How Authors Ranking Works?
Why would you want to rank high?
Before I start explaining in a very basic way how the ranking algorithm works, I want to shoot the major points for, “Why would you care to rank high?”
- The worst 10 authors are excluded from the author list once every few weeks (Their posts stay but they can’t add/edit posts).
- Next to each post the author’s details appear with his rank. High rank increases the post and author’s authority.
- Next to each post the post’s rank appears, again more authority for high-ranking posts.
- The top 10 authors are displayed in the sidebar with their top posts in ALL the blog’s pages.
- The top five authors get links with anchor text to their homepage from ALL the blog’s pages.
- Each author has a budge he can put anywhere online to show his authority in the niche he is writing about. You can read about it in the badge post.
How the Ranking Works
When I first started thinking about how to rank a post, I realized that posts can be ranked by two different aspects:
On-Page (Might remind a lot of Google’s on-page algo.)
All the characteristics that can be measured immediately after the post was published (number of words, amount of visual aids – images/videos, paragraph structure etc.).
Now, I know what you think, “What’s the correlation between number of words and quality?” Well, it is likely that when you want to talk about a certain subject, the more you say about it, the more information your audience receives. But, you are 100% correct if you say that one can talk for hours and actually say little or nothing, while others can, in a short and razor-sharp sentence, rock your world. My answer to that is:
A. I said “likely”, hence, in most cases longer posts would be more informative than shorter.
B. This is the most important fact: The ranking mechanism is testing TONS of variables and integrating them. The logic is that every single variable is very weak on its own, but the combination of them all should be quite powerful.
OK, so quite a few On-Page variables are gathered and scored. I can say that usually a long, well-designed, visual-enhanced post will get a high On-Page score. But, since it’s quite easy to manipulate On-Page aspects, the second aspect is more important:
User Engagement (UE – might remind a bit of Google’s off-page algo.)
Theoretically I could say UE is the only important factor if a post is being fully read by most users, or more than that, some users read it several times, put a comment about it, write about it in their blogs, and love it so much they click “like” so their friends will know about it. Why would I care about On-Page parameters?
Well, UE is the best way to measure how good a post is. But, it takes time to collect enough UE data, and until there is enough of it, On-Page score is playing the major role.
Write as many high-quality posts as you can.
If you write high-quality posts, you’ll have a high UE score and probably a high On-Page score. At first though, the On-Page score is more crucial for your ranking (until enough UE data is collected). You don’t need to remember/understand the ranking mechanism (which is explained here in a VERY basic way). All you need is to write great content; all the rest will happen naturally.
Ranking Update Frequency
The ranking scripts are activated once every several days (~1 a week). Your ranking stays the same until there is a new ranking update. Don’t worry if you post new posts and see their rank is low or you don’t see your ranking change. Ranking changes only once every few days.
Calculating the Ranking
Once in a while (won’t say how often, but often enough) all posts are ranked and then all authors get the sum of their posts’ ranks. It means the more posts you have with
higher ranks, the higher your rank as an author will become. In this way, there is a good integration between quality and quantity.
An author with very few posts but very high post ranks might have a similar ranking to an author with lots of posts and medium post ranking. On the other hand, it will be quite impossible to rank very high with quantity alone, since the algorithm will penalize you (lower your ranking) for too many posts with low ranking.
Manipulating the Ranking
It is going to be VERY hard to manipulate the ranking results!
People manipulate online platforms (Google, other SEs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) results all the time. Who am I to think I can create an algorithm that will be so hard to manipulate? Three answers for that:
1. I know something other platforms don’t know. I know how users behave on my site. This kind of information allows me to analyse UE and rank according to that.
2. This blog will have a maximum of 100 writers, which means a manual review would be much, much simpler than in other platforms.
3. “Punishment is harsh” – Well, while with Google for example, when they catch you manipulating them, all they can do is ban the site they caught. Here, when an author gets caught trying to manipulate the results, all his posts are lost. With that kind of “threat” not many authors will have the motivation to even try to lose all the hard work they’ve done.
With a good ranking mechanism the quality of this site will go up all the time, which means the authors’ benefits will always get higher. The nicer the neighborhood, the higher its individual houses value. That is why, with time, authors won’t need any rules, because the top 100 authors will have it in their interest to keep their posts’ quality as high as possible.
Authority – Soon enough the top 100 writers will be considered a place where the best writers are. Being part of the top 100 writers will increase your authority in your niche, not to mention if you are also one of the top 100 writers.
Well… lots of other great surprises…