authorrankWe all know Facebook. It is the most popular of the social networking sites with 1.01 billion users as of September 2012. Facebook’s IPO was disappointing, but has recently begun to gain momentum because of new product features and increasing revenue.

Google+ is still new to many of us. As of September 2012 there were 100 million active users and 400 million accounts. Facebook clearly has the number advantage but after some time on the platform, one can see that they both offer similar features. Status updates, picture sharing, messaging, and events are all commonplace.

It will be hard for all of Facebook’s billion plus users to forget about their profile. However, there is an incentive to jump on the Google+ bandwagon as soon as possible; especially for businesses.

What Is Google AuthorRank?

This incentive comes in the form of Google AuthorRank; a new metric all SEO professionals should begin to understand. Anytime you see an image in a search result, that is AuthorRank.

These images are considered a 'rich snippet' and are valuable because the data clearly shows high CTRs of as much as 30% . Below you will see an example of the Google Author rich snippet. It includes a picture as well as an opportunity to read additional content by that respective author. 

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Great, original, content on the web will be rewarded by Google. The metric Google is using to judge quality content is AuthorRank. The score is primarily calculated based on the content creator’s Google+ profile. How many people does this person have in his or her circle? Do people engage with his or her’s content? And how many circles are those folks in?

The End of Facebook?

There is no incentive to go on Facebook other than the coolness factor. An argument may be made that some businesses remain on Facebook because that is where the customers are. While that is a valid argument, ask yourself this: do you value social media engagement over SEO?

Spending time on Google+ will eventually become a place for customer acquisition but the main incentive is the tremendous SEO potential.  The first step to obtaining a high AuthorRank is to write great, original content. However, there is another component. AuthorRank is also a function of how much you engage with others, what sort of people engage with your content, and even the frequency that you produce content.

As soon as Google’s update becomes active, I’m sure there will be a spike in new Google+ sign ups. Why wast time on Facebook when you can be rewarded on Google+?

By the way, make sure to ad me to your circles!

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