Don’t Get Buried in Google Search Results: Do You Have Your Snippet?
When I’m writing a book or an article for myself or for a ghosting client or an editing client and I need information or want to verify facts, I look for real information from real people who know how to write.
I don’t care about corporate speak or marketing babble or promotions for products and services, unless I’m shopping. If I need information, high-quality content, that’s what I want.
You feel the same way, right?
So help readers figure out that you’re a human, and you’ll get 30% or 40% more fans, followers, readers, and likes—if your content is well-written, well-researched, and full of usable information. This brings us to AUTHOR RANK vs PAGE RANK as indicators of quality.
Author Rank and Rich Snippets: Who Cares?
AUTHOR RANK, in a Google context anyway, is not a new idea. In 2011, Google started to emphasize content quality over page popularity. Page rank, or popularity, can be manipulated—bought and sold. It indicates nothing. Google thought of vetting authors by linking their content with their names and faces. Author ranking. From what I have read, Google is still mulling over the concept, but authors, writers, and content developers noticed they get more traffic by tying their writing to their picture and profile (Google profile) in search engine returns.
Google says, if they understand content you write, they’ll generate “rich snippets”—details that help readers decide if you’re likely to give them what they’re looking for. Google is rolling out more ways to use rich snippets. Lately, when you look at search returns for queries about restaurants, businesses, music, movies, and even videos, you see pictures, statistics, and ratings under the returned page’s link. If you do some homework, you can encourage Google to create a rich snippet for you as the author of a given page. Here’s an example of mine.
Get Your Author Rich Snippet Even If You Aren’t a Geek
As a writer, author, ghostwriter, or story-teller you need rich snippets to give you a legitimate edge. To show you how to work with these, rather than reinvent the snippet, I’ll direct you to a tutorial by Mike Arnesen. His tutorial is straight-forward, and I believe you’ll be able to follow what you need to do. For an even simpler solution, read what the makers of a WordPress SEO plugin say. I use this plugin, and I didn’t have to do much to get my Google author rank working, since the plugin puts the needed metadata in the html head of every page I write, and it does the same for every author who guests at OnText.
Two Final Notes
- A word to the wise. Google pundits make it clear that it’s not too tough to dump your author rank, if and when there is such a thing. Just let the quality of your writing resemble $5 a dozen SEO posts, or steal other people’s work, and see what happens.
- It is important that you test your results once you’ve set up your rich snippets. Head over to Google’s snippets testing tool and enter the url of a page of your best writing. If you see a snippet sample like mine above, sit back and wait for Google to catch up with themselves and connect the snippet to you. If you don’t see the sample, re-read the tutorial and try again. IT IS WORTH IT. Email me if you’re totally lost, and I’ll see if I can help.
There’s a lot of information online about how to get your author snippet mojo on. Much of the info is complicated and confusing. The plug-in is the quickest, simplest way, but make your choice and do a few searches to get comfortable with the process. I have no doubt you’ll soon be able to pay someone hundreds of dollars to do this for you, if you like being taken advantage of. For me, taking a little time to understand a new process is worth the effort. The snippets should be helpful in drawing attention to your writing or your clients’ writings, and that puts your books out in front of a bigger audience.
How to Spend Your Time While Google Mulls Over Author Rank
You can’t access anything like page author-rank yet, but you can certainly begin to prepare for the near future when content quality is again worth something and when we, as writers, again have the ability to legitimately encourage readers to seek out our good work. Spend your time working on the snippet thing. Develop your online trust factor, and expand your social network with followers who are truly interested in what you produce, not in getting some silly perk for clicking the Like button. Create pages, books, and ebooks that put your best foot forward and prove your work is worth reading.