Google Agent Rank and its Impact on Blogging

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Jon T. Norwood
Jon T. Norwood has been involved with SEO for over ten years and is currently the technology writer at Satellite Internet, a site dedicated to keeping its readers informed of the constant advances in Internet Providers.
Jon T. Norwood
Jon T. Norwood

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Jon T. Norwood
You can get your own content published on this site as long as you have CommentLuv installed on your site.

Doing so means you get exposure to thousands and thousands of other CommentLuv users and your posts get sent out to the massive subscriber list.

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See the Write For Us page for more details

btw.. you can get this author box here

Agent Rank

For many users and businesses Google is the Internet.  People don’t search for things anymore, they Google them.  The silly sounding brand name has permeated almost every aspect of the Internet and is growing daily.  One new twist Google may be adding to the mix is something they call Agent Rank.  Google filed for a patent in 2005 called Agent Rank and it was published in February of 2007.  By published I only mean accepted as a patent, to date no one is sure if there is a live Agent Rank algorithm floating around out there but it is unlikely.  Agent Rank is an attempt to assign value to individual authors outside of the site they are writing for at the time.  This would allow an author to carry his or her Agent Rank along from project to project.

Agent Rank Abstract

The present invention provides methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing techniques for searching and ranking linked information sources. The techniques include receiving multiple content items from a corpus of content items; receiving digital signatures each made by one of multiple agents, each digital signature associating one of the agents with one or more of the content items; and assigning a score to a first agent of the multiple agents, wherein the score is based upon the content items associated with the first agent by the digital signatures. 

As usual the writing in this abstract is designed to confuse 99% of the readers interested in the abstract so I’ll paraphrase it and focus on what bloggers will care about.  The purpose of Agent Rank is to assign or accept a digital signature that will be associated with an individual writer and no other.  The writer may then use that digital signature and Google will assign a value to that writer.  The writer, and not an individual document, will then have value independent of all other factors in the eyes of Google.  If this sounds difficult to implement then it should be clear why Agent Rank doesn’t yet exist, and it would seem Google is moving ahead slowly on the project.

Authors Building Trust

Agent Rank has the potential to be an incredible boon to bloggers of any topic or vertical.  Trusted writers will not only bring their great material with them to a new project, they will bring a built-in trust boost in Google to whatever site they are working for.  Sites that don’t normally publish guest material will suddenly want to get their hands on whoever is the hot Google trusted author of the day and writers that are a part of that system will benefit.  Of course the downside is that less trusted writers may need to struggle to get ahead, and poor writers may be out of a job.  This isn’t to say that writers without trust would hurt a site as it is unclear if Google intends to add negative modifiers to Agent Rank in the event it is released.

class="size-medium wp-image-9940 alignleft" src="" alt="Agent Rank Market Impact" width="300" height="225" />So why is this a big deal?  As writing moves further away from the printed medium and online publishers continue to take the lead, then the benefit of search engines to authors increases.  As of 2011 Google has the lion’s share of the market with numbers that range from 78% to 85% of all searches.  That is number one with a very comfortable lead.  With Yahoo! and Bing teaming up Google still has such a head start that it is difficult to conceive what can even the playing field at this point.  That being said it would be nice to have the 900 pound gorilla working for you, and a positive Agent Rank may do just that.

New Value Proposition

If an author can be confident that their Agent Rank could bring about better Google rankings then they can approach projects with a new value proposition.  Now their great material can educate or entertain readers while also bringing a real positive impact to any search engine optimization the site current has.  The Google Agent Rank patent also says, “Assuming that a given agent has a high reputational score, representing an established reputation for authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results. Similarly, if the signer has a large reputational score due to the agent having an established reputation for providing accurate reviews, the rank of the referenced content can be raised accordingly.”  This “high reputational score” could very well be sold at a premium by authors in the near future to sites that need a little extra trust.  That could be good for everyone.

Authorship Tool May be the Beginning

When or if Agent Rank will be implemented is unknown.  Google recently released an addendum to their Google Profiles they call Authorship.  This tool allows authors to use HTML tags to help Google identify and recognize their work.  The process involves several steps and is purposefully complicated to make it more difficult to abuse, however every author with a Google account could use a tag similar to the following that would identify their work:

<a rel=”author” href=”″>About My Name</a>

It is unknown if this is an early attempt to roll out Agent Rank in some form, but it is clearly related to the patent and has some value even in its current state.  Regardless writers should get involved with the Authorship tool now in order to be better prepared for whatever Agent Rank rollout Google may have planned in the future.

The complete Agent Rank patent can be found here