In 2013, one of the most talked about factors to search optimisation from Google is AuthorRank. At the time of writing this, no one even knows if it will have an impact at all let alone have any influence on search results.
Either way, since mid 2012, we've seen steps and changes by Google to make authorship of content become much more prevalent.
In May 2012, we see the patent of Google's Author Rank raising alarm bells to what they're up to.
Later that year we see post after post all about Author Rank. Here is one in particular about preparing for the coming of Author Rank.
So with such a fuss over Author Rank, what do you need to do to take advantage of it and make sure you're not left behind?
Here are 3 quick and easy steps to make sure your Google+ profile is set and ready to take advantage of anything that Google throws out.
First off, lets take a look at my Google Authorship ranking as of 17th May 2013 according to http://www.sim64.co.uk/checker/result.php?id-number=117503155223806317120 (currently 85).
Take Advantage of Authorship!
This is by far the easiest step and is the first thing that I would do for any piece of content.
This allows for Google to know that you're the author of a piece of content and apply your Google+ profile to your piece of content where ever it is written on the Internet.
Make sure that all the content that your write on the web is linked to your Google+ profile with the rel="author" tag and that your Google+ profile is verified and links back to the places where you contribute content.
<a rel="author" href="https://plus.google.com/117503155223806317120?rel=author">Google+</a>
It is a really quick and easy addition to any article that you're writing.
You will also need to make sure that your Google+ profile links back to that website that you're referencing your profile from.
Here for my own profile you can see where I have listed that I am a contributor to. Everything from my own business blog, the Joomla Beat website, Joomla Content Magazine and so forth.
Making sure that the places that you contribute content to is important to build that verified authority.
Lastly, you should verify all email addresses that you have access to on all the domains that you write and contribute to. I personally don't have a Joomla.org email address but I can verify all the other domains that I contribute to by adding those email addresses to my Google+ profile.
You can apply for Google Authorship at: https://plus.google.com/authorship
Google has also provided a guide on linking up your Google+ profile and testing the linking.
Lastly, once you have linked up your profile with your content, test with Google's structured data testing tool to see if the rich snippets are all working.
Use Google+ Constantly
Yes I know this is painful for some people but with so many user interface changes to Google+ and for the better. It has become much more of a mature social platform and will in time leave Facebook behind in the way people engage with each other creating that real social web in all aspects of our online experiences.
Facebook at the moment is trying very hard to integrate in a improved search system called Open Search into the social network but at this rate Google+ would have created a much better and more organic social experience compared to that of Facebook.
My person + to Google+ is that I can add and follow as many people as I like and not get banned for weeks on end as Facebook tends to do to me. The privacy settings on Google+ are much much better and integrating search into its usage is just gold! The major downside is that none of my friends use it. It is only useful for work, tech, Joomla and Game of Thrones.
But in building up your Author Rank you will also need to build up your Google+ rating. Your Google+ page will essentially have a Google Page Rank associated with it combining the power of social web with search web, rich media and much more.
So use Google+ and start to grow in your niches.
We spoke about this during my presentation on Author Rank and whether or not specialisation on a topic of niche was necessary. Personally I believe that specialisation is needed and that posting about various topics will diminish your power of authorship for other topics. For example, my own profile will have much influence on the topics of Joomla and anything that I write and contribute to about Joomla would have a higher ranking. On the other hand, my once in a blue moon post about unicorns will have little or no influence.
Content linking back to my profile will be low to none.
So just like site link building, it depends on relevancy as well. Something else to think about when creating your profile.
Google have made it very easy to switch between Pages and profiles that you might administer on both desktop and mobile environments and I believe it is just for this reason, to specialise in certain topics for different profiles.
Whether you like Google+ or not, this is one Google product that is here to stay and isn't going anywhere and with the introduction of Author Rank there is no escaping it. Get on to Google+, if you haven't done so already, make use of Authorship and create those connections both by websites and content that your write and via Google+