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Opinion - Google authorship has no effect on search engine placement
GifAnimator




msg:4590519
 12:12 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have approximately 2000 people who have me in their circle and have been with g+ for about two years but over this time I have seen my website gradually dropping down in the SERPís.
It will give you a better CTR by having the rich snippet in place on search but I have seen no indication that it helps in any other way.
In my opinion G+ has been set up to get as much information on you to be able to present relevant advertisements when you browse the internet.

This just my two pennyworth, I will point out that I use G+ to interact and have some fun. Many people here have not got the time or inclination to do such things.

 

goodroi




msg:4590536
 12:59 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Before jumping to conclusions it is usually a good idea to thoroughly test assumptions. How have you tested your assumption?

You mentioned your website gradually dropped in SERPs, this could have been due to a loss of backlinks which overpowered any potential ranking boost of Google+. Did you track the link juice during your testing to make sure it didn't change?

Also did you track your competition? It is possible that Google+ did give you a ranking boost but your competition gained much more by boosting links or improving their on-page elements so even though your ranking score improved, you can still lose rankings by being outpaced by your competition.

I am not saying you are wrong. I am just trying to encourage others to do better research and testing so they can discover better insights. From my research I do not see a significant ranking boost from Google+ today but I suspect that will change over time. I still often implement Google+ simply for the CTR boost that I have also observed.

GifAnimator




msg:4590547
 1:29 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have done a certain amount of research and my backlinks have improved. Sites that outrank me have not been touched for many years. I have also asked other peopleís opinions on the authorship tag on Google+ and most will agree it has no effect on SEO other than improving the CTR but they are all sitting there hoping that it will at a later date.
Will it have any effect at a later date, I doubt it because webmasters would be up in arms, especially many that reside here.

backdraft7




msg:4590550
 1:43 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just another angle that desperate webmasters will try to "game" in order to get ahead. Unfortunately, this is why 500 updates are needed per year.

GifAnimator




msg:4590552
 1:58 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm lucky, I'm not desperate, my website is not a business and having a good search engine placement is not as important as being able to interact with people who visit my site.

It is interesting to see how other business websites are using G+ and trying to game the system, it's not an easy thing to do and at the end of the day will it all be worth it.

I know this subject has been covered many times before but I thought you may like to see it from a different angle.

EditorialGuy




msg:4590560
 2:30 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts recently said that "social" isn't being used as a ranking factor (understandably, since Likes, +1s, followers, etc. can gamed so easily and are a noisy signal at the best of times).

He also suggested that author authority (possibly what's being called "Author Rank") will be added to the algorithm this summer, but summer began only a couple of weeks ago.

Since you're on Google+, you might want to join the Google+ Authorship & Author Rank Community to keep up with what's happening in that area.

diberry




msg:4590561
 2:34 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

(understandably, since Likes, +1s, followers, etc. can gamed so easily and are a noisy signal at the best of times).


Oh, just like links then! ;)

GifAnimator




msg:4590565
 2:59 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Iím in the G+ authorship community and all you see is the same old article posted and rewritten by so called experts. I like to get out and about and talk to people who have something fresh and original to say and I have many highly qualified people in my circles, unlike me as Iím just an artist, but it takes all sorts to build active and interesting interactions.

This is how my opinion has been formed. Letís be honest in two years just what has G+ achieved apart from gaining a better knowledge of us so they can present more relevant ads . Letís not forget, Google is all about making money, not giving webmasters help in gaining better search engine placement

Sand




msg:4590566
 3:06 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen any discernible difference in visits or CTR since adding authorship.

dethfire




msg:4590567
 3:11 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google wins either way. If they gain users and participation in their programs just with the theorizing of it being relevant. People hop on board because of fear.

waynne




msg:4590569
 3:22 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

It made no discernible difference to me whatsoever. I added it for 30 days, removed it for 30 days and added it again for 60 days on 4 different sites/4 different author tags. Traffic levels were the same, click throughs were the same. No benefit whatsoever!

I still even have scraped content outranking me which I thought and would have expected an authorship tag would avoid!

GifAnimator




msg:4590571
 3:24 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Don't always look at from a webmasters point of view. The percentage of website owners is probably small to the amount of people that want to use it as a social network.

EditorialGuy




msg:4590577
 3:41 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Whether Google gains anything from Google+ is beside the point.

The relevant question for us is, "Will authorship markup help rankings?"

At this point, there's no evidence that it does.

BUT....Hints from Google (including recently-filed patents) certainly suggest that, in the foreseeable future, the Google+ authorship/identity platform could benefit:

- Authors who have authority for a given search topic, and...

- Sites that publish works by those authors.

That doesn't mean authorship markup will benefit everybody, though.

aristotle




msg:4590588
 4:01 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some people seem to spend a lot of time trying to get backlinks, facebook likes, G+ author photos, or whatever. Maybe it would be more constructive to spend that time researching and writing, or working to improve your site.

breeks




msg:4590594
 4:12 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Same here no difference in visits or CTR since adding authorship. Twenty dollar demand media articles, Yahoo answers, and 2 paragraph about-dot-com articles seem to rule the results, not authors.

Saffron




msg:4590617
 5:47 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Doesn't seem to have made a difference with me either. I'm considering removing it as I find it quite invasive to be honest.

GifAnimator




msg:4590649
 9:43 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

As the OP in this thread I would say that the reaction here is very much the same reaction I have had when researching peopleís opinions on G+. Itís all very well doing a thorough analysis of your website, and I have had a couple of experts in their field do that for me on G+ but it makes so much more sense to get out there and find out just how other webmasters are faring. I think that I have tested my assumptions and that they are not far wrong.

Iím an authority in my field, my work has been used on millions of webpages so it would be nice if Google recognised this but Iím not holding my breath, I have worked closely with some Google employees and what they hint and what actually materialises can often be two different things.

Dymero




msg:4590650
 9:43 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Jeff Sauer found was that authorship itself didn't necessarily grant you high rankings, but sharing an article or site from an established Google+ account that actually discusses other things in the general neighborhood of that topic may do so (or at least, it may get you indexed much more quickly).

I don't actually recall anyone from Google saying authorship would help you rank, just that it does have a tendency to increase CTR of pages that already rank.

[edited by: goodroi at 10:00 pm (utc) on Jul 5, 2013]
[edit reason] Please no specific urls as per forum charter [/edit]

GifAnimator




msg:4590657
 10:15 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google has not discouraged reports that G+ will help you rank and as EditorialGuy has specified, they are hinting that it will

EditorialGuy




msg:4590661
 10:31 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't actually recall anyone from Google saying authorship would help you rank, just that it does have a tendency to increase CTR of pages that already rank.


Well, Google does have new patents (filed in Jan. 2012, granted in June 2013) that relate to authorship, including "System and method for determining topic authority" (US Patent 8,458,196) that includes references to "authorship information" and "authority signature value" for authors. (In a June 12 blog post, Bill Slawski grouped this and the related patents under the heading "Google Patents n Author Signature Values and Authority Scores.")

And in a recent video about changes that are coming this summer, Matt Cutts said:

"We are doing a doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space. It could be medical, it could be travel, whatever. And trying to makes sure that those rank a little more highly, if you are some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little bit more appropriate for users."

Mind you, there's no reason to believe that "AuthorRank" (as author reputation as a ranking factor has been dubbed) will work for every type of page and query.

Saffron




msg:4590663
 10:41 pm on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't really understand how having your photo on the Google search page equates to authority. I do it, but that never really made sense to me.

They're certainly not doing a very good job with "authority" at the moment. There's a whole heap of rubbish/scraped results being returned.

I mean I can start a website about motorbikes (which I know nothing about), and use the authorship tool, it doesn't mean I know what I'm talking about.

I've always just felt authority was a way to get more people using Google +. JMO of course.

EditorialGuy




msg:4590693
 12:17 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't really understand how having your photo on the Google search page equates to authority.


It doesn't, and Google has never said or implied that it does.

Authorship markup and authority are two different things.

GifAnimator




msg:4590759
 7:39 am on Jul 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

My original heading to this thread said
Google authorship has no effect on search engine placement
The moderator changed it to opinion.
I think the general consensus is that my original statement is correct and that very little more can be added to this thread.

Dymero




msg:4591188
 3:19 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

and "authority signature value" for authors


No, author markup isn't an indicator of authority alone. However, I could see Google bumping you up a spot or two if it's already associated your name (as verified with a Google+ account, of course) as authority on a certain topic. Thus expanding "authority" beyond the bounds of a single website, since it is not uncommon for authorities on a topic to write on multiple websites these days.

mromero




msg:4591196
 3:43 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I believe authorship is one signal that a search engine may use to determine the value of a site. I very much doubt that in the long run, anyone can expect to rank high simply because they have Google Authorship. If you are a recognized expert in your field, AND you have authorship, this may help Google weed out people who throw up websites to further pollute the web. I see Google Authorship as a work in progress with a bright future.

HuskyPup




msg:4591197
 3:44 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey GifAnimator, did you read this:

DS: Thatís why you donít use Google +1s.

MC: Yes, for the same reasons. It can be sparse. It can be unreliable. Thatís why I push back when you ask me about this.


[searchengineland.com...]

This would seem to settle the argument for now.

GifAnimator




msg:4591228
 5:28 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

HuskyPup That does settle the argument for now but as always a little hint was added when MC said "that was why things like Authorship will become important down the road"

EditorialGuy




msg:4591235
 5:48 pm on Jul 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

However, I could see Google bumping you up a spot or two if it's already associated your name (as verified with a Google+ account, of course) as authority on a certain topic.


Precisely. Matt Cutts hinted as much in his recent video (see quote earlier in this thread), when he talked about Google Search changes that would be coming this summer.

IMHO, the most important role of Google+ in authorship and Author Rank (at least in the foreseeable future) will be that of an "identify platform." Even if +1s become ranking factors, Google+ will be useful to the Google Search team as a way to identify authors.

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