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SEO – Why Author Authority Matters

For most of the history of the internet, what was written has mattered much more than who wrote it. The World Wide Web is home to page after page of anonymous content. Unfortunately this has had the effect of creating page after page of bad content. Safely nameless, authors have published badly-written verbiage, facts without fact-checking, and some “non-fiction” spun whole cloth out of moonshine and thin air.

That literary carelessness just isn’t going to cut it anymore. Google wants to attach an author to every piece of web-published content. Just as some websites have been granted more authority, and thus higher rankings in the past, now individual articles, blog posts, and other content will feel the same effect, with more authoritative authors commanding higher rankings than lesser authors and anonymous ones.

One major reason for this emphasis on knowing who wrote any given piece of content is that it will drastically reduce the amount of cheesy, spam-ish or “spun” content. If your name will be forever linked to a particular article, you immediately have a vested, meaningful interest in making sure it’s accurate, useful and well-done. Authorship will follow you from office to office and year to year. It becomes something of an on-line curriculum vitae. Again, this gives you a reason to care about producing quality content. It suggests that more CEOs and CFOs and other members of upper management may well start writing more content themselves, to better represent their company, brand and name (or they’ll ghost it out to a better writer, if writing is not their strong suit).

So, how does an author gain authority? It’s not as hard as you might fear. A fair bit of the ranking comes from your use of social networks. Take Twitter, for example. If you follow 200 people, but 900 follow you, that suggests that what you say carries some weight, that you have authority. The number of people who re-Tweet your posts factors in too. Likewise, the number of times your Facebook posts are “shared” suggests how much authority your words carry. Another consideration is the authority or relevance of your followers. The higher your followers’ authority, the higher yours goes.

Others can also associate articles with you on Facebook, but at least you have the option of making the decision of whether the article remains associated with you or not.  There are also levels of emphasis, given that it takes only a fraction of a second to “like” something, and slightly longer, with more effort, to “share” it. Right now, Bing does not analyze Facebook updates, because of privacy concerns. One reason Twitter weighs so heavily in the consideration is that it has qualities that make it harder to emulate fraudulently, so results are more reliable.

Social media didn’t originally factor so heavily into page rankings on Google, but users now want the kind of right-to-the-minute current news and updates that social media offers. Many people now hear their first tidbit of breaking news on Twitter or Tumblr even before TV or the major news channel websites. They want information that is not only timely, but correct and useful as well. Anonymous content of dubious accuracy will not keep visitors coming back to your website.

While the subject is authority, the ultimate authority in web design and SEO is We have the experience and skills to take your website to the very top of your industry and keep it there, no matter what today’s changing trends may bring. Contact us today at 504-777-3296 for a free quote and consultation for your website.

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