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19th March, 2014

The problem when something is hyped beyond all recognition is that you expect the impossible. And when it comes to hype, SXSW is right up there.

So I went to SXSW for the first time last week with conflicted expectations. On the one hand hoping for a silver bullet that would point the way to the future of our industry, but also with a big dose of skepticism as to whether a conference could ever deliver that.

There was no silver bullet. Rather, there was sitting in sessions, listening to the great and the good of the digital industry, and talking to fellow attendees. During this time, I found myself identifying trends that will be fundamentally important to digital communicators over the next 12 to 18 months.

I’m not going to talk about mobile/first screen, wearbles or privacy in isolation. They are certainly trends, but they are the trends so prominent that you don’t really need to travel to Austin to pick them up.

Instead, here are five trends that, although less immediately obvious, are important for brands to think about in 2014.

1. Don’t be evil

Google’s famous motto is more relevant today than it has ever been.

Social good was a key theme at SXSW. There was a whole stream dedicated to it, but the issue fed into other parts of the conference too.

The way a brand or organization behaves is more visible than it ever has been in the past. If you act in a way that isn’t ‘good’, you will be found out. It’s not just ‘appearing’ to be good anymore, instead it’s actually walking the walk.

In his keynote, talking about data collection, Edward Snowden said, “Whether you are Google or Facebook, you can do these things in a responsible way where you can still get the value out of these that you need to run your business.”

With so many tools at our fingertips, the boundaries between what is responsible, fair and decent and what is just downright dodgy are eroding.

Julian Assange and Edward Snowden clearly have something to say on this issue. I went to a few other (less well publicized) sessions that focused on social media crisis situations and, while many issues occur without any forewarning, it seems to me that many can be avoided by acting in a reputable way from the first place.

As communicators, our job now is to advise across and throughout a business to protect and uphold reputation.

2. Eyeball hunting

If you believe Eli Pariser, author of the Filter Bubble and CEO at Upworthy, the old adage of ‘create great content and they will come’ just isn’t enough anymore:

“The important thing is to get people to really great content that they love. The headlines are only as good as they accomplish that goal. We don’t do well unless people love it so much that they share it.”

Yes the message is important, but the way you communicate the message is almost as critical.

Upworthy and others are pioneering new ways to reach the public and are encouraging them to engage with content they otherwise might not have had an interest in. We need to become smarter about the way we package our content and the way we deliver it to people.

For example, Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about how he is using Hollywood-grade special effects and an introduction from the President to launch his new series on the history of Space.

3. Smack-down: life-stream versus privacy

No prizes for predicting that privacy and wearables would be big at SXSW.

However, I think there is an interesting issue that sits between the two. While we talk about privacy on the one hand, we also promote wearables and liberal social sharing with the other. Sony’s SmartBand is a bellwether here, as are apps like Timehop.

It stands to reason that if you record key moments, you might also want to create a lifestream like never before and take wearable technology outside the confines of just health and fitness.

So this friction between hyper-sharing and life recording and how that impacts the privacy debate is, to me, more fascinating. Google Glass was everywhere, and we’ve had success using it here at Ketchum recently, but when I saw someone wearing it in the restroom at SXSW, I started to question exactly this issue.

4. What is a brand’s role?

What’s the role of a brand these days? Increasingly, if you look at the marketing campaigns that were publicized at SXSW, you’d be forgiven for being confused. Are brands entertainers, publishers, service providers, and your social conscience? It’s often hard to tell.

This is both an opportunity and something to approach with caution. It’s easy for us to take our eyes off the ball and create great content that engages with consumers, but does very little to really promote and further the brands we work for. Yet on the other hand, you get brand experiences like Nike+ that offer compelling branded services while still building equity and driving sales.

Working out how a brand can add value and engage, while still driving the bottom line, is the new imperative for marketers.

5. Innovation as a differentiator

I have an underlying feeling that, as an industry, we are struggling to really innovate. I think this is due to a number of factors. Digital communication has never been easier to do, so brands are flocking to it. It’s cheap and easy, and the barriers to entry are low.

Take brand marketing at SXSW itself. So many brands all clamoring for attention, but no one is really winning and no one is really doing anything that you could call truly innovative. It pains me to see the level of investment that went into flyers and free drinks (OK, not complaining so much on that one).

It strikes me that our industry is playing out pretty much exactly on those lines. Lots of brands doing the same thing, all of them failing to innovate to succeed.

It’s not easy, but there’s an opportunity here. Those who think differently and innovate with creative solutions are the ones that will succeed. As Steven Johnson, one of the more engaging speakers at this year’s event said in Where Good Ideas Come From:

“Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.”

SXSW might not have delivered a silver bullet, but it certainly provided a tangled bank from which great ideas will hopefully flow.

continue reading: Five digital communication trends from #SXSW...

17th March, 2014

An article by Derek Thompson in The Atlantic reveals some fascinating research that nods to the fact that social media has, over the last 12 months, become a de facto source of traffic for news websites.

Analysis of data from the BuzzFeed Partner Network (which includes popular sites like BuzzFeed, the New York Times and Thought Catalog) shows that referrer traffic from Facebook grew from 62 million at the beginning of 2013 to 161 million by the end of the year.

That’s a significant increase and seems to firmly positions Facebook as a place that can act as your default homepage.

When news isn’t news

But The Atlantic’s research goes a step further. An analysis of the type of content that is most frequently shared on the Facebook newsfeed shows that we aren’t talking about breaking news stories, but what journalists call ‘evergreen’ stories – articles that have no specific shelf life.

As Thompson describes, “Facebook’s News Feed, a homepage built by our friends and organized by our clicks and likes, isn’t really a “news” feed. It’s an entertainment portal for stories that remind us of our lives and offer something like an emotional popper.”

A comparison between the ‘biggest’ stories on Facebook and Twitter clearly demonstrates how consumers make use of the two networks. On Facebook, only seven of the top 20 viral stories from Buzzfeed in 2013 deal with “national news stories”.  On Twitter the mix is much more equal, whereas stories from Google searches are almost entirely news-focused.

And much of the reason for this lies in the way Facebook operates. While timeliness is something Facebook had attempted to build in recent with last author and trending topics, the newsfeed remains a place where ‘popular’ or ‘preferred’ content is given prominence over real-time, in contrast to Twitter. Google search lies somewhere between the two.

Give me what I want

Understanding consumer behaviours as related to news across each of these platforms is very important. A Pew study in 2013 found that only 10% they go on Facebook specifically to find out about breaking news stories – so delivering the content that a consumer is looking for in a way (and at a time) that works for them will help bring about higher engagement (via clicks or shares).

With more and more brands now moving to a place where they are content publishers on a large scale, identifying these different trends in content distribution becomes highly relevant.

So while your latest breaking news announcement is likely to find a comfortable home on Google search and is definitely worth tweeting about, you might want to think about presenting it in a different way on Facebook for it to gain traction.

Effective content marketers realize this. A one size fits all approach just won’t work – and now we have further research that backs this up.

Image cred: The Atlantic

continue reading: Facebook drives 3.5x more traffic to news websites than Google...

24th February, 2014

As you may have seen already, Facebook has rocked the technology and social media world by announcing that it is buying messaging service WhatsApp for $19 billion.

As the entire Internet struggles to make sense of the size of the deal and what it all means, we’ve been hunting down the key points that you need to know.

Jan Koum signing the $19B sale of WhatsApp on the door of his old welfare office.

WhatsApp will remain a standalone service.

As ever, the first question being asked is, w”What does this mean for the future of WhatsApp?” Does Facebook see this as a way to supercharge or even replace its own messaging service? The hint is that the service will remain a standalone entity (as happened with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram). As Mark Zuckerberg says in his blog post announcing the purchase:

“WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts for Internet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.”

Increasingly, this suggests the move is more a defensive play rather than a way to add features, functionality or even users to the Facebook ecosystem.

So, will Facebook also stay true to the WhatsApp business model of charging users $1 after they’ve used the service for a year? Or will it try to add other monetization options, as it is doing with Instagram? The WhatsApp founders have always been true to their aims of keeping the platform simple; founder Jan Koum keeps a written note on his desk proclaiming “no ads, no games, no gimmicks.”

Can these four numbers explain the valuation?

There is no doubt WhatsApp is a highly successful company, and the app’s ability to work across different platforms (not an easy task by any means) makes it a winner in terms of its potential audience. But is it really worth $19 billion?

WhatsApp investor Sequoia Capital issued an interesting blog post today which pointed to four numbers that it felt justified the purchase:

  • 450 million: The number of global active users
  • 32: The number of (now hopefully very wealthy) engineers employed by WhatsApp , a sign of the lean approach the company has pursued
  • 1: The sole focus of the app’s raison d’être: mobile messaging
  • 0: The amount of money the company has spent on marketing, a sign of strong emotional connection with consumers

It’s hard to see how Facebook is going to make a fast return on this investment. Sure, WhatsApp is making revenues, has impressive user figures (especially amongst the younger age demographics who are increasingly moving away from Facebook) and has future opportunities (particularly in Asia and the developing world) when it comes to mobile payments. But $19 billion still seems like a stretch.

What does this all mean for marketers?

There is no doubt that the trend towards messaging apps is real. And there is also no doubt that brands would love to be able to use WhatsApp to reach consumers. But I’d be surprised if Facebook or WhatsApp opened the platform up to brands anytime soon.

Facebook’s number one goal (as it has been elsewhere with the launch of Facebook Home and Paper) is to keep mobile users engaged, so I doubt we’ll see them opening up the platform for brands either through advertising (for the above reasons) or for community engagement.

That’s not to say that brands aren’t already trying to embrace WhatsApp. There are ample opportunities when it comes to customer service, VIP fan communication or even push marketing. But I don’t think you’ll find many brands spending too much time focusing on WhatsApp in the near future.

Behind the scenes

As a final note, it’s worth checking out this article from Wired for a unique behind-the-scenes look at WhatsApp, the company. In December, Wired was given unprecedented access to Jan Koum and his team. It’s a frank tale of how Koum went from someone who was unable to afford calling family in his native Ukraine to selling a business for $19 billion to Mark Zuckerberg. Talk about hitting the lottery.

continue reading: Everything You Need To Know About The WhatsApp Deal...

12th August, 2013

This morning I shared some thoughts with Econsultancy in response to two articles from Tom Foremski that have been causing ripples across social media over the last few days.

You can read the Econsultancy piece here. My full comments are below:

Foremski’s problem is one that seems to afflict many other journalists and it’s an automatic conclusion that PR is intrinsically linked to journalists and press releases. Seen in this light, it’s perhaps understandable that he sees PR as “…a form of SEO; whether the PR industry understands this or not”.

Seen in this light, his argument that Google is out to kill PR is perhaps true.

But my argument in somewhat different. PR has always been about building awareness of a brand or a cause and raising, upholding reputations. PRs have used an array of tactics to achieve this of which the media and organic/paid search are one.

Foremski argues that, with the Panda and Penguin updates, Google has moved away from number of links towards purity, quality and a diverse range of signals, including social media. I don’t see any of that as a threat to PR, I see that as a threat to SEO and an opportunity for PR.

Foremski goes on to give his advice to companies: “Don’t worry about links and SEO beyond the basics. Concentrate on pleasing your customers, let the search engines optimize themselves.” I couldn’t agree with him more. Create great content that your audience will automatically want to share, and Google should take care of the rest. So again, where’s the threat to PR here?

Finally, Foremski quotes Google’s latest update – “”Create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community”. Again, for me, that perfectly describes the role of a PR person or agency.

I agree that if PRs use unsavoury tactics such as buying links or fans then they will quickly become unstuck. But that’s not what modern PR is about and it isn’t what the very best PR agencies are focused on in 2013. They are focused on creating new communication strategies that make the most of the vast array of channels and platforms out there. Yes PR has had to adapt and change to new technological developments just as many other industries have. But the opportunities are there for all to see. It’s why we see agencies from across the marketing sphere hiring PRs and content specialists.

Do I think the press release will die? Yes. Do I think the practice of littering releases across the web via newswires will/should die? Yes. Do I think SEO will die? Very likely. Do I think journalism will die? No, but it’s going to have to drastically change. Do I think PR will die? Well, it depends how you define PR, but if it is defined as a way of producing high quality content and distributing it across all relevant channels to raise awareness and reputation, then I think the answer is a categorical no.

As a PR, I respect Tom Foremski for his excellent linkbait. But when a journalist starts an opinion piece with a sweeping statement, ending in a question mark, you usually know what you’re going to get.

continue reading: Me on Tom Foremski on PR...

13th May, 2013

“You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas. It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”  David Ogilvy

Traditionally, the marketing concept of a ‘big idea’ is intrinsically tied to TV advertising. A brand briefs an ad agency. Said ad agency creates a ‘big idea’ with associated TV/ad concepts and then, once this is all signed off, everyone else scrambles around to see how it can be executed elsewhere.

The result? A great TV ad spot. And then other implementations with differing levels of quality and success.

It’s easy to see how we got here. Advertising has always been at the heart of a brand’s marketing strategy. But the times are a-changin’.

So what does that mean for the big idea and the agencies that try to unearth it?

Is the concept of a big idea dead? Does it sit uncomfortably in an age where we are moving from push marketing to a more collaborative approach? Or is it more relevant than ever at a time where brands are spread so thin across different channels and platforms?

I think there’s still a place for the big idea. But I think we need to stop seeing it as the end of the creative process and just as the first step.

If you reframe the way we think about the big idea in this way then rather than thinking up a new TV advert, you start to think about a compelling brand story that you can then creatively execute in a whole host of different, creative ways.

The big idea in 2013 is:

  • More than TV.
  • BIG. It’s so big, it’s not tied to channels or platforms. It’s something that inspires makeable ideas but isn’t one in itself.
  • SMALL. In itself it doesn’t take up huge budgets but inspires campaigns and initiatives.
  • Agile and flexible – it needs to be malleable into different forms.
  • Built around stories and for storytelling.
  • Co-created – it comes from the audience.
  • About behavioural change, not campaigns, tactics or platforms.

 

picture credit

continue reading: Redefining the big idea...

18th April, 2013

Last week I announced that, after nearly six years, I was leaving EML Wildfire.

Last week, a new chapter started. As has been announced this morning in PR Week, I have joined global PR agency Ketchum as associate digital and social media director, working in the company’s London office.

Exciting times.

continue reading: Hello Ketchum...

12th April, 2013

Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting - Peter Pan

Today is my last day at EML Wildfire.

When I was first interviewed by Debby (at what was then Wildfire PR) many years ago, I’d never worked in an agency, I’d never worked in PR and I was unsure as to where this would lead.

Debby and Lorraine took a gamble and I’m grateful for that. For me, it’s truly been life changing.

I needn’t have worried. Looking back now I can’t help but be thankful to my former self for taking that leap and making that move.

The last few years have been truly formative. I’ve worked with some brilliant people who have taught me so much. I’ve been challenged and have been given opportunities I would not have received elsewhere.

I’ve made friends – colleagues, clients, partners and other acquaintances – many that will be lifelong (you know who you are). And I’ve genuinely looked forward to going to work (nearly) every day.

It’s time to move on – and more about that in due course. But today is about remembering and being thankful for what has been.

For all this, and for so much more, I owe a great number of great people a great deal.

And that, I’ll never forget.

continue reading: Leaving but not forgetting...

4th January, 2013

It is now more than a month since I returned from Palestine. And I’ve been meaning to write a final post, but it has proved difficult.

How do you sum up such an experience?

In the first post I wrote when I arrived, I talked about the vivid contrasts that exist everywhere. For a visitor, making contrasts is an obvious and easy thing to do. It helps to give a clear sense of the uniqueness of this place.

Contrasts are easy to find too now I’m back. Today, I went for a run. I could move freely. There were no soldiers, no checkpoints and no hostile settlers.

For me, this freedom is a basic human right. Something we should all be able to count on.

Whatever your political, religious or ideological viewpoint, I challenge anyone to visit Palestine, experience this lack of freedom, and fail to feel immense solidarity with the Palestinian people.

There is no doubt that life for ordinary Palestinians is better than it was a few years ago during the Second Intifada. Better, but still not good enough.

What sort of a life is this?

When eight year olds have to walk past checkpoints and soldiers on the way to school? When farmers have their crops destroyed and their sheep poisoned? When a mother is locked in an Israeli jail for three days because she is distraught at her son’s wrongful arrest? When your house is a concrete prison? When you’ve been forced to live in a refugee camp for over half a century? When your town is surrounded by 30-foot walls? When you don’t have a passport and aren’t allowed to visit your family, 30 kilometres away?

Continue reading »

continue reading: Palestine: fighting against a resigned future...

8th October, 2012

The word algorithm is one that most PR professionals will be aware of. Google’s method for determining search rankings is as secret as it is alluring for those looking to gain more search prominence.

But there is another algorithm out there that is far less famous, but equally important. It’s called EdgeRank and it is what Facebook uses to determine the stories that show up in a user’s newsfeed.

The Facebook newsfeed is the key to success for Facebook marketing. It’s the place where every single Facebook user spends most of their time.

Yes, that’s right, Facebook users will hardly ever visit your Facebook page, they consume your posts through their newsfeed.

Tough time getting through?

Another very important point to note, and one that many marketers still fail to realise, is that the vast majority of posts never actually make it into someone’s timeline.

Conservative estimates suggest that only 16% of your fans, on average, will actually receive any particular post you send them.

So how do you increase that percentage? The answer is simple: improve your EdgeRank.

Introducing EdgeRank

Facebook understands there is a massive problem with information overload on the platform. It knows that we make a lot of connections on Facebook – some of them we really care about, others less so. It therefore makes sense that we would want to receive updates from those friends (and brands) that we really care about rather than long-lost school friends we haven’t seen in years or brands we ‘liked’ in order to get a freebie or enter a competition.

EdgeRank attempts to solve that problem and it does it in quite a sophisticated way.

Every single ‘update’ that you might see in your newsfeed on Facebook is called an ‘edge’ (hence EdgeRank). An edge could be a status update, a song you listen to on Spotify or a picture upload.

Much in the same way that Google wants to help you find the information you care about, EdgeRank helps Facebook show you the edges that matter most to you.

There are three elements that make up EdgeRank – affinity, weight and decay.

It’s worth looking at each of these in more detail.

Affinity

This element attempts to work out how much you care about the person or brand that is sending you an edge. You’ve probably noticed how, if you snoop on someone’s profile, you’ll probably get more of their updates in your newsfeed over the next few days or weeks.

But you don’t just have to visit a Page to affect affinity. Simply liking a post, leaving a comment or sharing an update can raise affinity levels.

That’s why, for a brand, getting a like or a share isn’t just good for engagement, it’s vital in ensuring more of your posts will get through to that fan in future. It’s a vote of support.

The great thing about affinity (if you can get it) is that it’s self-fulfilling. The more affinity you get, the more of your posts will appear to in future and the more interaction (and therefore affinity) you’ll be able to achieve.

Weight

This is all about the types of edges that appear in your newsfeed. Facebook understands that a picture will generally have more interest to you than a Spotify update. Therefore it assigns different weightings to different pieces of content. There’s no definitive list here, but it is fair to assume that links, photos and videos have more EdgeRank than other pieces of content.

As with all algorithms, there is no one size that fits all. Some users will show more interest in photos and therefore Facebook will show them more photos in their newsfeed. So just putting videos in every post won’t necessarily be successful. Having a regular stream of these three pieces of content is the best advice for success here.

Decay

This is all about timeliness. In simple terms, something that is more recent is more likely to show up in someone’s newsfeed.

Content, content, content

What is perhaps most interesting about all of this is that, while big flashy campaigns might do a good job of increasing the number of fans you have, it’s only the ongoing community management stuff that will actually work when it comes to increasing EdgeRank.

Good quality content on a regular basis is the only way to tick the box when it comes to affinity, weight and decay. And it’s only by ticking these boxes that your future updates will be seen.

None of this is rocket silence, but how many brands are really paying attention to it?

picture credit

continue reading: Facebook EdgeRank – what is it and why is it important for PR?...

4th October, 2012

Last Tuesday, I chaired an event for the PRCA looking at the relationship between PR and SEO. If there is one key theme that came out of the conference, it was that Google’s recent updates (think Panda and Penguin) bring SEO very much into the domain of what you might term ‘traditional PR’ activities.

For the last week or so, the digital marketing community has been buzzing about a new ranking factor, called AuthorRank. Google is expected to roll AuthorRank out very soon and, for me, it once again shows how the boundaries between traditional PR, digital PR and SEO are blurring.

Last year, Google launched its authorship programme. You’ll have come across this in the Google searches you do on a daily basis – where pictures of the author of a particular article appear next to the listing. Ever since this launch, there has been speculation in the digital marketing community that soon, Google would start to use authorship as a determining factor for rankings.

Last week, writing on SEO community site SEOMoz, Mike Arnesen gave the strongest indication yet that this time is nearly upon us. The idea of an AuthorRank makes a lot of sense and, for Google, is part of a much larger, long-term strategy.

Put simply, AuthorRank is how Google will take the authority of an author into account when determining search engine rankings.

Why authors?

Traditionally, Google has looked at the web as a series of websites and webpages and there’s always going to be a place for that.

Google uses a ranking algorithm called PageRank to give different webpages an authority ranking. But what this fails to take into consideration is that, increasingly (in part due to the rise of social media), when you are looking for ‘authority’ around a particular subject area, it’s often the individual content creator that has the authority rather than or in addition to the website, publisher or brand.

A site like Techcrunch has authority in the tech start up space because of the individual writers it has. AuthorRank is an attempt by Google to recognise this and give specific authors their own ranking which will in turn influence the overall ranking of a website.

What is the best way to know if a piece of content is trustworthy? If it is written by someone that has authority in a certain area.

How does this work in practice?

If you want a clear idea of just how fundamental Google+ could be and how much importance Google is placing on it, then look no further than AuthorRank.

When you see someone’s mugshot appear next to a search engine ranking, that is because they have linked their Google+ account to the piece of content they have created – no matter where it is on the web. You can find out more on how to do this (it’s not as scary as it might sound) here.

This is an example of how the impact of Google+ exists far beyond just the platform itself. It extends throughout the internet, giving Google valuable information about an individual and their footprint across the web. Google can then start building up a picture of that person’s influence in specific areas.

Influence you say? Does this have anything to do with PR?

Yes it does! Ok, so there is a bit of technical know-how required (though Google is trying to make things easier and easier). But the idea of building influence for a specific person around a certain subject area is a concept PRs will be incredibly familiar with. It’s called thought leadership and we do it every single day.

Yet again, the types of behaviour that Google is now starting to reward with ranking boosts – content, authority, social sharing – are all things PRs do daily. With a little bit of technical knowledge, PR can have a massive impact on your search rankings.

How does Google define authority?

It’s unclear at the moment exactly the factors Google will use to create AuthorRank and – as with all things Google – we will never know the exact make-up of the algorithm. But, over at SEOMoz, Mike Arnesen has compiled a list of the most likely candidates:

  • The average PageRank of an author’s content
  • The average number of +1s and Google+ shares the author’s content receives
  • The number of Google+ circles an author is in
  • Reciprocal connections to other high AuthorRank authors
  • The number and authority of sites an author’s content has been published to
  • The engagement level of an author’s native Google+ content (i.e., posts to Google+)
  • The level of on-site engagement for an author’s content (i.e., comments and author’s responses to comments)
  • Outside authority indicators (e.g., the presence of a Wikipedia page)
  • YouTube subscribers and/or engagement on authored videos (speculation: multiple-attribution author markup for YouTube videos coming soon)
  • Any number of importance/authority metrics on social networks that Google deems trustworthy enough (Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, SlideShare, etc.)
  • Real world authority indicators like published works on Google Books or Google Scholar

What are the next steps?

AuthorRank doesn’t seem to be influencing searches yet, but it could be just around the corner. So here are some steps you should take to benefit:

  1. Set up your author profile on Google+ 
  2. Link it to any content you have around the web (here’s our quick, handy guide)
  3. Create great content – it sounds obvious, but if you aren’t creating lots of content already, you need to start. It’s all about quantity AND quality. Gone are the days when you could whack anything up and Google would give you credit. Now it’s all about great content that people want to read and share (did I mention how PR was increasingly important for SEO?)
  4. Use Google+ – a quick look at the list of factors above shows how important Google+ is becoming. So post regularly, circle influential people in your industry, +1, comment, check-in, make sure your profile is complete and that you have a good photo

continue reading: Google AuthorRank and why it’s huge for PR...