Trustworthy Content Creators
Earlier this year Google officially killed Authorship. Yet the concept of Author Rank lives on. In this post I’ll explain the difference and why publishing quality content is still a worthwhile endeavor for business (and SEO).
Google Authorship Mark-Up Language
Authorship was a technical way to designate authors of content for Google’s algorithm. It was a code included behind the scenes and attributed authors to material published on websites and blogs. Prior to June 2014 you might have seen people’s pictures on a results page (SERP) next to their web page or post. Due to SEOs abusing the mark-up language, Google’s authorship experiment officially ended in August 2014. In case there was any doubt, here’s what appears in Webmaster Tools Help about Authorship:
Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search. To learn about what markup you can use to improve search results, visit rich snippets.
What is Author Rank?
First, Author Rank is not an official Google term. It’s a concept born out of the SEO community. However, Eric Schmidt, Google executive chairman, loosely referenced the idea in his 2013 book The New Digital Age. He speculated that experts who write interesting and relevant material would be identified and rise in search results. There’s a new SERP section entitled “In Depth Articles.” This points to the validity of Schmidt’s claim.
In a Search Engine Land’s article Danny Sullivan summarized SEOs concerns about removing Authorship mark-up language for fear that Google would ding those websites who implemented it. He promised to write a follow-up story helping us better understand what Google is actually ignoring and if we need to reinvest in removing code like “rel=author.”
Content Creators Rule!
Producing amazing content that people read and share is a signal to search engines. Such content encourages inbound links (votes of confidence). Woohoo! Links and content, these are the building blocks of organic search visibility. The idea behind Author Rank is to make sure that fabulous content is attributed to you. To that end, here are my recommendations.
- Have your byline and website profile fully fleshed out. Include a picture and biography. Readers like to see the expert behind the words.
- Sync up your social channels. For example in WordPress, you can add your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle and Facebook page.
- Be careful of what content is attached to your name. This especially applies if you outsource any content writing.
Do you think Author Rank will rise up in SERP importance?
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