Since the rise of Google search, rankings have been determined in large part by the number of inbound links your website or blog accrues.

The logic behind the search algorithm (that is, what ranks one website ahead of another) sees other websites linking to yours as validation for your content and acts as a signal of relevance on which Google ultimately ranks your content.

Historically, more links have typically meant better ranking

For want of a better phrase, Google has become a victim of its own success.

Today, links are more easily traded than they once were, all with the express aim of ranking higher in Google search. It’s fair to say that the system can be and has been gamed and now links alone don’t have the weight they once did.

Google and other search engines have adapted their ranking formulas to detect low-quality inbound links and recent updates continue to press on this point as the battle against web spam is ongoing.

In the “links rule” world, something has always been missing, especially for content creators

Until recently, little focus has been paid to the value or legitimacy of the creator of content in the algorithm; after all it’s the blog post itself that generates the link rather than the author. With the recent arrival of Google AuthorRank focus will shift from what was written to who wrote it.

Put simply, Google wants to bring to the fore content created by verified writers with authority in certain topics in its results. As of now, Google is verifying individual writers through its social network, Google+.

What does Google AuthorRank mean for you and your business?

If a website has connected its writer accounts with their Google+ accounts, search results will show a writer’s headshot and byline next to the result for their article. Bylined stories rank higher and they get more real estate.

As you create content and build up authority in key areas of expertise that matter to you, your business, and customers you gain readership rather than just links. If your posts have a high social share rate then this becomes an important factor in how your library of content ranks (rather than just an individual post).

In many ways, this will level the playing field for content creators as it starts to provide transparency in the search results like never before.

You, the author, are now being ranked rather than simply a page on a website and readers will literally be able to put a name and a face to the content.

Take that spammers!

How can you take advantage of Google AuthorRank?

Encourage engagement with your content through comments and social sharing, both of which are becoming increasingly important signals to search engines.

What are your thoughts on Google AuthorRank?