As consumers increasingly turn to the internet for information about potential products, the ability of a company and its products to turn up at the top of search engine results is increasingly crucial for success and growth – leading to an explosion of consultants that will help companies with their “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) to ensure that their products and services come up first. A similar process occurs when consumers search for information about services and people to work with, although the process is more complicated due to the fact that many experts may appear prominently on lots of sites, not all of which are necessarily tied to their business.
To better understand not just where influential content is, but the influential people who create it, Google has begun to develop a new system for its search engines to track authors and determine who’s influential, called “AuthorRank”, which is intended to supplement the “PageRank” algorithms it uses to identify and rank influential websites and content. The upshot of this change is that for the first time ever, financial planners and other service professionals will be able to start establishing their own online “webutation” as they tie content they have produced to their personal profile and business, regardless of where it is published. The caveat, though, is that Google accomplishes “Google Authorship” tracking by having authors tie their content and websites to a specific Google+ profile – which means any financial planners that produce a blog or other content who hadn’t already established a Google+ profile need to go create one, now!