Friday Finds – Google Author Rank, Digg’s RSS Reader, Hashtags & Pinterest

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This week’s post in the weekly “Friday Finds” series highlights: Google Author Rank, Digg’s RSS Reader, Hashtags, Pinterest and Matt Cutts’ answer to the question of whether the use of stock vs. original photography affects Google Page Rank. Do you know the difference between Author Rank and Authorship? Do you have a good substitution for Google Reader? Would you like a resource for finding #hashtags? Should you be more active on Pinterest? Here are some great resources and please feel free to share your thoughts, reactions and ideas in the comment section.

What is Google Author Rank?

Ana Hoffman (@AnaTrafficCafe) recently blogged that she’s already begun working on her 6-year old daughter’s Google Author Rank. In her article, Google Author Rank: Are You Too Late?, Ana does an excellent job of sharing some background info on what Author Rank is. She also explains the difference between Author Rank and Google Authorship. Plus, she highlights the importance of optimizing your Google+ profile to pass authority in the form of PageRank.

Personally, I this article is a must read for anyone who is interested in improving their SEO. A bonus is the Matt Cutts video discussing Google Authorship that’s embedded in her post. BTW – If you’re interested, here’s a how-to post on setting up your Google Authorship and rel=“Author” that I wrote a while back.

Digg’s RSS Reader

For those of you who still need an RSS reader to replace Google Reader (which is being retired July 1st of this year), Digg’s RSS Reader Will Be Available by June 26. Lauren Mobertz’s article sheds some insight into how Digg developed their new reader with input from over 18,000 users who beta tested it during the product development phase. The Digg RSS Reader is intended to be a freemium product – meaning that a basic version will be available for free with versions that include more advanced features being offered for a fee.

The Buzz about #HashTags

Last week, I shared links two articles with you about hashtags. This week, I found an excellent article by Carolyn Nicander Mohr (@WonderOfTech). Check out Tag! You’re It! All About #Hashtags  for some tips on using hashtags. Carolyn includes a list of services that help bloggers find popular hashtags to use. Don’t miss watching the video of Saul Fleischmann showing how the #RiteTag service works. (I’ve already requested my invitation to try out the beta version.)

Should You be Using Pinterest?

According to a new study by Piqora (formerly Pinfluencer), a pin on Pinterst can last thousands of times longer than the average tweet or Facebook share. Check out Why the half-life of a Pinterest pin is thousands of times longer than a tweet or Facebook post by John Koetiser (@johnkoetsier) for some interesting stats and some reasons why we may need to take a closer look at this social networking site. One of the examples that John includes in his article is Sephora who reports that their “Pinterest followers spend 15 times more than their Facebook fans”.

Do Original or Stock Photos Effect on Google Page Rankings?

One of the questions that Matt Cutts recently answered in a Google Webmaster Help video is “Does using stock photos on your pages have a negative effect on rankings?” His answer is that, to the best of his knowledge, it doesn’t really make a difference.

However, he does go on to say that the origin of a photo is “a great suggestion for a future signal that we can look at in terms of search quality”.

Over to You

What are your thoughts about Google Author Rank? Is your Google+ profile optimized? Are you spending more time on Google+ lately? (I am and I’m also rethinking my position on the Google+ Commenting system. You can expect to see it here soon.)

I know that several readers here are active on Pinterest. Were you surprised by the data that supports the half-life of a Pinterest Pin? What about hashtags, Digg’s new RSS Reader and stock photos? Please feel free to weigh in on any one (or all) of the topics. It’s always good to hear from each other and have a discussion.

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Published by Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

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  1. … you put together the launch of Google (an identity platform) with rel=author (a digital signature) and add in the acquisition of two companies (PostRank and SocialGrapple) who mine activity and engagement and it is clear that Google is anxious to use Author Rank to help it deal with the digital content avalanche.

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  3. David,
    Thanks for letting me know that my article helped you. It’s difficult to measure but I believe that establishing my authorship on Google can be directly related to an increase in SEO traffic (at the time).

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  6. It already effects ranking indirectly. For instance Google image search filters out duplicate pictures, so your stock photos don’t stand much of a chance ranking there. Also if you created some great unique pictures then surely this would make you site more compelling, encouraging more people to share and link to your content?

    1. Thanks for sharing that information Jon. I wasn’t aware that Google image search filtered out duplicates. I license most of the graphics that I use on my blog but occasionally I’ll use one from a site like MorgueFile.com. Every once in a while, I’ll see a ping from Google images but I’ve never paid any attention to which image was pinged. (Now, I’m curious.) I suspect that it’s probably more likely to come from a photo from MorgueFile than a graphic that’s been downloaded numerous times from a stock photography site.

      I mentioned in another reply that one of my blogging friends (Susan P. Cooper) creates stunning illustrations for her site. They definitely showcase her content.

  7. Thanks for this great roundup of tip! I recently added Google Authorship to my website. It took me too long to decide to do it. Am very happy I did!
    As for Google Author Rank, it’s seems like a natural next step for Google. This is the first I heard about it so I appreciate you sharing it! I plan to be ready when and if it happens 🙂

    Best
    Lisa

    1. Hi lisa,
      Thanks for letting me know that you found my Friday Finds helpful. The good news is that you’re still ahead of a lot of bloggers who haven’t set up their Google Authorship yet. That puts you well on your way towards building your Author Rank. Google is definitely a force to be reckoned with. So, I think that we’re best off embracing their products when we can. (I’m going to read your post and make sure that I have you in my circles.)

  8. Excellent and interesting information, Sherryl.

    Am glad to note that my Google Page rank is 3. However, it seems that we need to start doing more when it comes to spreading our Google + profile and maybe even only use Google + on our sites when it comes to social networks. Not sure I’m too happy about that.

    When it comes to Google + comments, we may just have to change to that in order rank high on Google. Will take your conclusion into account before I take a decision.

    Now that Google + is becoming a must, couldn’t Google make it more interesting? Not to mention how links are loaded. There are constant problems with that. Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter are far more interesting for the users. And there are no difficulties when it comes to loading links. That’s a Google+ problem.

    Obviously we all need to work on our Google Author Ranks. Someone wrote somewhere how much time and energy we devote to social media. Spot on and it is increasing:-)

    1. Catarina,
      I’m not sure when I’m going to add the Google+ commenting system but I’ve embraced the fact that I will. My intention is to add it and keep CommentLuv too. Before I install the G+ system, I’m going back through all of my CL links and aggressively removing do-follow tags and/or CL links of questionable comments. I’m also going to re-run the CL Link Checker script. I’m basically cleaning house and then I’ll move onto the next step.

      I agree with you on working to improve our Google Author Ranks. Ana Hoffman’s post was insightful for sure.

  9. I liked very much the hashtag post – i scheduled it for sharing on my FB page. However, i found even more peculiar the video about the stock images (didn’t see it before).

    While original images are always good (not only for SEO but for authority and user experience), i wanted to ask what do YOU think about this?

    As a blogger, i don’t really have the time or the means to always come up with my own photos, and i think i shouldn’t have to – that’s why there are so many image banks out there, free or paid. So why go through the hassle of producing your own image content if you can use a ready and available solution?

    Of course, using different images each time you post a new article is logical and recommended but is it really fair to “judge” the blog quality and to determine its rankings based on the source of the images used?

    It’s not a tricky question – i am interested to hear your thoughts on the topic 😀

    1. Diana,
      When I watched Matt Cutts’ video, I thought of people like Susan P. Cooper, who creates original illustrations for her blog posts. I think there would be value to true artists if there were a way for Google to count original work such as that as a social signal. (I’m thinking in a way similar to setting up the authorship tag on our blog posts.)

      There would be a lot to consider such as the weight given to the creation of an illustration or graphic as opposed to photography. I wouldn’t think that a photo that I shot with a smart phone should have the same weight as a professional photograph would or certainly not as much as graphic art. (You’d have to see my photography to appreciate that. 🙂 ) That’s just my opinion though. I do think that Cutts was thinking out loud when that video was recorded and it could happen.

  10. As a website owner I don’t think I will invest the time to use the comment system and the authority stuff. With that said as a blogger I think ti’s vital to take advantage of the new tools Google has to offer. I see Ms. Ileane has already swapped over and she’s not even using comment luv anymore.

    1. Brian,
      My first reaction was to not install the Google+ commenting system because I don’t like making people register for Google+ to comment on my site and I don’t appreciate the fact that Google owns our comments. Also, there’s no moderation cue with that system either.

      Having said that, I’ve reconsidered and I expect to add the G+ system along with CL and see what happens. I was reluctant to run two systems at one because it may be confusing but it is Google.

      1. I agree with your point about not owning the comments. I think that’s a pretty strange way for Google to behave regarding how this works. I guess it’s just like using Disqus it’s also the same, you don’t own your comments ever. Over the long term, I think it will help, I’m looking back at 2007, 2008, 2009 and my blog has a ton of garbage comment links to sites that don’t even exist anymore! Cleaning this up has been a nightmare for me.

        1. Brian,
          I read a few complaints about the CommentLuv Link Cleaner selecting links that weren’t 404 errors but when I ran it, all the links that I checked really were broken. Granted, I had so many broken links that I didn’t verify each one but I trusted it enough to let it delete those comments. As for spam garbage, I try to get aggressive on those every month or so. It is a pain and it’s time for me to clean them up again too.

          BTW – I did not know that about Disqus. (I’ve never looked into that system.) That’s good to know. Thanks!

  11. Hi Sherryl, Thanks so much for the shout out. I’m glad you enjoyed my Hashtag article and signed up for #RiteTag. Hashtags have a lot of power yet I was surprised at how many of the commenters to my article haven’t been using them.

    I have to check out that article on Pinterest half lives of pins. I have found that quite a few pins I pinned months ago are still being repinned. All it takes is one person pinning an older pin for it to take on a new life. Currently, an app I wrote about last summer is being pinned a lot suddenly. Very cool.

    I honestly didn’t know there was a difference between Google Author Rank and Google Authorship. I will be heading to the brilliant Ana Hoffman’s place to check that out.

    Love this Friday series, Sherryl! Have a super weekend.

    1. Your hashtag article is great Carolyn. As soon as I read it, I knew that I’d have to include it in my Friday Finds post. I like to use hashtags and I tend to just create whatever makes sense to me. I haven’t started using them on FB yet though.

      I hadn’t heard about Author Rank either (or if I did, I didn’t pay attention). Yesterday, I couldn’t get the page rank for my Google+ page. It kept giving me an error that the URL was too long. I have to try again because I’m really curious what it is. I just recently started paying more attention to G+ lately. So, this is definitely something to keep an eye on.

      Thanks for letting me know that you’re enjoying my Friday series! I’m enjoying writing it. You have a super weekend too!

      1. Many thanks for including Carolyn’s post, which shows what RiteTag’s “Tag Optimizer” does to help users find hashtags that “reach beyond your followers.”

  12. I didnt even know google author rank existed! Will have to look into that. As for Pinterest, I can vouch for that social medias effectiveness. It’s quickly become one of my top referrers to my fashion blog. So far I’ve had one photo go viral and that post has received a ton of traffic because of it.

    1. Heather,
      Ana Hoffman’s article is the first one that I can remember reading about Google Author Rank. I’m sure there will be more written about it and as time goes on, I’ll be sharing posts that I find informative on it. (This may pop up again in another #FridayFinds too.)

      That’s great that Pinterest works so well for you. I’m in a conversation now on FB with a woman who was asking me about Pinterest. I shared your FB page with her and quoted you (from your comment). Gigi doesn’t blog (yet) but I recommended that she should connect with you. I think she could get some great ideas from how you promote your business.

    1. You’re welcome Ana. I agree that Matt was just thinking out loud so to speak. Wouldn’t it be nice though if someone who created their own graphics and artwork could also get Google Authorship for them? (- or maybe they can and I’m just not aware of it.)