Introducing Virante AuthorRank! How Do You Rate As an Influential Author?




These are the currency of the web today. In some ways, the social web has brought us back around to the way our parents and grandparents did business. Just like them, we want to figure out who can be trusted on any given topic. Who speaks with authority that we can rely on? That person can be said to wield true influence.

More and more the world of search is moving from linking up people with the best sites, to linking up people with the best people who can reliably provide the information, expertise, and help being sought.

But how do we determine who those people are for any given topic?

Enter Google AuthorRank

By now many people have at least heard of something called “Google AuthorRank.” For years, in patents and in scattered videos and blog posts, Google has talked about its desire to uniquely identify authors, connect them to their original content across the web, and then be able to score their topical authority based on various signals around their content.

Google has made some significant strides in that direction, including:

  • The unveiling in June 2011 of Google+, which allows the creation of unique profiles linked to real people.
  • The introduction, at about the same time, of Google Authorship, which encouraged content creators to create verified links between their Google+ profiles and their content on the web (rel=”author”). This in turn qualified those authors to earn an author rich snippet for search results for their content.

Google Authorship search result

But even though these basic pieces Google would need to make use of any kind of author ranking in search results have existed now for over two years, there is still no evidence that Google actually has implemented any such scheme, at least as of this writing. In fact, as recently as September 2013 Google spokesperson John Mueller confirmed that Google Authorship is not yet a ranking factor in search.

Enter Virante AuthorRank

Even though Google may not yet be implementing any plans to boost authors in search according to their measured authority, Google Authorship has proven already that such author authority is valuable. Google has been showing these author rich snippet results in search for over two years now because they realize that searchers trust content that comes from real people. Furthermore, authorship results help establish trusted personal brands. When someone sees the same face in their results again and again, and that person consistently provides reliable content, they will begin to seek out that author’s content, and recommend it to their friends.

So at Virante Search Marketing, we realized that such authors have real value, and need to be recognized. Even before Google implements any kind of author ranking system, there ought to be a way to quickly evaluate authors according to the value they bring. So we created Virante AuthorRank.

AuthorRank score example

Virante AuthorRank is a set of scores that reflects the overall search engine ranking power of a particular author’s content. That is, it assess the types of signals that seem to most affect the search ranking ability of a piece of content. Among the factors evaluated are

  • Use of Google Authorship
  • Diversity of sites to which an author contributes
  • Link value of sites to which an author contributes
  • Volume of content produced by author
  • Link value of content produced by author

These metrics (using data drawn directly from Google and from Open Site Explorer created by Moz) are combined by our proprietary formula to produce a Virante AuthorRank score, along with several other scores assessing specific areas of the author’s content authority.

The tool is currently in beta. We are still testing and debugging it. So be aware that any score given today may change in the future, not only as the individual author’s search authority changes, but as we make corrections and add new data capabilities to the tool.

Important: In order for our tool to assess authored content authority, the Google+ profile of the author must have links in the Contributor To category of the author’s link section that link to domains where that author has published content.

Have more questions? Check our Virante AuthorRank FAQ

To check your AuthorRank score, click the button below:

Get Your AuthorRank Score


Virante AuthorRank Score Key

Here is an explanation of each of the scores provided in your Virante AuthorRank scoring:

  • AuthorRank: This is the author’s overall Virante AuthorRank score. It is a combination of all the factors we assess. Use this to compare the overall search authority of the author’s content to other authors.
  • AuthorTrust: This score is based on Moz’s MozTrust metric. MozTrust measures the “link ‘distance’ between a given page and a seeded trust source on the Internet. Think of this like six degrees of separation: The closer you are linked to a trusted website, the more trust you have, yourself.” So a higher AuthorTrust score indicates that the link graph of an author’s content tends to contain and be closer to more of the kinds of sites that search engines trust, and thus give more weight to their links.
  • AuthorExternalRank: This score evaluates only the strength of links from external websites to the Author’s content. So it excludes other factors such as diversity of content sites, domain authority of those sites, and volume of content. So you can use this score to evaluate how well regarded and/or how often cited the author’s content is by other sites.
  • Avg Page Authority: This score assesses the average search authority of the pages of content published by the author, isolated from any other factors.
  • Avg Domain Authority: This score assesses the average search authority of the domains (publishers or sites) on which the author’s content is published.

Get Your AuthorRank Score

 Have more questions? Check our Virante AuthorRank FAQ


  1. Mark,

    Great tool and thanks a million. So many SMBs have not caught on with AuthorRank or how to even build it. With info like this, its just going to be much easier to promote.

  2. Cool tool, thanks for making it. Let’s see what the numbers mean, I guess in comparison to others?

  3. Could anyone let me know how it works. As I don’t know what it is.

    Looking for your kind response.

  4. Hi Mark, great idea – one of the key metrics of the future.
    I’m looking forward to the using final version.

  5. Great piece of information.. Thanks for sharing this useful tool..

  6. Suggestion: Make it easier for users to look up author info by name.

    Let’s say that Johnny Doe, owner of JD Public Relations, wants to decide whether Lonny Loewe is worth inviting on a press junket to Widgetstan. Johnny doesn’t want to go looking for Lonny’s profile and copy/paste a profile number. He just wants to type “Lonny Loewe” or maybe “Lonny Loewe journalist” into a form, select Lonny from a list of Lonny Loewes with Google+ accounts, and get the Virante AuthorRank scores.

    • Mark Traphagen says:

      That’s a great suggestion Durant. No idea if it’s possible to implement, but I’m adding it to the features wish list to throw at our development team.

  7. Two more thoughts:

    1) Could your use of the term “AuthorRank” backfire? The “AuthorRank”being shown is Virante’s score, not Google’s, yet most people are likely to think of “AuthorRank” as being a synonym for “AgentRank” (the term Google has used in some of its patents). Maybe it would be wiser to use something like “Virante AuthorRank” just to avoid confusion and potential criticism or ridicule. (As a bonus, you’d be promoting the Virante name.)

    2) There might be some promotional or educational value in comparing Virante AuthorRank to Klout scores: e.g., “Just as a Klout score is a ballpark estimate of personal influence in social media, Virante AuthorRank is an estimate of personal influence on the Web.”

  8. Yet another thought (forgive me: I can’t seem to stop):

    This tool would be even more useful to editors, PR people, etc. if it allowed the user to obtain Virante AuthorRank scores for several people at once, in the same way that services such as Alexa and Quantcast allow site comparisons.

  9. I tested my profile and it returned a score of 0, even though I have my Google Authorship profile set up properly inside many blogs (rel=”author” tag + contributor to).

    I may not be the most popular blogger around, but when I see famous bloggers like +MattCutts also having a score of 0, it makes me a little bit confused: is the tool working properly?

    • Mark Traphagen says:


      In order for our tool to find and score your content, you must have at least the following:

      1. Links to the domain publishing the content in the “Contributor To” section of your Google+ profile.
      2. That content must actually show up in Google search as attributed to your authorship.

      You can test #2 by finding an authorship result for yourself in the Google results and then clicking on your name in the result. That should take you to a search page dedicated to your authorship content. Now enter in the search bar substituting the domain in question for “” That will show you if there is any Google-verified authorship content connected with your profile on that domain.

      Could you give me the domains where you think you have verified Authorship but our tool is not showing scores for them?

  10. What a fun tool, thank you. I’m interested in figuring out why my two guest blogs don’t register. I’m excited that it registers my blog site, though. I am also curious to what “Themes” categories there are. That may need to be expanded? For example I have a theme of Arts/Performing_Arts/Dance: 3.23, but my blog is more about Vintage and Jitterbug and lifestyle, so how do you get the algorithm to differentiate?

    • Mark Traphagen says:

      Hi Tam,

      Please see our FAQ for more details:

      In order for us to score a domain for you, it must be showing Google Authorship linked content in search results associated with your Google+ profile name. If you have a domain that you think qualifies but our tool isn’t showing, please let us know. If you’d rather not post it in these comments, you can send it to us via our contact form:

      The Themes are experimental at this point. They are drawn from a third-party service that analyzes each of your authorship domains and assigns it one primary topical theme. The tool has over 700 different available themes, but they won’t go as granular as “Vintage” or “Jitterbug.”

  11. Will your tool be available again? The page is down.

    • Jacob Bohall says:

      If Google reintroduces author rank or we find another great way to handle, then we’ll try to bring it back online!

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