Author Score : Relevant or Irrelevant?

by humagaia

Author score is a device purporting to measure the writing capability, popularity and standing of an author within free writing sites. But is it of any relevance to anyone?

"Author score" is a device, used by free writing sites, to rank their authors.

At Hubpages you need to reach an author score of 75 for any out-links to bite.

This is to ensure that occasional authors (read spammers here, if you think that to be relevant) do not gain any benefit from back-links just by authoring a single article.

They must prove to be of value to the site.

I have not seen any information here on Wizzley saying that it is the same.

Author Score

Relevance

Apart from this, is there any other benefit?

Those that have written at Hubpages will, at this stage, utter a resounding "No!".

That is, if they have frequented the forums or listened to seasoned pro's on the site.

Many new authors there strive, first to get to an author score of 75, and then onwards to the magic 100 ====>

only to be told that author score has no meaning; does not influence their earning capacity; and are vilified for being led into the hype. 

You reached 100.

Congrats!
day 100

I am new at Wizzley (at this time, 3 weeks into the rest of my life) and have not been in the forums very often, so cannot say that there is similarity with Hubpages. But what I do know is that you should question EVERYTHING that anybody says that relates to the internet in any way whatsoever.

I have seen and heard the aforementioned comments, from those whose judgement I respect, over and over again.

X


                                                             

 

 

                     And they are wrong!

 

 

 

"Author Score" most definitely has a role to play; positively influences; and significantly increases your earnings capabilities (or hurts them if it is low).

I will tell you why; speculate the reasons with circumstantial evidence; and reason with what I see for myself.

Author Score - is it hype?

Relevance 1

Why do writing sites like Hubpages and Wizzley create computer program algorithms to calculate author score?

   
  • Is it to engender competition? 
  • Is it to give encouragement?
  • Is it to give the audience an indication as to who the best writers are?
  • Is it to wheedle out the dross? To shame them into leaving?
  • Is it to show that there are good writers on the site?
  • Is it as a reward?
  • Is it to promote the best?
  • Is it just to mimic Hubpages?
For Wizzley, you will have to ask @Chefkeem or @RonPass. 
Whatever, there is a/are reason(s). And they will be relevant to Wizzley or Hubpages or wherever. But is this just hype, as one would be led to believe by "those that know"?
It could be, but then again there may be good reason for you to disregard what the poloi say, and reason that, if the sites believe that there is benefit, then we should expect there to be benefit.

Author Score - author standing

Relevance 2

Achieving a high author score, a kudos, has it's perks. Those with the highest rankings appear on the first few pages of "Authors", and it is the "Best Authors" page that is shown first. 

You should note from the screenshot opposite that the title is large - 'Best Authors'. And that the link-back line (where you are on the site) states: 'Start > Authors > Best Authors'.

What does this mean - read your SEO 101.

Best Authors @Wizzley

Screenshot
"Best Authors" @ Wizzley
"Best Authors" @ Wizzley
Humagaia "Paint" screenshot

                                                             It helps, believe me!

And what do you think happens to the authors when they are shown in the positions they achieve?

Do you know anything about SERPs?

If not, you should read up about them (try > Oh, there is not one on Wizzley that relates the relevance of your position in SERPs, I'll have to write that one. In the meantime try > What's wrong with Google SERPs [by me, I'm afraid]).

If you do know, then you will be familiar with the fact that the higher the rank you achieve, the greater the number of visitors you are likely to attract to your offering. A number one spot can mean around 40% of visitors will click and trundle your way. What do you think happens to an author who shows first on the page above?

traffic explosion

You got it, lots of traffic from casual visitors to the "Best Authors" page.

                 Is that a benefit or not?

Those in positions 2 to 10 receive gradually lower click-through's. Those on pages 2 downward gradually diminish into insignificant click-through's. The higher you get, the better the perks. Just like being the best in any job, you get commensurate rewards.

1. By the visitor

Now think about it. You have accessed the "Authors" from the "Explore" drop-down menu. You are not looking for any particular author. You click it. You are presented with the "Best Author" page. You see 'JoHarrington' at the top (who, I might add, is an excellent author) [or whomsoever might be in position one, at the time]. What is your first impression?

Mine is = she must be a good writer if she is at the top of the pile. What's yours?

My next instinct is to go look at what she has written - 

 

 

 

                                 BANG

                               

 

 

Atom Bomb Cross Section

my consciousness has fired and I now have the impression that 'Jo' is someone whose articles would give me pleasure in reading. Her moniker (name) will stay with me for some time.

                                                         Is that relevant?

                                                      Be assured that it is.

As long as what I find when I get to the articles, has some relevance to me.

 
100
2. By search engines

Have a quick look at the indented code opposite. This was extracted by doing a 'view page source' on the "Best Authors" page. What do you see? 

I see

  • "Excellent Author"
  • "Author Rank" > 100
  • /authors/JoHarrington/

                                           What do you think the search engines see?

                                                                       Correct! 

But think more deeply. What do you think will happen when someone goes to Google (or whatever) and types in "....... Excellent Author"? Correct! What about some search query with "...author..." in it? Well, this is a little more difficult to ascertain, but, you can be sure that the search engine result pages algorithm will be influenced by the word 'excellent' and the 'rank = 100'.

                            Who they gonna call? .....  JoHarrington (not the Ghostbusters)!

3. By social media

If a person is rated highly at a writing site, and receives a following because of it, it is more likely that more of his/her offerings will be:

Author Score : soocial media influence
  • tweeted
  • 'liked' (on Facebook, also), 
  • +1'ed, 
  • Pinned
  • Stumbled, 'Dugg', 'Red' & 'Linked' 

and generally shared around the social media and social bookmarking scene.

This will, in turn, increase their following (and yours, if you are seen to offer links to quality articles - but that's another article to be written) wherever the links are housed.

                                                         Is this a bonus?

                                                      A bonus and a half!

4. By places running RSS feeds

The more the author is seen, the more the author will be seen. At each viewing of any content from them, there is a chance that their profile will be viewed. What is available there that will improve their chance of increasing their readership, and making money?

Really, REALLY BIG RSS feed button

The RSS feed (if you do not know about RSS feeds you should read as much about them as possible). What happens when the author's RSS feed is added to a site or someone's' homepage? All new articles are syndicated to that place.

This opens up more places where introductions to your articles can be seen; links to the articles followed; the chance to impress new audience members begins; and the opportunity to gain more fans occurs (see below).

                                                       Does this have relevance?

                                                                You bet it does.

Fans outside Stamford Bridge

Author Score - effect on fan base

Relevance 4

What do I do when the articles I find are of interest to me?

I join the fan club. If you are a Twit (sorry, Tweep) then here you can read, 'I become a "Follower"').

                                            How does that potentially help the author?

From Wizzley and Hubpages, fans receive regular e-mails with a list of articles 'from their favorite authors'. Have you ever tried to build an e-mail list of readers to whom you can market? I have. It takes yonk's (a long time; forever). Your writing site has done it for you, thanks Wizzley!.

As your fan club increases, so too does the number of people your articles are placed in front of. Most top internetpreneurs state that the best way to make money is to harness the power of your e-mail list. Being at the top of the leaderboard, or anywhere close, increases your marketing opportunities - keep your fan base happy, write lots of articles for them.

                                                                 Is that a benefit?

                                                                     You bet it is.

Grief stricken fans at Glastonbury 2009

Author Score - effect on audience numbers

Relevance 5

I think you will be able to see, from what I have outlined above, that there are many ways that audience numbers will be increased from the simple effect of an increase in author score. Do not take notice of anyone that tells you different, unless they can prove it with hard facts.

It is common sense; experience of the psychology of human beings; and the working of the internet, that tell me that anything that enhances the kudos of anyone has a positive knock-on effect.

An increase in kudos can have an immediate and profound effect on audience numbers.

                                                 Is that a reasonable assumption?

                                                                   I think it is.

Money

Author Score - effect on author income

Relevance 6

What we are all (or at least the vast majority of us) trying to achieve is an increasing income that will satisfy our needs. Although it is true that our writing must be aimed at obtaining a reaction to something other than that which we write (an Adsense click, an Amazon purchase, an affiliate click-through, etc. etc.), and that we have limited control over, it is equally true that the more visitors to what we offer (our articles) begets more chances for those actions to take place.

The more kudos we have; the more influence we gain; the more fans that follow; the more audience we gain; the more reader actions ensue; the more income is potentially available to us.

Rinse and repeat.

                                                   Is that a recipe for fulfilling our goals?

                                                              Rinse and repeat, again.

Kudos

Author Score - how this affects us all

Relevance 7

Now you may think - oh dear, I am never going to knock the "best" authors off their perch, so this is all an irrelevance. And, to some extent, you are correct. But, think for a moment how another's fortune may rub off on the rest of us. Here are some examples:

  • They attract more visitors to the site, and these may visit you after visiting them.
  • When outside sources link to their offerings this increases the kudos of the site, with the knock-on effect of influencing our potential to rank higher for each keyword that appears in our articles.
  • If they comment (positively) on your article, some kudos rubs off on you.
  • If they become a fan, the same thing happens.
  • If they tweet, or like, or whatever, your offerings to social media, then a portion of their fan base can become yours also.
  • And, as I found out today (Feb 11th 2012) if one likes what you have written, so much that they feel compelled to use the forums to promote it, you can benefit from their standing in the community (thanks "Katiem2" - it is appreciated).

                                                   Are those benefits of use to us all?

                                                  You bet your bottom dollar they are.

Have I forgotten anything?

For or against "Author Score"

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Additional Benefits are:
Sheri_Oz on 08/24/2012

I agree with Jo. I use the best authors to learn from and try to improve my own writing skills.

JoHarrington on 02/13/2012

As a fellow writer, you can study their pages for tips on what you can do yourself. This is precisely what I've been doing. For example, I used the 'best authors' page to find out who's ranked highly for sales type pages. I'd never attempted any before, so I scrutinised Terri's articles to see how she does them. She was top of the list at the time.

Come join us at Wizzley

Rise to the top of the leader board, help yourself and us all

Wizzley

Author Score - the bottom line

Conclusion

Rather than being of no import; no relevance; no influence; no use; "Author Score" is relevant; important; has influence; and is of great use to one and all.

Do not believe those that say otherwise: the naysayers.

                     They are wrong!

I commend my arguments for "Author Score" to you. I believe my arguments to be sound!

                    What do you think?

Is author score useful or not?

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Updated: 02/20/2012, humagaia
 
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Comments


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cmoneyspinner on 07/22/2013

Good to know.

humagaia on 08/24/2012

Why thank you Sheri, that is a very kind thing to say - I do try.

Sheri_Oz on 08/24/2012

Well between my last time reading this article and this very moment, I have achieved the 100% author status. It does feel good. Now on to learn my next lesson from you, H, all about twitter. You are a wonderful teacher.

humagaia on 08/22/2012

I place great import on tweets. They may be fleeting in terms of immediate impact but if undertaken consistently they attract many non-human viewers. These viewers (search engines, scrapers [the good ones] etc) can have a major long-term impact on the diversity of places from whence visitors arrive, and therefore your visitor numbers.
I am more circumspect about social media bookmarking.
See my 'Using Twitterfeed' (http://wizzley.com/using-twitterfeed-...) article for the answer to your question about 'tips for a large twitter following'. This is all natural. If you want to automate building a following then there are software programs that will assist. I have thought about using them, but have dismissed them for the time being - mainly due to time constraints and work-load.

tman76 on 08/21/2012

Hi Humagaia,
Great article - I just wrote my first one. I'm just wondering what value you put on articles being tweeted and bookmarked in terms of social media...and have you any tips for getting a big twitter following...10k is unreal - well done!

humagaia on 04/05/2012

EM - If I find I am writing a long article I try to break it down to bite size chunks and forward link them. Not only does this cater for the online reader, it also gives a chance to utilize additional keyword phases that could show in SERPs where, with a single article, they would not.
It is easy to achieve this, and I do the keyword research AFTER I have written a long article. The sub-headings tend to give me the title for the sub-article (but I check keyword tools to see if there is a better, related, keyword phrase that is actually being used). Then I extract the content into the new article, check the word count, and add more content if necessary. This can happen several times, on occasion.
Whilst you are building your portfolio it is wise to create more articles, rather than large articles, especially on Wizzley, as your share of the ads increases after 50 and 100 articles. You win on both counts if you split large articles into several, bite-sized chunks. You win also, with the author score, as creating many from one, means you will have a stack of articles to be published in advance: releasing them one or two per day, whilst building further article series.
The pressure to produce is then diminished.
Just my two-penn'orth (but I too do tend to write long articles - I am trying to wean myself off doing it).

EverydayMiracles on 04/05/2012

I need to learn how to write faster! Yeesh! I think I'm one of the slowest around :-/ It takes me several hours to complete an article, and there's a ton of thinking involved. I'm not even using many pictures on Wizzley so you'd think that it would be quicker, but nope. Then again, my articles are fairly long, aren't they?

humagaia on 04/05/2012

What I found, in addition to the above, is that garnering a good article score for each article at the beginning, seems to solidify ones author score.
I use all the promotion methods available to me here on Wizzley (Facebook like, Google+, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Digg, Redditt, Pinterest [when there are no Amazon items in my article, I use it at the outset and then turn it off for visitors]). I also Tweet it more than once over the first day after publishing (usually 4 times, each with a different shortened URL [bitly, goo.gl, snipurl etc]). What I find is that an article will have around a hundred+ hits by the end of the day - this ensures a minimum (forever it seems) article score of 60%.
It may be this only works because I have a Twitter following in excess of 10k over my several Twitter accounts.
However, with each article garnering an article score of 60%, my Author score always increased by 5 each day (in the initial days of my life at Wizzley) or by 3 (after the first 5 to 10 days (I can't remember when)).
It does rely on you writing at least one article per day. If you stop producing for a day or two, the algorithm that calculates your score will start to deplete it.
So, constant output whilst utilising the promotional facilities can ensure author scores increase until you reach 100. I think it took me between 20 and 30 days to achieve 100. Once there, I think it sticks. It certainly does not fluctuate wildly like HP author score does, on a daily basis.
Hope this helps.
PS I wouldn't worry too much about author or article scores, just concentrate on the earning potential.

EverydayMiracles on 04/05/2012

I wish I had an idea of how this is calculated. Mine is going down instead of up, and both of my pages are doing well. One is at 100% and the other at 90%. They're getting some traffic and they're making money (in small amounts, but money is money). But my author score is dipping. Why?

Right now on Hubpages I have a hubberscore of 99. Being at 23 here baffles me a little bit. I bookmark, I like pages, I comment, and I try to write an article a day across all four platforms. I'm just wondering what I have to do to pick things up here, other than potentially just write more articles? I guess it's time to move on with the second article in my series on making the most out of online publishing.

humagaia on 02/20/2012

@Yeirl - now that is hard work - reading all my articles, that is.
One article a day is just a matter of mental attitude and application. It does help if you keep a list of what you have thought about writing - then you can go back to the list when you have inspiration for a particular subject.
Always easier to write when inspiration hits you between the eyes.


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