The next major shift in SEO is on the way, and now is the time to start preparing for it. Because of technological limitations, Google has been forced to evaluate every page on the Web on its individual merits for decades. The only associations it could make were provided by authors themselves in the form of links to and from other content. This system proved to be efficient and practical, but low-quality results still slip into the search rankings and harm user experiences.

The addition of author rankings is designed to help Google ascertain the credibility of writers online, even over multiple domains. Social media activity, participation on authority sites and a proven record of helpful information will all be essential to maintaining or gaining status in SEO. These are five ways to begin building your author rank so that, when the roll-out happens, you will already be one step ahead of the competition.


Use Google+


Authorship is claimed through Google+, Google’s social media platform. Although the process may be streamlined in the next few years, it seems likely that Google+ will remain the hub of author rankings, including measuring the popularity of authors on the site. Businesses and writers should share new content regularly and attempt to garner as many +1s, comments and shares as possible. Engaging content makes Google take notice, and it can’t hurt to support the search engine’s social experiment at the same time.


Stay Within Your Niche


Different writers have different spheres of influence based on their knowledge and experience. Someone who attempts to be an expert on all subjects, on the other hand, has little credibility. Following that principle, spreading a name too thin over several niches may damage its ranking in each. Assuming a pseudonym for each brand can help keep identities simple for Google’s algorithms.


Be Selective

Author rankings are determined not only by the engagement level of writing, but also by where it is published. Highly ranked websites that have a reputation for authority, for example, are much more valuable than a spam-filled article directory or deserted blog. Similarly, guest blog posts must be screened carefully to meet the standards of your own site. Once your name is attached to everything, the people you choose to associate with become more important than ever.


Publish Often


The fastest way to gain a social following is to share popular links and images often. Websites that host a blog should post at least once per week, preferably more, but the time in between blog posts can also be spent productively. Pass along work from other writers that may be beneficial to your readers, or offer insightful commentary on recent happenings in your industry. Promoting discussion and user involvement will be key in the future of SEO and should be encouraged both on domains and in social media.


Focus on Quality Writing


As always, Google wants nothing more than the most useful content to present to its users, and author ranks are the next step in a continuing line of adjustments meant to filter the best from the worst. Social media marketing, which SEO experts have warned businesses to invest in, will come into its own in this time period, though longer publications are still essential. It may take months, a year or more for these changes to be implemented, but anyone not preparing now could face a rankings shake on a greater scale than even the infamous Panda. Help readers, build relationships in your niche and expand your social presence, and the rest should all fall into place.