labs, look for author stats.

Author stats will actually show you statistics for all the search results that are connected to your authorship. And if you look in there, and you use Google+ publicly, you’ll probably start seeing Google+ posts in that.

So, yes, Google+ is automatically connected to your authorship. You don’t have to do anything for that.

Martin: Sounds great. So even if you haven’t got a website, you can still be using this in order to get your content into search potentially?

Mark: Yes, sorry that I’ve misunderstood –

Martin: No, no it’s fine.

Mark: Because public – And this is a great thing to emphasize. A lot of people still don’t realize it; anything you post in public on Google+ – and basically like a good rule of thumb to understand that is any of the little tricklets or little boxes that you want to call it, when you open up a sharebox on Google+ and you can add circles, you can add people, you can add various things – anything that shows green, which is basically the public box, means that it is public. And it will, among other things, I mean anybody on Google+ can see that post, but also Google can index it for search.

It can show up in the search results. And if you have authorship it might show up with your author photo.

Martin: Great –

Mark: If you have a clear –

Mark: I just want to clarify that, if you have authorship. If you are on Google+, you’re using your real name and you have a clear headshot photo, that could show up as an authorship result even if you don’t use authorship, even if you haven’t signed up for a link to it.

Martin: Fantastic. Now, just on that one, let’s say that you send a post down. You don’t send it to public. You send it to circles and extended circles.

That content, obviously, is not publicly available, so it’s not going to be in general search results on the web. Is it possible in Search PlusYour World for somebody else who is closely connected to you, when he’s searching for content and that content that you’ve written that is circles and extended circles, as it’s been posted to, is it possible for that to show up for them on Search Plus Your World?

Mark: That’s a great question because I get this from time to time. Somebody freaked out and said, You told me Search PlusYour World that private posts were private, and my friend saw one of my private posts. And I ask, Well, is he in your circles? Is he in the circle that you’ve posted that to? Have you posted it to a particular circle?

-Oh yes.
-That’s why he sees it.

And it’s actually a great use for Search Plus Your World, I use it all the time. If I know that you and I had a private conversation, Martin , let’s say a couple of weeks ago and I want to find it quickly, find what we’ve talked about, I can go in the Google Search and search for phrases I knew we’ve talked about. And I’ll find that conversation, even though it was private, just between you and me. Nobody else in the world can see it. So, Search Plus Your World really becomes an extension of your Google+.

So just to clarify again, if anything that you have been included in by someone else, in the circles that they’ve posted to, you can search and find, not only in Google+ but in Search Plus Your World. But nobody outside those circles would be able to search and find it.

Martin: Fantastic, okay thanks Mark. Let’s now have a look at then what you said with the link in between your Google+ profile and the website. And go on to that. So what do people need to do if they have a website and they’re blogging on their website in order to link it to their Google+ profile?

Mark: This can get a little technical, so don’t worry at home if you’re not following everything that we say here. Click that link that Martin told you about in the upper right of the YouTube video and you’ll find all the resources and guides that you need to work this out and to get it connected.
But Google has provided a number of methods to get the authorship connection over the past year and a half. And they range in simplicity, but I’ll go back again and cover the original method which is the linking method, which those of us who watch us and test it regularly see as the most stable method. By stable, meaning, the least likely to have errors in the authorship.

For instance, people have occasionally seen – There’s been some well-publicized cases out there of Google attributing authorship to the wrong person on a site, so the wrong picture shows up in search results. This method is the best we have to remove that from happening. Try to keep it as simple as possible.

At the simplest level it is, first of all linking from ‘contributor to’, to your website or wherever you are creating content on the web. And that anyone should do, who’s interested in authorship for any of the methods we are going to talk about. Link to all your content via ‘contributor to’. You don’t need, if you do a lot of posts on a certain site, you don’t need to link every post individually. Just link once to that site, and it’s fine from ‘contributor to’.

On the site side, outside of Google+, you want to have a link back from the site where you’ve posted the content to your Google+ profile. Preferably, with the Rel=Author tag attached. Although –

Martin: I’m going to dive in for a second, Mark.

Mark: Sure.

Martin: The Google+ badges that a lot of people have on their sites, which align people to hover over and put the person directly into circles from that particular page, from that particular website; how does that relate to this?

Mark: That will work for this if it’s a – There’s two type of badges. There’s a badge that is for pages, brand pages, which we haven’t talked about yet. And there’s a badge that you can get for your personal profile. That will work for this, and it works for people every day. Some of the confusion can come about, that we should clear up in a moment, if you have multiple authors on your site. That’s where Google can get a little confused.

But let’s keep it at the simplest level first. If it’s just your website and www.marktraphagen.com and I’m the only one that writes here, I can just simply link from my site to my profile, link back from ‘contributor to’, and I should be done at that point.

At the next level, you can – Let’s say you’ve just written an individual piece of content on anyone’s site. You’ve linked to it from ‘contributor to’. You could make a link in the content itself back to your Google profile. So If I’m writing a guest post on your site, Martin, I might at the bottom say, Mark Traphagen, I work for Virante. And I link to Virante. I might say, Follow me on Google+. And that Google+ would be a link to my profile.

If I’ve linked it from the ‘contributor to’ then, then I should have the authorship connection.

Mark: Okay, let’s move up one more step of complexity. The ideal is, most newer WordPress themes will allow you to do this, for example, where you can have multiple users on the site. Each user has his or her own account. If that user creates content, that generates an author archive page.

Usually you find this by clicking the author’s name on their content and it goes to a unique page of that author. Maybe it has a little bio and picture of them, and then it lists all the content that author has written on that site.

That’s where you should have the link back to your Google+ profile for that site as long as, again, all the content on that site is linked to that author page, so Google can follow the link and see it.

I hope that’s clear again; this is where you have a unique author page on a site. Just link in there to your Google+ profile and as long as all your content is connected, you can tell that again, if you can click on your byline, by Mark Traphagen. If I click on that, and it goes to that author page on the site then I can just put my authorship link there.

Martin: Great. So in essence, if you click on that you get the – You click on your name and that’s been up setup, you get a list of all of the blog posts that you as the author have written. So it’s like a mini-index of the blogs.

Martin: Perfect. Now you’ve taken out one of the complexity, I don’t know where we’re going to go with this next because I’m still confused about what I’m about to ask you. Rel=Author compared to Rel=Publisher. Could you explain this one please, Mark.

Mark: I will. Can I just explain the one more even simpler method that’s out there?

Martin: Yes, please.

Mark: Just quick for folks. This one’s very quick. And that’s Google, I think recognizing that a lot of people were as confused as some of you are right now by all of that linking, came out last year with a simpler method called email verification method. This works best if you’re on a site that you own, so you have access to the domain and you have an email address for that domain. In fact it only works if you have an email address for that domain.

For example, if I had www.marktraphagen.com and I’ve got a mark@marktraphagen.com email address. What you do is you simply go into your Google+ profile, and for some reason it has to be in the work section content, you edit the content section you go to the work section and you enter that email address.

So I’m entering Mark at www.marktraphagen.com, as soon as I enter it, a little blue verify link will show to the right. I click the verify link, Google sends an email to that email address to verify that it’s mine. Look for the email, follow the instructions. I think you just have to click something that verifies it and your authorship connection is made. In fact Google, I believe, the last time I checked this, they even automatically put the site in and contributor tool for you.

All that’s very simple. But it only works again if you have access to the domain with an email address. And really, I only really recommend using it if you’re the only one that posts for authorship on that site.

Martin: Okay, so a couple of bits then Mark. So the first bit is how do I submit that email address? What‘s the site that I go to?

Mark: You do it on your Google profile and you have to go to the contact section of your profile –

Martin: So you don’t even have to go to a site? Yeah that’s the key thing. So you don’t have to go elsewhere. You can actually do it within Google+. You just say, This is the email address that I use at this particular website and it will get verified. It goes through to Gmail does it? You get an email for it and you verify that way?

Mark: It’ll go to the email address that you input; not to Gmail.

Martin: Sorry to the email address you input.

Mark: In this case it has to be, again, this is very important to emphasize; the domain, which means that the part of your email address that’s after the @ sign, has to exactly match the domain or the URL of your site. Again if it’s www.mysite.com, if that’s the name of your site, then the email address has to be whatever@mysite.com . You enter that, it has to be in the work section of the profile.

And by the way, even after you’ve entered that, if you’re worried about entering an email address on your profile, when you’re editing you can make that private. There’s a little indicator there so you don’t have to show it to the public. But you have to have it in there. You click the verify button, it appears next to it, it’ll send an email to that email address. Follow the instructions on the email and you got your authorship.
The other requirement of that email thing ,and especially if more than one person uses that method for that domain; very, very important requirement, in this case, that the byline of every authored piece, the name exactly match, even down to middle initials and things like that. Use the exact same name that you use in your Google+ profile. That’s how Google, when it files the email link, that’s how it verifies, Okay, this particular piece of content should be associated with this author.

Martin: Fantastic. And you mentioned about people that write from multiple domains. Let’s look at an example of multiple authors on a site, rather.

Let’s look at New York Times. Let’s say they’d come to me and they say, Martin we want you to start writing hilarious stuff about Google+ on a Saturday. (I’m looking forward to that). And they say you’re going to have an email address martinshervington@nytimes.com. And there’s lots of other people that have email addresses. This is a method of – If they give me that email addresses I can get it forwarded, for instance, to my Gmail. Go to my Gmail and then verify it that way, yeah? So this is the way that that process could work?

Mark: Yes, but I just want to put one caveat on it. Again, it’s very dependent that after you’ve done that, if you use that method, on using the exact same name. And we’ve even said, Google recommends this when it found this to be true to give an even more of a better clue to the Google search bot when it’s looking through that site. Make sure it’s in a format of a byline; by Martin Shervington. Look for those words.

We’ve seen cases where people didn’t do that and the Google bot actually picked up another name that might have even been an ad on the side bar in the New York Times. This is the famous case that got so publicized wherein I think it was Truman Capote, who’s dead, got authorship for an article in the New York Times. Because the author’s name wasn’t clear, Google saw Truman Capote in the side bar piece, picked that up, and gave the authorship result to him.

So if you want to be known as Truman Capote for the rest of your life, make sure it clearly says ‘by’ and your name. That’s why we go again, the most stable method is if you can actually do the two-way link that we talked about earlier. That seems to be a little more foolproof than the email method.

Martin: Fantastic. Okay, thanks Mark. Next thing; let’s have a look at that Rel=Author, Rel=Publisher. What’s the difference? What are they both about?

Mark: At the simplest level, Rel=Author will link an individual to his or her personal Google+ profile. So a real person creating real content. That’s what Rel=Author is here for.

I get questions a lot in our Google authorship and author rank community in Google+, people ask almost every day, Can I connect authorship to my page, my brand page? And the answer is no, not by Rel=Author. Some people pointed out, it used to be – I think it’s not easy anymore. It used to be easy to kind of fool Google for a few days, who would point their Rel=Author to a brand page and they would actually see their logo appearing in search results,. And always within 2 or 3 days it would disappear. It would get flagged and disappear.

Martin: So let me just dive in there Mark; and so everything we’ve been talking about, so far in relation to authorship, is about Rel=Author. So far?

Mark: That’s correct, because authorship is for individuals. You think of the word author, the way we use it in real life. Coca-Cola doesn’t author anything. Somebody might write a piece for Coca Cola, an individual wrote that piece even if he or she remains anonymous. In Google’s case, for authorship, authorship’s intended for real people, individuals.

Now the Rel=Publisher link is a way to connect the official website of your brand to a Google+ brand page. So if you have a business, www.mybusiness.com, you can create a www.mybusiness.com Google+ brand page, and then you make the two-way connection.

It’s a little bit simpler in this case, you simply link to that site from your Google+ brand page. There is no ‘contributor to’ section, which is another indication that authorship is not intended for brand pages. You simply link anywhere in the About section or in the main link that it allows you to create, and then you link back the home page of your site to that page with a Rel=Publisher tag attached to that link. And that makes the connection.

Now we don’t know – It’s a little bit more mysterious than the authorship link what all Google wants to do about this. But we’re starting to see some things. The first thing is that the Rel=Publisher link is necessary to get a verified brand page. You’ll see some brand pages that have a little check mark next to their name. That kind of means Google is certifying this is the official page of that brand, because anybody can create a page with any name. So I can have www.mybusiness.com page, and a hundred people could create about a www.mybusiness.com Google+ page.

The official ones are going to have that checkmark next to it. How they do that is again the two-way lane. You have to ask for the verification. And unlike personal profile, you can do that, you can apply for it. Just search on Google for brand page verification or Google page verification, you’ll find the site where you do that.

It’s a little mysterious when you’ll get it. Goggle simply says, You have a – I can’t remember the exact adjective, but basically when you have sufficient following in activity on your brand page, then they’ll say yes.

You can apply more than once, you can apply, they’ll say, Nope, not yet and then one day you’ll get that little check mark next to your brand name.

The other thing that we think that they’re beginning to use the Rel=Publisher connection for is the knowledge graph. These are the kind of fancier search engines folks are starting to see or side bar results where you may get almost like a Wikipedia type of reference when people search your brand name. So you search for www.mybusiness.com on Google and up pops in the side bar, some basic information about your business including the logo of the business. The Rel=Publisher connection helps Google to fill that in and form that when that occurs.

Martin: I was even delighted to see the follow button appear on some content that I’ve been looking as well, which is incredible because it becomes such an easy route. I mean I love that follow button, because people straight away, opt in to the relationship with that particular brand. And then because they have a Google+ profile, in order to do that, the brand can know who has been saying, Yes, I’d like to engage with you.

So when you go to the Google+ page they can be doing, they can be +ing people’s names, they can be contacting them, they can be doing all the things that we do with the Google+ profile. So that seems to be such a great way for brands to go is to get that setup.

Mark: I agree. I agree it’s a kind of a no-brainer. Again, if you want to be – Have more visibility in Google search, then you’ll be doing that.

Martin: Great, okay. Let’s now have a look at Page Rank. What is this thing called Page Rank that people are talking about?

Mark: Page rank has nothing to do originally to Google. It goes back to the very foundations of Google. It is why we have Google. To make the story as short as impossible, but Sergey Brin and Larry Page (it’s Larry Page that Page rank is named after) were doing work, graduate work at Stanford University here in the US.

They basically invented a better way to find information on the web. Up until their research, the standard way was the most – many of you wouldn’t remember this unless you were as old as me, but the original Yahoo for example was actually a human index of the web as an attempt to – human beings would see a website and they would decide kind of like librarian would, Well this belongs to this category and this sub-category. Well you can imagine as the web took off that’s just became impossible.

So what Page and Brin came up with in Page rank was an algorithm. Machine code that can go out and look and try to assess, in some ways similar to what humans might do. What websites should rank, should come up first for any particular search query that human might type? And of course it’s very, very complicated and we don’t know everything that goes into it, but we do know the most fundamental thing. The most fundamental thing about the way Page rank was setup originally was that it was based on links. The links that we collect go between things on the web.

Brin and Page’s genius was to notice that when one site links to another, in a typical fashion, it’s because they’re trying to indicate, There’s good information over here. They’re saying basically, If you want to learn more about this, go to this other site and this other page. That’s why I would usually, naturally link to something I’m writing on the web.

Page rank counts each of those links, in the simplest form, as a vote for that other site. Now it gets more complicated because there – It’s not a democracy, all votes aren’t the same. The votes are weighted. And the Google Page rank algorithm does hundreds of different evaluations on a site, on a particular page, on its context, its relevancy, other links that are coming into that page and site. All these things factor into a weight that goes on to that link.

If a page in my website gets a link from site A and site B, site B is more influential and relevant, that link will count a lot more in terms of my search rankings. Now beyond that there are dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds of other factors; some of which we can kind of know from our observations from the outside, so which we can guess that, so much that we have no idea. For obvious reasons Google keeps a lot of it secret, because they don’t want people gaining it or attempting to gain it.

All that together, that’s what Page rank fundamentally is. The simplest way to think about it is it’s the score that Google gives any given web page for any given search query that someone might type in on the web, that might bring up that page.

Martin: Okay, I’m just going to dive in there, Mark. So just before we get to Author rank. But that’s a brilliant overview of Page rank, so thank you. I remember when I started with Google, many, many years ago, when I started to use Google and I started to become fascinated by it, it was all about relevance. Your search results were about this one word, relevance. Is it the most relevant content that the search engine could give when a person is looking for particular query?

And with Page rank, that seems to be very much the foundation of it is, can Google search gives you the most relevant content that is then available? Is a way of it calculating, is this relevant? Is that a fair thing to say that that’s the Page Rank?

Mark: I think it is, and it’s always a little dicey when we try to use these human terms. We kind of have – Our brain has some understanding about what we what we mean when we say relevant, authoritative, trustworthy. These are words that we talk about. Even Google, if you listen to Matt Cutts, who’s the most popularly known Google search representative, when he speaks publicly, he’ll use those terms. But what does that mean to a machine?

Well, Page rank, finally, an attempt to begin toward that goal of being better and better at that, particularly of relevance. So it’s just not any page linking to my page. But Google wants to try to measure is the context of that page that’s linking to my page relevant to it?

It looks at a number of things. It looks at the anchor text for example. They are actual text in the link, text around it, the general theme of the site that the link is coming from. Other links coming from the outside to that page that are telling Google information about what is the relevancy of this page, all that. The more relevant that linking page is to my page, the more potential Page rank or voting weight it passes on to my page. Again I’m very much simplifying things but that’s what we have to do.

PageRank (Wikipedia article)
PageRank Ranking Factors & video about it
Chrome Extension for seeing “ToolBar PageRank” on pages
You can make use of the “links:” advanced operator to find backlinks to a google profile eg. “links:https://plus.google.com/+MarkTraphagen/posts”

BrandRank (AuthorRank for Brands) by Mike Arnesen

Martin: Because we got two things there. I’ve mentioned relevance and you mentioned the words authority and trustworthiness, which is a nice segue into the Author rank. So what is happening with the Author rank?

Mark: First of all, Author rank doesn’t exist. Now –

Martin: Excellent, next thing. Let’s make this simple. [Laughing]

Mark: So we can then move along. I say that with some tongue in cheek, because it doesn’t exist in that, it’s mostly in the way that people use it these days; it’s a user-generated term. And I won’t say entirely is not a Google term, there is one patent where Google talked about something that we would call Author Rank. But let me go back into the roots. Where the idea of Author Rank comes from is a series of patents online that Google published.

To cover a way, they go back as far as 2005, and the original sets of patents are known as the agent rank patents. In those, Google said, We want to come up with a way of identifying agents online. Agents could be a number of different things, they could be an author, kind of a creator; it could be a brand; it could an individual comment. It could be all kinds of bits of data on that we want to identify agents and then be able to measure their authority, their trustworthiness, all these kinds of words that we’re using a moment ago, by other signals pointing at that agent, and then use that as an influence on search rankings.

Google’s always looking to improve the things that we’ve been talking about. They want you to be happy when you come in and search for something in Google. And they wanted it to be a human experience of happiness which is, I got something that looks like it’s relevant, authoritative and trustworthy for the query that I put in. So it’s hard for machines to measure that. The machines can watch the way that people measure that. And so the idea behind this ranking system would be, if we can identify as individuals agents then we can watch the way they interact with each other.

A little bit later on, there was one of these patents that particularly was aimed at authors on the web. It said like, this is talking particularly about how we would look at real individual human beings creating content. That’s where the whole idea of Author Rank comes from.

So in that patent, what Google said; and by the way let me just put a quick plug here for a guy named Bill Slawski. He is the absolute expert on this. Bill is not only a great SEO, but he also has a legal background, so he understands what he’s reading when he is reading patents. He has done the foot work for all of us on this. S-L-A-W-S-K-I. Find him on Google+. If you’re interested in the subject follow him, Bill Slawski.

Agent Rank

Agent Rank Patent
Blogpost about Agent Rank by Bill Slawski

But Bill looked in this patents and said totals at the Author patent, said that, It’s not the number of people that interact with the piece of content and that could be anywhere; it could be comments on a blog, it could be in social sites, re-sharing, re-tweeting, +1ing something, commenting on it, re-sharing it; all those are types of engagement activities. It’s not just how many do that, but even more importantly who does it?

So just like what we talked about a moment with Page rank and links, not all votes are equal. So, the idea here is that, Martin If you write a lot about SEO, and I write a lot about SEO, and people online indicate by various signals that you Martin are an authority to them on SEO. But then you start engaging with my content, you re-share it, you comment on it, et cetera, et cetera et cetera. That would be a signal to Google that I also ought to be seen as a higher authority on SEO.

Your SEO vote counts higher in that topic. And that’s another thing just quickly to emphasize about this concept of Page rank or Author rank, is that Google intended it to be topically based. It’s not just like I have one author rank score, but I could have dozens of scores, or who knows how many scores, it depends on how granular Google would be about the topics?

So for every topic that I write about or produce content about; potentially I would have an author rank score that would indicate what authority my content should have on that topic on that topic in Google Search.

Martin: Okay, that’s fantastic, so just to be clear –

Mark: A lot more to it, but that’s the basics of the idea.

Martin: So the idea in essence, is that who we are connected to and our activities with those people will affect how Google perceives both us and them. And therefore that could affect the search results that other people receive, not just ourselves.

Mark: Correct. It’s the idea that originally all I worked with were static web pages, but with the advent of the social web, there’s activity happening by real human beings who are every day, by the activities that they do on the web, by interacting with other things, they are sending signals. They’re showing, I like this. When this person talks about that, I think it’s cool and I share it with my friends.

A search engine can watch that, can see it and use it as an additional measurement and the interesting thing about it is that measurement now is not tied to a particular website, it’s tied to that author and where ever he or she goes on the web, potentially he or she would bring that reputation with them. If I have a high reputation for SEO and you invite me to come write a piece on your website about SEO, then theoretically that piece would automatically have more authority in Google Search, because I am associated with it and because Google sees me as an authority in that area.

Martin: Okay, let’s go for a little detailed questioning on that. +1’s– No, actually Google+ as a whole, because we were talking about the web, talking about websites. What advice would you give to an individual whose on Google+ who wants to be an authority on a particular subject, how should they go about it? Keeping that vague.

Mark: Okay, it’s vague, but it’s a good question because it leads to what a lot of us who talk about this topic, myself, A. J. Kohn who has really done a lot of the – Along with Bill Slawski, did a lot of the fundamental work in helping us understand and get interested in things like authorship and author rank. By the way, by now I hope that your listeners can put together the link between the two.
Obviously, authorship could be the fundamental scheme by which Google would want to attribute author rank, if and when they ever start using that as a ranking signal, authorship would obviously be a good start, because you’ve positively identified to Google, This is me and this is my content on the web, you’ve kind of done the homework for them, as it were.

Now I’ve gone so far afield that I have forgotten the original question! [Laughing]

Martin: What advice would you have for people who are looking to build their authority?

Mark: Right. The good thing to realize is you don’t have to try to figure out author rank or figure out all these topics if you do the things that you would have in real life establish that, that you can transfer to the Web. The first and most fundamental answer to that is, be producing good quality memorable content about the area that you want to be known for. You can’t really get authority in something if you are not an authority; become an expert in that.

Read and learn and listen and enter into discussions and then take that knowledge and produce some original out there. Don’t echo – You’re not going to get any authoritative rankings if you’re saying the same thing that everybody else is saying. You’re just re-hashing the common wisdom that is out there. Get your unique take on it, find something that not too many other people are understanding or seeing and explain it.

The next tip that I would have is, then go out into the world with that. And out into the world these days, we mean the Social Web especially Google+. So if you want to be influential in search results, because that’s directly connected to Google. but anywhere you can make connections and be helpful to people.
Connect with people who need the information that you understand and help them. Part of the way that I’ve built my influence on the Web is simply by looking for where the conversations are happening, for example about authorship, I do regular searches in Google+, on Quora, on Twitter and all kinds of places for people who are talking about and asking questions about authorship, author rank and I plunge in and help where I can and answer their questions.

A lot of those people will begin to follow me, and say, Well this guy knows what he’s talking about, and then they’ll begin to tell their friends, You want to know about authorship, you need to follow Mark Traphagen.

Over time, Google and other search engines will see that level of activity around you and it builds your authority. There are other things you could do, but that’s fundamental.

Martin: That’s great, so what about – So you and I, sometimes we share each other’s content when we think it’s relevant for the people who are following us. Let’s say that I share one of your posts, now occasionally, I might find that I’ve come up having shared your post in Search, now how does that work in relation to the authority?

Mark: That brings us into the latest things that we’ve been investigating in terms of that. That was a – I could tell a little story about that, because that was kind of a mystery to me for a long time, and a lot of people last year used to refer to my profile as like a super profile because we would see this phenomenon where someone would post some content on Google+, and then I would re-share that content and when you go to search for the title of the original poster’s post, there would be me smiling at you.

Quite often above them, if they share, or several people re-shared it; the shuffle worked its way out in Search over two or three days. In the end, there I would be claiming your content in a sense. Now, when people clicked through they would eventually come to see that Martin Shervington actually created this and I was just actually sharing, but it was an interesting phenomenon.

It really concerned me in a way, even though it was benefitting me, because I was showing up more in Search, because I don’t think it was the best possible search result, right? You know, I wish I still maintained but it’s the way – It’s a peculiarity within Google+ that when someone shares somebody else’s content, it becomes theirs. It creates a unique –

This bridges us on to an upcoming topic. And that is the discovery that essentially, Google treats Google+ content and Google+ profiles and Google+ Pages in many ways it’s much like regular Web pages on the Web. They carry an authority or a score on them similar to the one that a page on your website might carry.

If I have an authoritative profile – and we’ll get more into that in a moment, what that might mean – and it’s more authoritative than yours, and I share your content, Google will show me my result for that content. And that was our first clue that there really was a Search hierarchy within Google+. What we didn’t know is what that meant, and there was all kinds of speculation and people tried to say, Well it’s just obviously how many followers you have. Well that got discounted, I was doing this back when I had 8, 9, 10 thousand followers and I was outranking people who had hundreds of thousands or sometimes even millions of followers.

That’s what made it a mystery, well, it’s the number of +1s, we tested it all. There was no correlation between just those signals on the individual post and how you might rank in Google Search. It had to be something else. And that’s what we think we are beginning to see. So we have a teaser segment on that.

Martin: That’s the authoritative profile, is that somehow, the content that you create and consistently around maybe a particular subject is enabling over time some accumulation that allows you to have greater authority than somebody else who is doing, let’s say, a one-off post?

Mark: Yes it is, and the key to this though is the understanding that we are only just now kind of dawning from any of us that, as I said a moment ago, Google is treating your profile very much like it would a website on the Web. And here is a key thing to that. Obviously interaction within Google+ is having an effect on that, and I truly believe that. The good news is, if I’ve shared your content, and I outrank you for it in the Search results, that might be a disappointment for you for the moment, but I linked to you by doing that.

I actually created a link and that may be passing authority on to you. So that over time, if I’m sharing your content a lot, you’re gaining authority in that topic area by my – And this is why I think some people have confused what’s happening with author rank. We can get more into this in a moment.

I don’t think it’s author rank per se. I think it’s – I don’t think it’s necessarily connected to author, because you don’t have to have any content anywhere else on the web to have this. Let me take it one step further, here is the cool discovery that we’ve made just recently; first of all it’s been known for a while, or was known back in the early days of Google+, that Google+ profiles and pages have page rank.

Google releases into the wild an approximation of page rank; we call it Toolbar Pages. The first place that we saw it was on the official Google toolbar that you could install on your browser and you could see page rank. The page rank they give out is only a relative approximation; it’s a very simple, it’s a 0 – 10 scale, zero being the lowest and 10 being the highest possible; it’s only updated a few times a year.

The last statement we had from Google was that it’s probably updated about four times a year, so quarterly; and it’s nowhere near showing the very complex score that Google probably uses internally, but it does assess a relative authority.

If I have a page rank 6 site and you have a page rank 4 site, overall it’s going to be true that my site is going to do better, all things being equal in Google Search than your site. It’s also going to pass on more authority when I link to other sites.

Now, that went away, or we thought it did. The normal tools that we had to look at page rank sometime early last year suddenly it all went to zero, and that time that led many SEOs to say, Oh Google no longer has page rank for profiles, it’s something they experimented with, it doesn’t exist, until a few weeks ago, a guy named Joshua Burg in the materials we linked to, I’ll link to his posts, you can go and read what he has written. He discovered that if you – What happened was Google kind of altered the URLs of our profiles that messed up the page rank tool. And if you just take out some of the extra detritus that Google added on and you go back to the pure original plus.google.com/ – That bizarre code number that you have for your profile, some of the page rank tools can now see again, or show the page rank of that.

Here is the next bit. When I saw that, I went out and began doing some correlation testing, and I’m working on a study that I’m going to release very soon. I used some sophisticated tools that we have to look at – The next I wanted to ask is can a profile or page build page rank the old fashioned way? Meaning by being linked to from sites outside of Google+, the answer is, I believe, yes. I’m seeing a strong correlation between the amount of page rank a profile or page has on Google+ and it’s back-link profile that the authority and number of links that are outside, and I say ‘correlation’ because it’s not – They’re outliers, I can find profiles that have very high PR that have almost no links from the outside world, but I believe they are getting that PR simply from their internal interaction with their Google+.

What I think I am seeing is that there are basically two ways to build that page rank authority for your profile or page. One is by the interactions that you have within Google+, and the other is by links to that profile or page from authoritative web pages and the regular Web.

Martin: Okay, fantastic Mark. I’ve got a lot of questions. But I think probably moving into the last 5 minutes or so now. What I want to do is look at that aspect of a page and potential little bit of advice for businesses as well. Just to be clear, we know that if an individual who has authorship, has set up okay within the Google+ profile; that content that they post like a mini-blog post can appear in Search results, and we know that.

We know that a web page content can appear in Search anyway, if there is content there, and we also know that, it seems, that the link between your Google+ profile and you web page, and having authorship on that 2 way link can lead to, maybe, better search results than not having it, so there. Then we –

Mark: Can I say this one thing quickly about that?

Martin: Yes.

Mark: The one thing that has been test and that we do know, we don’t know to what extent if any, and Google officials that we’ve asked, both publicly and privately, will clearly say that the authorship link is not yet a direct factor in Search results. And they say that very carefully, as they usually do. They don’t say it’s no factor, they say it’s not a direct factor.

So that means – And we believe that they are probably testing it in some small ways. But that aside, the one thing that we do know as a positive fact is that click-through rate can be increased drastically by showing the author photo. People’s eyes are drawn down the page when they see that other, because a human eye is always drawn to a human face, and so a result that they may not have considered clicking on before – + people trust other people. They see that author photo next to it, and they say, Oh this is by a real person, even though everything else on the search result page might be by a real person too. And so people who have tested have seen as high as from 15 to 30% increase in click-through rate of search results that have the authorship photo next to it.

That’s one improvement that we definitely know is there. Anything else that Google might be doing with it is kind of a matter of speculation at this point.

Martin: So then we’ve got the third point, so we’ve got the third bit which we want to have a look at which is the page. If you have a brand page, and you blog from that brand page in its own right, so not sharing it back to your profile which is something I want to come on to, but you blogged. Are those mini-blogs in their own right appearing in search?

Mark: Yes, again, if they’re posted to public, it’s indexible and just as rankable in search as any personal post online, and I do this all the time when Virante posts to our Virante page can be found in search. And again, how well they will rank is – We’re coming to increasingly understand in many ways is determined very similarly to the way that a web page would be ranked.

One little bit of advice that I have about why businesses should be using Google+. If you want to be found in Search, you are creating more possibilities of claiming real estate on the Google front page. If you are posting good content on your website and your website is getting good authority, if you have authors that are posting content and putting it on their Google+ personal profiles and publishing it in public and your brand page is publishing; those are all things that could potentially show up.

When I am in conferences, I show one really bizarre search result when we released a new tool at Virante called Removem for removing bad back-links that would get you penalized. And the third day the tool was out for our keyword which was back-link removal tool, we had eight of the top ten results on the first page of Google for that key word. Four of those were Google+ posts, from our brand page, from myself, from a friend of mine who re-shared my post and who has a high authority profile. That’s a bizarre occasion.

My goodness, to claim eight of the ten spots on the front page of Google for an important key word, that’s pretty awesome.

Martin: I’ve got 2 more questions. So that the next one is still in relation to the brand page. If you have a lot of people who are relevant in authority to the content of a brand page and they are sharing that content, is it possible for them to show up as the author that they have shared in Google Search, and that that one page essentially gets a little bit of a ride, a bit of an easy way into searching that particular method?

Mark: Well now you’re delving into the dark arts where we don’t know, but we can speculate, because we have to ask what is Google intending to do with that Rel=Publisher connection. There’s probably more that they intend to do with that than we are seeing, they may already be doing it for all we know.

A friend of mine, Mike Arnesen, has written on SEOMoz, a great article about this, written on his own blog site, an article about something that he called Brand Rank that’s not a Google term. It’s something he came up with, but the idea that Google may be using that Rel=Publisher connection, or may use it at some point in the future to aggregate all these authority signals pointing to your brand in one place. And that could have an effect.
So it’s purely speculative. But I think it’s possible that at some point if you have a lot of authoritative authors publishing to your site that could build your overall search authority of your brand and your brand page within Google. I want to emphasize again, that’s speculative, but I certainly think it’s something that Google will be looking at.

Martin: Okay Mark, that has been absolutely phenomenal. I am going to say, I was thinking we’d chat for about half an hour, and I wanted keep on going, I just couldn’t stop. Hopefully those who are watching have learnt so much as well, but that was the most incredible tour of all of this area so that the last question is, how can people get hold of you Mark? If they would like to know more, or want some advice.

Mark: Well, thank you. One of the best things, we were joking before the hang began about my name. And Martin was wanting very politely to make sure that he could pronounce it correctly. One of the wonderful things about my name is it’s incredibly SEO-friendly.
There aren’t that many Traphagens in the world. And there is only one other Mark Traphagen who even kind of shows up in Search, and thankfully he is not very active on social web or SEO, so I’ve out-ranked him.

The easiest way is search for Mark Traphagen, you’ll see my name in the lower third there on Google and I can confidently say you’ll run into me. Follow me on Google+. I love to interact with folks. I’m sure that we’ll have the link that you have up for today will have information about how to contact me, but the best way is to follow me on Google+. Also my name on Twitter, @marktraphagen.

I love interacting with people about this. And one more quick plug. I am creator of the Google Authorship and Author Rank Community on Google+. Search for that name, you’ll find us. You can even find us on Google Search that way. We rank very high for that name. Google Authorship and Author Rank Community. It’s the largest community on that topic in Google+. We have close to 5,000 members there.

Mark’s community on this subject:

Google Authorship & Author Rank Community 

And the coolest thing is that all the main experts on it are there. Rand Wilson who is on our lower third panel there today, is a part of that community, we have very knowledgeable people there who will help you with all of your questions about authorship, help you figure out if it’s working for your site, all those things.

Martin: Wonderful, Mark. Thank you for your time and thanks to everybody else for joining us in the room as well. That was incredible. I hope you’ve learned a lot and click the link which we have got up there and you are going to get all the resources and see you soon on Google+. Take care.
[end of transcript]

Extra article resources:

From +Mark Traphagen:
Our Guides to Using Google+ (Includes Authorship guides)
Google+ SEO: Everybody Talks About It – How Do You DO IT
Author Rank: Facts and Fiction (Video interview with Mark Traphagen)

The SEO Power of Link Posts on Google+ (and how to create them easily!) – By +Timothy Coxon

Build Your Authority, Not Your Author Rank – By +AJ Kohn

How to Prepare For AuthorRank and Get the Jump on Google – By +Mike Arnesen

My view on benefiting from AuthorRank – By +Lyndon NA

Google+ PageRank Series from +Joshua Berg:

  1. PR in G+ – PageRank is Still The Guts of Google Search
  2. Why PageRank in G+ Matters To You & Your Connections
  3. How PageRank in Google+ is Earned. G+ Link Myths Busted!
  4. Is Google+ Page Rank the culprit behind the current suspicions of active Author Rank?
  5. PageRank, Link Juice, & SEO for Google+ Communities

A huge thanks to Timothy Coxon for pulling together the links whilst watching the video!