Bill Sebald wrote some very thoughtful ideas that and didn’t go too far in speculating what Author Rank might look like. Author Rank is my number interest currently, but until something more tangible is rolled out by Google or Bing, I’m taking a more laid back approach. No doubt, when the new ranking system is rolled out those that excel at writing for social media have a lot to gain.
I’ve seen people in the social or SEO field that don’t understand how search effects social make slews of inaccurate statements about author rank or the current correlation of social and SEO. Sometimes they transparently know this is a “sexy” subject and can get a lot of attention by blowing it’s effects out of proportion given that we’re all still waiting.
I’d add what I’ve said a lot but don’t hear much of: how many pages on the web would visitors or website owners want identified with an author? A completely wild guess is 1 in 30. Most web pages are made by someone that’s paid to write and develop the content. Blogs, for example, are only a small piece of the Web pie.
In the offline world, think of all that is “produced” where part of the job is not in getting credit. The recognition comes from peers, not the entire general public that happens upon a product or service widget. It also comes from pay.
When the signal is relevant it could be huge. But Page Rank was relevant for all Web pages, and no one should say that the signal from a credited author will be as monumental in search ranking as page rank.