Coming Soon from Google: High Quality Content is Now Even more Vital to Rankings

We’ve been saying that good content is the key to greater success for years now. Having well-written, professional web content will help you keep people on your website, and does more to convince them to buy, subscribe or convert than any other optimization strategy out there. High-quality SEO content is the top strategy for online marketing success, and thousands of marketers and small business owners have discovered just how valuable it can be.

Just last week, AJ Kohn of Blind Five Year Old explored what many other SEO and online marketing experts have suspected for some time: quality content and how your visitors engage with it really is being factored directly into your search results. In his post “Reading May Influence AuthorRank,” AJ has given everyone in the SEO industry a good look at the nuts and bolts of Google’s AuthorRank features.

This is all pretty technical stuff, but if you can wrap your head around the basics, you’ll see just how important this could be for your future search rankings.

How Quality Content and Author Rank Could Boost Your Search Traffic

The new feature that AJ explored in Google Search he’s calling “Authorship Bounce.” The feature is designed to help people keep exploring an author’s posts after they leave a website. On his post he says that the steps he took to reproduce the new results were complicated, but the idea behind the new feature is fairly simple and straightforward. Here’s how Authorship Bounce results would work in an ideal situation.

You (the visitor) search for a term or phrase you want to know more about. You find an article, click it, then spend a fair amount of time reading. You want to go back to Google to find something else, so you click the Back button on your browser. When the browser page reloads, Google has magically returned a new set of results from that same author, encouraging you to read more of what they’ve written.

Ideally, you would explore the author’s other posts as they were presented to you by Google. The time you spend on these pages sends a signal to Google that the content is valuable, high-quality material. Google awards the author with a higher AuthorRank, which factors into their overall PageRank, which in turn sends their content higher up to the top of search results.

Tests Show That This Feature Isn’t Perfect, But It’s Still Important

For one thing, AJ had a difficult time even making this result pop back up until he figured out what triggered it. This could be because of Google’s live search testing process, outlined in an official 2006 blog post: only a tiny percentage of all searches have live tests of new features appear in the subsequent results. Further investigation with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool revealed that the Authorship wasn’t correctly attributed most of the time, and that the new feature attempts to relate authors to content by following a simple “by (author name)” format rather than looking deeper (or smarter) at a page.

This isn’t a permanent feature yet, and not everyone will see this while it’s being tested, but AJ’s stumbled upon a major development that sheds light on how Google wants AuthorRank to ultimately behave in search algorithms. We already know that AuthorRank is going to be a major ranking factor in the future, even though major brands are still catching up and losing clicks to other writers in the meantime.

Instead of simply rewarding search placement based on keyword optimization, pretty page design and sheer volume of conversions and visitors, Google is making their search algorithms smarter. Google wants to make sure that they’re not pointing their users to bad content that isn’t valuable, and will use metrics like overall reading time to determine the intrinsic “value” of an article. In the near future, you’ll see articles rise to the top of search results based on how truthful, how valuable, and how useful they are to you, rather than how crafty their SEM and keyword optimizations are.

Google’s Looking For Good Behavior

Tying all of your articles and content together with your G+ Author profile will show Google that you’re serious about providing quality content to their search results. As you produce more content, you will build a reputation with Google through your G+ that will help you and your writings rocket to the top of your search results quickly and easily.

You can’t just have any content though: it has to be valuable and useful to readers in the first place. That’s why our writers and editors adhere to impeccably high work standards and only produce the best content for your website. Our content can boost your search results now, and it will only make your rankings go higher as Google relies more on quality signals to separate the best from the rest. Investing in our writing services now is an investment in the future of your Google rankings. Let us know how we can help you build a rock-solid foundation for excellent search results with our top-shelf content today.

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Andrew Glasscock is currently based in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated with a BA in English, specialized in Creative Writing, with a minor in Marketing this past May. Along with copywriting, he loves being an improv comedian, playing frisbee, and dogs.

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