Back in 2011 I wrote an open letter of apology to my blog. I grovelled for taking time away from it, and promised to do better. But life has a tendency to get in the way and somewhere along the way, this blog just got left behind… It’s not that I wanted to stop writing. Far from it – it’s always something I’ve done for my own enjoyment. But I started writing more regularly for BOTTLE Uncorked, engaging wider in social media communities and simply having my debates on Twitter and I ended up with no reason to continue my communications blog. I lost focus, direction and my enthusiasm slowly petered out.
Then Google started tweaking it’s algorithm. SEO companies scrabbled around to catch up with the changes brought about by Panda and Penguin. But then, at the end of last year things got really interesting…
Back in August 2005 Google filed a patent for “Agent Rank” which was an indication at Google was dipping their toe in the “human” role of SEO. Agent Rank was, unsurprisingly, all about ranking “agents” and using how their content was received online – and then using those interactions to determine how their content ranked. But it wasn’t until the end of last year that Google’s reinvigorated “Author Rank” finally came into play.
In a nut-shell Author Rank doesn’t just take into account the content on a site, but who wrote that content. It’s Google finally acknowledging the role influencers have to play online. Okay, so this may be a way of making everyone use their Google+ profiles, but I genuinely see the value in recognising the “human factor.” From a public relations point on view, when you’re trying to reach a particular target audience it is common-sense that different people, publications and websites will have more influence on your target group. And now this all comes into play with SEO too. It’s not just what you write on a blog, but who writes it that will make a difference to how your site rank with Google. And so what if Google makes you jump through hoops to get there.
So with the view to full disclosure, that is partly why I’ve returned to this blog. It’s my attempt at waving my digital arms around in front of Google’s Crawlers. But it also with a sense of nostalgia that I return.
For the first time in a good year I’ve lavished some attention on my blog. I’ve given it a good spring clean, a new look, recognised a new focus and have even given it a new name: Raw Discourse . I mean this blog to be a place for conversation, debate and open sharing of ideas about all things communication – from social media, to marketing, PR, offline conversation and language.
As always, please do get in touch if you are interested in contributing to the conversation.