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Is your company ready for the changes Google Authorship and Google+ will bring to content marketing?
Chances are you ignored Google+ when it came out. Most people did. Now it's beginning to make a lot more sense.
Beginning in 2013, the ranking of your website will depend less and less on links and almost completely on the Author Rank of your content writers.
Listen is as this NJ ad agency spends a half hour talking you through how to take advantage of Goolge authorship and Google+ to get the jump on your competitors.
Learn more about ion leap at http://ionleap.com
Welcome back to ionLeap Radio. My name is Steve St Clair, the director of ionLeap, we are content marketing agency and today we are talking about a massive change that is going to start to affect content marketing and how websites get ranked on Google search results. Today, we are talking about Google Authorship which is Google's new way of getting passed and done with link spamming finally. In the next couple of years, a major change is going to take place which is going to affect how website, your website is ranked by Google. And the main reason this is happening is that for decades now, it seems Google has been ranking links versus content or links much higher than content because it did not have a way to rank content in all honesty other than using key phrases, key phrase density, but it did not value that as much as it did other people pointing links at your website as though all those people who are pointing links at them were doing it naturally and of course they were not and unintended consequence of Google's valuing links so highly was that they created an entire industry of link spamming and if -- we have written about this before on our blog at ionleap.com. We did a comparison. We went out and pick the most random thing we could think of which was the cat food industry. We looked at cat food companies and how many links are pointing at their websites and one I think it was Iams had -- I do not know I forget 5000 to 6000 links pointing at their website and another one, Fancy Feast had I think was 3 or 400 pointing at their website. I don't know about you, but I have never -- I am in a lot of websites and I have never once pointed a link at a cat food company's website. I can't imagine anyone else did either not naturally anyway, possibly the Fancy Feast because that sounds about right to have 3 or 400 links pointing at a company's website like that.
A lot of those links probably came from grocery store websites and other things like that or possibly veterinarians, who knows, but those would be natural links but Iams still have 5 to 6000 links pointing at their website, no way, and this was the unintended consequence when Google started to value the links. All the link spammers out there started just stuffing links and pointing links in all these different websites with their clients. So what is interesting is that now Google is fixing it and the way they are fixing it is with Google Authorship using Google+. Now, the authors of your website and their credibility would be the key to your organic ranking. This is not going to all take place once -- we are going to see probably a slow change in the balance between links versus authorship or what other people are calling author ranking. The author rank is going to start to slowly replace links. I do not think that Google is going to suddenly kill an entire industry over night, it makes no sense. What they will do though is start to change the balance and that change is going to start in 2013 and it is all going to be tied to each authors, Google+ identity. These things are tied together. Your Google+ identity or the Google+ identity of your website's writers is the key here because that is where they are going to hold their authority and it is going to be tied to how many +1s they get on their Google, from their Google followers, the Google+ followers and the +1s typically reside on a blog so down at the bottom you can +1 the blog if you liked it. Google will then go in and look at your writer's author rank to determine whether what they are publishing on your website is worth ranking on their search engine results pages and what would determine that?
What would determine, it is real life human beings and how many people have +1 that authors' postings and as you might expect that is going to be open to spamming as well. So I imagine armies of search engine optimization companies out there who are already lining up their minions to get Google hundreds and hundreds of fake Google+ accounts lined up and started so they can go Google+, give a +1 to their writing, which is not really good writing at all most likely, but that is -- there will be other unintended consequences of this move. Overall, we are pretty excited about this change here at ionLeap because at least in the short term, it looks like this is going to be a very big plus for above the board, high-mounted content writing and content marketing and as being a content marketing agency, that is what we care about. Unfortunately, for Google, they started this program about the time all of us have gotten good and tired, sick and tired of signing up for new social medial platforms so I think my experience of Google+ is probably like a lot of people's. We kind of -- we might have set it up, but we then -- pretty much ignored their Google+ accounts and we did not really see a way at all it tightened all the other social media and I think this explains why so few people are +1ing the content that they see on the internet. Over at ionleap.com, you will see a study that we did before we went to about, but we really cannot show you all of them, but we went out to about 50 different websites who published a lot of content. These are well-known websites like Mashable, New York Times, Inc.com, Forbes, all these different websites. At the bottom of most blog posts, on their websites were articles. There are all the different social media things where you can +1 or you can give it a thumbs up on Facebook or you can re-tweet it or whatever you or you know, tweet it whatever you want to do to your Twitter followers.
If you do that now, if you go there after you listen to the show and take a look at all these different sites, go actually study that and see whether or not people are actually using Google+. Are they actually sharing this content through their circles of friends in Google+ and the answer is right now as of late December 2012, they are not and we think the reason for that is that so few people are actually still using -- using at all Google+ and haven't meant to really embrace it. I do not think very many people have and that explains why so few people are +1ing the content that they see on the internet. That is it. We do not think that is going to last long because those who are figuring this out early are going to be a step ahead and I think we are already seeing a massive number of followers on our own Google+ accounts at ionLeap because it has been in the news a lot lately, it is being shattered about constantly on other social media like Twitter. Mashable has written about it repeatedly and -- we are writing about -- a lot of people are writing about Google+ and Google Authorship and we are actually going out and training our clients on it now because we think that is going to make a huge difference by about two years from now possibly sooner and one key is to get it and figured out early. So what we are recommending to our clients, what we are telling our clients to do is to go in and go ahead, set up your Google Authorship, your Google+ accounts with four-year key writers. We are actually recommending that everyone in the company get a Google+ account. Your key writers will then go and do what they have been doing all along which is write great content for your blog and we will come in on top of them and write great content for your blog as well, that is what ionLeap does as well then we will encourage everyone in your company to go +1 that content. Now, what is interesting is if I suspect if all Google sees is a bunch of the same company employees +1 in content, remember, Google knows your email accounts, it checks your email accounts for these +1 accounts.
So if you are signed up to Google+ all through your company URL, that is not going to have as much as value as it would from different URLs +1ing the content that your writers are putting up. So I like that, I think that makes a lot of sense because I think it will help to prevent more of the same kind of spamming that has been going on with links, but you can bet there will be some +1 spam happening out there and I promise you they are already planning how to do it and mapping out how they are going to try to scam this system which is what these guys do for a living. Hopefully, Google will be on top of that as well. I think Google+ and Google Authorship gives Google much more control over this type of spam behavior and I think they can shut it down and also by the way -- think about who +1s you -- someone much like the old linking system that was one of the good things about links, high-value websites Google measured them so if they pointed a link at your website, it was of a much greater value then some scummy SEO company, crappy website out there that was set up as nothing but a shell to point a link at a website. So now, those with higher +1s and higher Google Author Rank when they +1 you that is a major +1 that is going to have a big value for your ranking of the content that you are posting. The downside of all this, one down side that we have been seeing is that in the set up of this, Google went out to a lot of well-known publications and they set them up on Google+ and set them up, taught them about Google Author Rank and they started to train them how they could get ranked quickly and they used them as a beta, as beta testers for this new software and this new technology.
The problem with that to us is that I think it could very much hurt very good content writing companies out there and there are a lot of those well, there are many. In the United States definitely, a very good content writing companies, content marketing companies like ionLeap who do this the right way, but do not have anywhere near the author credibility that a magazine writer would. I will give you an example of what might happen here. One of the phrases that we like a lot and that we have worked very hard to get ranked on and we were going to pick one for is blog writer, well now, if someone with massive Google Author Rank who might be a writer who writes nothing about Google -- sorry nothing about blog writing or blog writers or anything of the kind, but if they suddenly come out and publish something on a website like I do not know, Mashable or something about blog writers and they use that phrase, all of a sudden, they are going to shoot up to page 1 of the top five because they have a massive Google Author Rank. Does that make them, they go to authority on that phrase, definitely not, but because they will have that Google Author Rank and the others who like them will have Google Author Rank like a lot of the other companies out there who publish stuff, all of a sudden, they are going to jump right around the content marketing companies who have labored to get their client's websites ranked on these different phrases. There is a potential pitfall and another potential unintended consequence. Now, the publishing industry is loving this, they are absolutely loving Google Author Rank because all of a sudden, it gets them around their problem of not being able to sell the printed version and all of a sudden their content is going to get ranked on many more phrases that it would not have otherwise. So whatever they rank or whatever they write about then they are all going to rank on and that could happen on just about any subject that they are writing about. It is actually petrifying to me that we could be looking at this where any magazine that writes anything online all of a sudden gets ranked for it.
Because their authors would be ranked more highly simply because they are writing for a publication and Google was training them to get around as hardworking content marketing companies, but we will see how this all goes then. You can bet there will be many unintended consequences of this Google Author Rank. In the short term, we like it. I only liked it a lot because it gives us the advantage. We are going out training our clients on it, we are going ahead and setting them up as good writers and a lot of our clients already have people inside who ranked very highly in their respective industries and the people would follow. There is a great deal of training that is going to have to go on though in the world at large and that is that "Hey, you should +1 this." I can tell you just from the website that we managed several of which get you know hundreds and thousands of hits a day on various things that we put up. They still are not getting social media sharing happening and that is an issue, that is a big issue. I do not think the world at large is that hyped on social media sharing and, you know, I hope that once again we are not entering into the exclusive purview here of SEO guys like myself who understand this being the ones who are using social media sharing in order simply to increase ranking but that again, I think will be at least in the short term another unintended consequence of Google Author Rank and the use of Google+. So we will see how all these nets out and ionLeap were extremely excited about it no matter what because at the end of the day, I think content is going to win and if we can keep content on top then all the other scamming systems go away. We have written a great deal about Google Author Rank on our website lately about how much more complex all this is going to get and how much more rewarding. I hope you check that out at ionLeap.com.
We just put up a blog post recently called Google Author Rank published in a Google way or perish. As usual that is my typical overstatement of how this is all going to work but it is partly true because the time of the link systems and measuring links is so outdated, it is so abused that finally this could change things for the good. So then why it is simple, why, when and how this is going to go down? Why it is simple. Google will allow this scam to go on for far too long and Yahoo! and Bing are allowing it as well. Bing is extremely different in their search engine results pages and then what they actually show us a result collection for search but I am sure they are measuring links as well and probably over measuring them. When this is going to go down? Matt Cutts who is one of the big guys at Google has already signaled that it is going to start in 2013. Beyond that, Google is being their typically secretive selves. At ionLeap, we think that change is not going to be immediate. They are going to slowly wean the SEO companies off and they will focus on links. By 2015, they were predicting that by middle like 2015 at the latest, you are going to see a massive shift and possibly even by 2014. Again, we do not think that is going to all happen at once though. So how this goes down, it is really simple. If you write for your company's blog or your webmaster then you have to have your identity first. The first thing was get your identify set up on Google+ and have your writers carry with them wherever they write on the subject that your company covers. For instance, if you have a real thought leader who are probably being a guest blog on other websites out there hopefully and getting their names spread around as a thought leader in the industry, if that is the case, they should be carrying their Google identify with them.
The by your name like my name, Steve St Clair. So you know when I put something up on no matter where I put it, I put my title by Steve St Clair. That my byline goes on everything I write now. There is a step where Google actually connects your Google+ account to your website and it uses your email address. Your email has to be the same as the blog. So all those companies that are using blogs out there that are not connected to their website, you are wasting your time before but now, holy cow, you are really wasting your time writing on that blog. I recommend you just simply abandon it because all that stuff you are putting up as you put by, you know, John Brown one of those blogs now and try to connect to your Google+ to it, Google will not connect to it because it will be at blogger.com or wordpress.com. It has to be at your companywebsite.com and your name has to already be on that site, the by Steve St Clair or by John Brown has already appeared on the content that you have written because they are going to crawl the site when you try to set this up, they are going to look for that phrase and if today you are going, if not, you are not getting it done correctly. You will not be able to connect and get the value of Google+. So number one, set up your Google+ account. Number two, go byline the articles you have been writing all these years on your website, unless of course your blog is on your website and then you have got some real hardwork to do. You should call us and leave about that. That is the easy part, that sounds hard, everything I have just described, it is not that hard. Once that connection is done and there is a link on our website for how to get over and make this two connect to one another. Once that is done then there is a lot of work ahead. You have got to continue to put up great content, you have got to go share it through Google+ and their communities which is their groups.
And most of all, you have got to put up brilliant useful wonderful impressive content on your website that people are happy to share using Google+ and the other standard social media. Google is not going to suddenly stop measuring Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. They are going to continue and measure those to look for signals to the value of the content that you are putting up. In fact, I would predict that they are going to measure those even more than they have until now. I think they will probably turn up the overall value of all social sharing of content. A big issue on this get going, it is going to be very hard to be the authorship rank of the people who write for the New York Times and cnn.com but you got to get going now and establish your own credibility. Another piece of advice we have for every writer out there, we do it too. It is probably because I am a little bit snarky and kind of have a dry sense of humor but I have carved out and I am continuing to try to carve out a niche for myself as being somewhat funny while I am informative and maybe being a little bit snarky and a little bit edgy on how I write, not too much but a little bit. I do not want to blend in to the mocks that is going to start to develop. Now, everybody and his dog is going to be writing and using Google+ to get written and to get ranked. So if you do not want to immediately start to carve out a niche for yourself, in your writing, in your style, the style of your writing and in particular on your take, you know, carve out a niche showing your take on the events in your industry or whatever or maybe not because one thing that is getting awfully tiresome out there is the number of -pondents that are commenting on everything under the sun and their view of it. You know, there has got be a left turn you can make in your industry that gives the world something really truly fresh. Before you do any of this frankly, I would sit down and start to figure out who you are in the world of content marketing.
So each of you, each of you who is going to be writing on your company's website, sit down and figure out who you are, what is your unique view of your industry or what you stand for or how can you be different in all those other people so that the people out there reading it are going to look at you and go "Ah, here is someone who is funny or here is someone who is insightful, really insightful or here is someone who is snarky or here is every time I read this person's content, I get a good laugh out of it or I get very emotional because they are coming off the subsequent matter in a very emotional way." There is any number of different niches you can carve out for yourself. The main thing is get into it now but do not get into it in the expected way. So many people are doing that and say "I do not have to tell you, it is already tiresome". There is so many blogs about every little thing that happens on Mashable and they started Mashable and then they go right there, their take on it on this news item that they have seen for their own audience. There has to be a unique way you can put up your content and figure out what you stand for, what your tone of voice is and what your opinion is. Steps for getting started, set up your Google+ account, just Google the phrase Google+ with the plus sign not the p-l-u-s, link that account to your content writing on our website ionLeap.com. You will see there is a place where we talk about this and there is four easy steps that Google has put up, you just follow this four easy steps to link your Google+ account to your content writing on your main website, that has to match your current email address, that is where it gets tricky and that is where people are going to get this messed up. Finally, WordPress makes this really easy. There is a certain kind of code that happens in WordPress where it generates, it takes that by your name like by John Smith, your byline.
And it puts REL=author then your name, slash a code and it makes that appear right in front of your name and that is what Google+ is looking for. That code that WordPress automatically generates with you as a designated contributor to your WordPress blog is a beautiful thing. Now, the truth of the matter is if you do not have that, if you do not have WordPress blog, you have some other kind of blog in your website, it will still work. Just write at the top of each blog post, put up the byline which says by John Smith, by James Smith whatever your name is but it cannot be anything other than that and the spelling of it must be exactly the same as your Google+ account. Now, the other thing I did on test site that we are running where we are trying to connect all of this is I asked them, I put up an actual -- I turned my byline into an actual link over to my Google+ page, that is a critical step too I think. They did not say to do that, I am doing it as an extra critical thing in this one case where I cannot put up the WordPress code. If you want to learn more about Google+, Google Authorship, Google Author Rank, just keep up with ionLeap.com and we will wrap up the show now. We are about out of time. Check back every now and then, you will learn more about content marketing, our content marketing agency, ionLeap.com, and how we can help you get the most out of the contents that you are putting up or we can get you started putting up content by connecting you with our blog writer teams. They are helping a lot of clients. We can share you real ROI with the clients that we are working on and we look forward to helping you. Thanks for tuning in to ionLeap Radio and please tune in again for the next show. You will never know what it is going to be on but you do know what is going to help you do better in online marketing and content marketing. Have a good day.
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It's good to talk.