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The more I think about Google+ I think it's about establishing authorship and it's relationship to content than between content and audience
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Kelvin Newman's profile photoChristian Oliveira's profile photoAndrea Pernici's profile photoTadeusz Szewczyk (Tad Chef)'s profile photo
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By forcing Google+ into the rel author equation, they're ensuring it's the social network of content creators. That's great news for content discovery purposes and like +AJ Kohn suggested a author level version of Panda
 
Very much agree with you there Kelvin. I think many people if asked would say that they still use FB to talk with friends and family, LinkedIn to talk with business contacts and Google+ mainly to share content.
AJ Kohn
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I agree +Kelvin Newman. Google+ is an identity platform and with identity they can then use Authorship to map identity to content. Then it's simply up to Google to determine how to measure how the content from each author is engaged and received. All this in service of making more sense of that content and making search more relevant.
 
Which makes a tonne of sense as you can then make the distinction of great content on great site by greater producer vs poor content on great site by great producer etc, or any other combo
AJ Kohn
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Absolutely +Kelvin Newman though I suspect that great producer might be weighted quite heavily in the future.

The number of documents that Google must crawl, analyze and index is growing at an alarming pace. Doing document level analysis (even for someone like Google) is going to be more and more daunting.

Authorship could simply be a way to prioritize and add a sorting filter at the top of that funnel.
AJ Kohn
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Yes +Christian Oliveira, AuthorRank could augment PageRank. I don't think PageRank will go away, but AuthorRank could a substantial part of the future if Google can mine out the information and implement it with confidence.
 
I think what Google might be trying achieve with author rank wouldn't be a million miles away from page rank, it just deals with multiple authors per site and multiple sites per author that much better.

And if you want to go down the rabbit hole a bit further could you potentially have the situation where two links on the same site have a different value based on 'quality' of the author
 
+Kelvin Newman totally! By now we are on a very early stage (one URL = one author) but as the whole thing evolves and we are able to mark each piece of content properly that will have a lot of sense.

In a blog post for example, you would have the content of the post itself, the comments, the navigation bar, the sidebar, the footer, etc., so Google would be able to calculate the "importance" of that main piece of content based on:
- The author rank of author of that content
- The number of comments
- The author rank of the commenters
- The relationship between those commenters and the author of the post
- The relationship of the author with the topic
- The relationship of the commenters with the topic
- And so on... (along with all the other signals they take into account now).

And they would also be able to provide more specific info on SPYW. For example, if we perform a search and a blog post appears where one of our "friends" commented, we could see the result with a "your friend <x> and <y> other people commented on this post" with a preview of that comment. Even with ratings, if we search for a hotel or a product and things are marked up correctly, we could see a "your friend <x> rated this product with 4 stars".

IMHO, things will change, a lot, as Google needs to update the nowadays spammed link graph
 
Great piece of gold here :)

I think that AuthorRank can be more simlar to TrustRank where great author stand as Hub making each content valuable (if shared, commented, wrote etc..) based on the author trust and (trusted) people interacting with it.
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