Google is incorporating social signals into its algorithm every day. We’re constantly learning about new ways that social media affects search, and the signals are only getting stronger. There’s even some evidence that Google’s moving towards an entity-centric search, where established authors receive more weight in the SERPs. Not only that, but there’s also buzz about reputable commenters’ authority influencing rankings.
SEO is rapidly becoming a more people-centred practice. And, really, that means all the legitimate people win.
So what can we do to prepare for it?
#1. Start Writing
It doesn’t matter what vertical you’re in—and if you’re reading this, it’s probably SEO-related—just start writing. Build a track record. Get your name out there, and get it indexed.
Given how well raw link quantity (unfortunately) correlates with higher rankings, it wouldn’t be a great stretch of the imagination to say that the more you write, regardless of vertical, the more authority you can expect to carry.
However, just like link building, it’s wiser to keep your content focused and establish yourself as an authority in both the eyes of your audience and the search engines.
Takeaway: Write. Right now.
#2. Rel=Author All Over the Place
Everywhere you blog, make sure you connect it to your Google+ profile with ?rel=author. Build up your resume with high-quality posts and you’ll be rocking the results with nigh-unrivaled authority. In case you forgot, here’s the format you use for the rel=author tag:
And add a reciprocal link to the root domain where you blogged from via your G+ profile.
Ta-da! Instant portfolio.
Takeaway: Rel=Author like your life depends on it.
#3. Get on Google+
If there ever was an excuse to get on Google+ and build your circles, there isn’t one anymore. The raw power your +1s gain with new circles is incredible; every time you +1 a page, you can expect it to jump 20+ positions in the SERPs for those in your circles.
Make your circles as large as you possibly can; not only will higher follower (encircler?) counts likely grant you more authority, it’s also tied to a direct benefit in the above-mentioned automatic rank increases.
Takeaway: Get on Google+ and grow.
#4. Become an Authority
Perhaps the biggest reason to start writing NOW is that Google’s already starting to associate subjects with thought leaders/authorities.
These results aren’t present for every topic, but you can bet your sweet bippy that they’re all headed that direction. Once Google refines its author-rank algorithm, I wouldn’t be surprised to see these results cropping up more and more.
Takeaway: Find a niche and dominate it.
There you are: four things you can do right now to prepare for Google’s entity-centered search. And remember, the best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is now.
What else can you do to get ready for the humanized web? Share with us in the comments!