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Eric Schmidt: SERPs With Authorship Profiles Will Rank Higher
engine

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 6:36 pm on Feb 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

We've said it before here at WebmasterWorld, your Google profile will impact SERPs.

Google's Eric Schmidt confirms it.
Search engines: “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”[blogs.wsj.com ]

 

Samizdata

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 10:41 pm on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's all BS to push people to sign up for Google+

"Forget Zuck... he is just screwing you... I will screw you too but I'll pay you for it".

"Bend over for me and I will boost your search ranking".


A lot of people would probably find such an offer seductive.

Especially around here.

...

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 10:45 pm on Feb 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

you won't even see this because it won't rank, because I don't have a Google+ account

You don't have to. The site does. See that wee little icon in the lower-right corner?

Besides, you know perfectly well that WebmasterWorld threads get indexed before the page even has time to refresh.

:: idly wondering what, if anything, would happen if I included the profile/author link on pages whose content clearly says that it's either in the public domain or mirrored from somewhere else ::

moTi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 12:06 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

well, i accept that it's a general problem to identify the website owner. in germany, we have something called "impressumspflicht". that is, you need to provide full details on your commercial website of who you are. and if some competitor (mostly) discovers, that you don't have your full name and address in a subsection of your webpages, they can sue you.

personally, i'm okay with a legal notice containing the personal information. you know how to contact the owner when needed and the whole web appearance looks more professional and trustworthy to the user.

on the other hand, considering that all other countries don't demand that kind of identification, it can be also seen as a locational disadvantage. webmasters in other countries can remain under the radar - more often than not you find at most a simple contact form and nothing else. but as a german resident i am obliged to full disclosure.

so, actually i'd like to rank higher than my competitor from the netherlands then.. would be fair, don't you think? makes you sometimes feel like naked in public where every other person around you is clothed and staring at you, really.

i agree with the view, that global consensus regarding webmaster information is desirable. i think the common state of legal affairs is absurd. but it's not eric schmidt's assignment to enforce equal duties. it's a political/juridical question, you will have to let the countries decide. google as the new internet government or what?

[edited by: moTi at 12:22 am (utc) on Feb 14, 2013]

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 12:21 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

France also requires that commercial websites show the "siret" ( business registration number ) which must also be present on all business letters etc..

If IIRC UK law requires the equivalent ?..

it's not eric schmidt's assignment to enforce equal duties. it's a political/juridical question, let the countries decide. google as the new internet government or what?


Agreed..

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 1:46 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

hot blonde under 25 year old female G profile pics

female: check
under 25: check
blonde: ... uhm, half credit for agouti hoodie?
hot: depends on your species, I guess

But when I do see an author picture alongside a search result, it's typically an adult male in the 25-50 age bracket. Maybe I'm not searching for the right things.

:: now trying to think of a search term that would force g### to choose between the Hot For Words lady and Calvert Watkins ::

Edit:

Found while searching:
"Most people who have dealt with {name} have some sense that {name} could try a little harder on this score, but of course it’s part of being 'number one' that you don’t have to try that hard."

Isn't that absolutely priceless? :)

Samizdata

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 2:00 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

your Google profile will impact SERPs... Eric Schmidt confirms it

I disagree. Great forum fodder, doubtless posted in a hurry, but highly misleading.

Mr Schmidt appears to be talking about the likely practises of repressive pariah states.

He is predicting them (not supporting them) and confirms nothing at all about Google.

Shame on me for not reading the source earlier (I thought WSJ was paywalled).

Sorry, you generally do a great job, but this is one to forget.

...

Clarence



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 2:36 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't have to go behind the Facebook Wall. FB Pages are public.

If Google see's your Facebook page with 100,000 user "You're Linking to it and It's linking to you with same name" vs your competition with no Facebook page you will probably get more creditably and ranking "All things being equal"


Same with twitter. Social signal are taken into consideration.

japonicus



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 3:37 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

You're a very cynical lot here :)

I don't see the desire to link a published article to a verifiable author as particularly nefarious. It could be a good way of cutting down on scraping. Perhaps it's a way for search engines to find their way out of the mire of copies of copied 'original' content that makes up most of the web at the moment.

If you've gone to the effort of researching and writing a useful article then linking it to a personal profile seems a non-issue to me.

It's not so much about manipulating search results as promoting content that someone is willing to admit to having written (which is surely at least a hint as to quality).

It's also a different issue from repressive governments wanting to know everyone's details online - that's likely to happen anyway regardless of what google gets up to.

Samizdata

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 4:07 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

You're a very cynical lot here

I think the response to the report as it was presented in the opening post was entirely understandable, and many valid points have been made on this thread.

But Eric Schmidt did not confirm that your Google profile will impact SERPs.

Not in the WSJ article cited.

No beef there (not even horsemeat).

...

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 6:11 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Forget authorship - the real story here is about privacy!

Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens — “hidden people”; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world


Verification at the state level? hidden people?

The government is MASTER of going around online using hidden people to promote influence and infiltrate profiles. Of course they are afraid of things they do themselves.

Forums like this one where people use a pen name because they want to talk to, and learn from, similar minded people without exposing themselves to others who may want to copy, compete with or otherwise hinder your progress will have to either shut down or force members to use real names?

Since Eric mentioned it I think he owes it to EVERYONE to further explain where he got this belief, and to point to the organization who is actively planning this change for the internet.

nickreynolds

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 9:39 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Whilst we have a natural concern about the "online profiles" thing, it's important to see this in context - a book about how he sees the digital age developing. Some of his thoughts may be accurate, some not. I remember what experts in the '70's were saying the world would look like by the year 2000! It's still a lot more like the 70's than many of the predictions were saying!

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 9:50 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Privacy

There's anonymity, and there's pseudonymity, and both afford levels of privacy. Pseudonymity has a long tradition, and it can also convey reputation. I'm coming around to not liking anonymity in some situations because of its lack of accountability, which is often misused... but I'm feeling comfortable with pseudonyms. YMMV.

As for government... that's why I think Eric and a bunch of others would welcome legislation, though I assume that might depend on what the legislation ends up saying. ;)

Advanced thinkers I know who work in web apps and systems that require a considerable amount of personal data to function feel that there needs to be some sort of social contract if personalized systems are to become widely acceptable. Right now I worry much more about the government or about Facebook (or for that matter, LinkedIn) than I do about Google. Again, YMMV.

newsnshop



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 11:28 am on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is Google forcing us to use G+?

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 2:46 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is Google forcing us to use G+?


For some of their products a G+ profile is required, especially where images are involved.

mihomes

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 5:20 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

So the question now is... does it matter if you have a Google+ page (setup for your business) linked as publisher or do you need to specifically have a 'person' G+ page linked as author?

Me personally, I have a G+ page, FB page, and twitter account for all my main sites... I do not link my personal/physical accounts on those sites which would just seem absurd to me. For as many idiots out there that take the time to whois a website and then use the 'wrong' contact info to ask questions when there is a huge contact form or support link on the site - this would go over great - not!

Not to mention this would be a huge target for spammers. Oh, John Doe's personal profile is linked to widget.com and it looks like he is from Austin, Texas... I think I will just spam him with postal mail and calls to his personal residence now regarding useless crap he won't be interested in for widget.com.

Sure hope this isn't true.

Samizdata

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 6:03 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sure hope this isn't true

It isn't.

Eric Schmidt was predicting the kind of laws that North Korea and Zimbabwe might impose.

He was probably being diplomatic in not mentioning China in the same breath.

He knows that Google (and others) have to play ball if they want to trade in such markets.

But he did NOT confirm that your Google profile will impact SERPs.

...

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 7:27 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some governments will consider it too risky to have thousands of anonymous, untraceable and unverified citizens — “hidden people”; they’ll want to know who is associated with each online account, and will require verification at a state level, in order to exert control over the virtual world


We are already seeing this in the UK. Our .UK registrar, Nominet, has been quietly cancelling thousands of domains when the registrants couldn't be positively identified. It is no secret that the UK government has been pressing for this for some time.

Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance


I suspect this has already begun. We are all seeing 'big brand' sites occupying top positions for key phrases they wouldn't normally be expected to rank for. How much more verified can you be than a brand?

Personally, I don't like it, but this is the way things are, and the way they will go further in the future.
The Wild West days will soon be a distant memory.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 8:16 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Pseudonymity has a long tradition, and it can also convey reputation. I'm coming around to not liking anonymity in some situations because of its lack of accountability, which is often misused... but I'm feeling comfortable with pseudonyms. YMMV.


This is precisely what bothers me. Before the web ever existed, pseudonyms allowed people to do publicized work without having to expose their personal identity to the world. This allows people to have a public life as a writer without exposing themselves to quite a few potential horrors. It might be quite safe to run a site that sells widgets and post your name as Bob Johnson, but if your name is unique and you're writing about social topics like politics, religion or equality, you could find yourself in the situation that befell Kathy Sierra: [en.wikipedia.org ] Getting death threats from people who have found your home address, and are posting your social security number online. And she wasn't even talking about anything controversial - apparently, it was just the fact that she was a woman and there are still some people out there who take issue with women in certain arenas.

Being anonymous does allow people to be jerks online, but it also allows people to avoid jerks who might connect real names to real places and cause real harm. Any attempt to force people to use their actual, legal name if they want to speak online will have the effect of silencing some people with very good messages. That's not my idea of progress.

johnApaul



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 8:27 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

if search engines go down this route, there are many people that fear identity theft and don't want to be live on the web.
this would be forcing people to do what they don't want to do

bhartzer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 8:57 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I suspect that pretty soon we'll able to buy Google Authorship, just like buying PageRank via text links on sites.

Google seems to be digging another hole here, just like they did via text link ads.

Swanny007

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 9:10 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

The push for Google+ use is pathetic.

Oh, big time! It's more than a push now, you are forced into a G+ account now when signing up for YouTube, GMail, etc.

I don't need a G+ account, my articles are written by me and others who use a member name, not a real name. I suppose if I could have a G+ account with my alias here I would consider it as a last resort. Using my full name? Nope, not going to happen.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 10:25 pm on Feb 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Slightly off-topic, but I just noticed something interesting. About a year ago I set up a personalized Google News page because it allowed me to ban certain dishonest news sources from the results. I seldom look at it anymore, but did so today, and saw the following message about halfway down the page:

"Get the most out of Google News. Upgrade your account to Google+."

Of course I don't intend to do it, but it has caused me to wonder what "upgrade" means in this case. Does it mean that Google provides "better" news coverage to Google+ members? Why would they do that?

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 4:31 am on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

What a double edged sword this Internet technology has created. On one side, a choice of anonymity feels almost like a right. On the other side, the abuse of what anonymity is there by criminal and even terrorist elements is a great threat to human society.

Wish I had an answer to propose, but I don't. I'm just happy to see a discussion trying to probe the topic.

This isn't the only double edged sword that modern technology has generated - how about IP (intellectual property) issues. On the one hand, the existing IP laws feel "right and just". On the other hand, it's also clear that the historical laws just don't work well online. It's something like what sampling technology through at musicians and composers, only much more widespread.

And IP issues are nowhere near as knotty as anonymity issues. We've all got a big job to work out here if the future is to be benign and truly human.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 8:16 am on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

It probably helps to build the reasoning and PR behind G+ and other future enhancements built on Google assets that will lock in users on both sides of the equation.

Google wants to know who you are, so that it can market to you, and better verify the services and content business' produce on their SERP's. It also wants to lock in relationships to lock out future competition from other big players.

This engagement trend has been building for many years now. But it must be top of Google's mind for Eric Schmidt to be spruiking [dictionary.reference.com...] these types of stories.

Andolasoft



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 10:22 am on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mobility, video, social: The future of the web, according to Google

kewlharry



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 6:14 pm on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sometime when i need information i asks my friends. Say last month I wanted to buy a new mobile i asked which is good. Then some told its iPhone and some told Samsung. They were not experts but they knew how I will use the phone and for what purpose and the one who knows more about me will say i dont need a high end primary and secondary camera for that because i use more internet through it. Then i will take the suggestion. This is almost similar to Google Plus circles because i can post the same for a specific circle and get the opinions and +1 by friends for iPhone and samsung can give an idea of the product. So in my opinion +1 and Google plus circles are more useful.

nomis5

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 9:45 pm on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't let your desire for anonymity stop you signing up for G+. There is no anonymity on the web nowadays. You CAN be tracked down if you have a website and someone wants to find you.

Sign up or not to G+ based on how much benefit you think it will bring to you.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 9:55 pm on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't let your desire for anonymity stop you signing up for G+

Well my main reason for not joining Google+ is the simple fact that details about my personal life are none of Google's business.

rubinetto



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 10:56 pm on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification

It started already, just look at the current results!

bhartzer

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 11:09 pm on Feb 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

details about my personal life are none of Google's business

And not only will it be Google's business, a lot of other people will know about you, as well.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4545000 posted 12:07 am on Feb 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think it's worth noting, whilst acknowledging Google's intent, that there are a lot of issues to overcome to implement G+ and authorship etc effectively for ranking purposes.

A lot of members have expressed some of these, and there are many more practical conflicts. That's why I think Google hasn't rushed into this. It's coming, but I don't think with a bang ..... more of a very measured approach.

Eric Schmidt is kinda hellbent on cleaning up the cesspool of results as he put it a few years back, which is why all manipulative ranking techniques in major verticals have been largely eliminated and replaced by brand. But the time it will take, and the the relative ease of technology required to compete may let competitors step up a gear.

That's why I think Google is changing its focus from search to knowledge as they see the defense of their core product becoming more vulnerable and growth in advertising maybe stalling.

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