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Google Authorship not (yet) a ranking factor, per John Mueller
Robert Charlton




msg:4613729
 8:37 am on Sep 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

In a blog article he posted earlier today, Mark Traphagen uses some comments by Google's John Mueller as a point of departure for his overview of Google Authorship's history and its yet unrealized potential as a ranking factor....

Google Authorship Not a Ranking Factor (Yet): John Mueller
by Mark Traphagen - September 29, 2013
[virante.org...]

"We donít use Authorship for ranking," said Google Webmaster Tools Analyst John Mueller in a Google Webmaster Central Hangout broadcast 27 September 2013.

The statement came in response to a question posed at 48:24 in the video recording of the Hangout. A user had noted that scraper sites were able to outrank his original content in Google Search results, even though he had used Google Authorship for the content, and Google was displaying an Authorship rich snippet result for him....

The Hangout video is available embedded on the blog post, at YouTube, or on John Mueller's Google+ account... with navigation features available on the latter two that are not available in the embedded video....

Webmaster Central 2013-09-27
trt 1:08:38
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Jc2twXZlw [youtube.com]

Paraphrasing from this section of the video....
Q: Why can't Google+ authorship prevent scraper sites from showing up above us in the search results?

John Mueller: Well, we don't use authorship for ranking, so it's not... because it's written by a well-known author, or it looks like it might have been written by a well-known author, that we'd show it higher up in the search results....

Q: Could you repeat that once more...

JM: We don't use it for ranking, at the moment. If you're seeing a situation where scraper sites are showing up above you, that's something that I would treat separately from any authorship markup that we have on your pages....

John Mueller's comments suggest that Google has some strong algo considerations which don't always align with a simplified view of Authorship, clearly not in its current state of adoption... and that Authorship is still a work in progress.

IMO, it's an area that Google wants to get right before using it in rankings.

 

MikeNoLastName




msg:4615040
 8:41 am on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had to weigh in here, since the last major thing we did (at the suggestion of a person on WebmasterWorld) before recovering from a 2 year Panda penalty in July 2013, was set up our two largest column authors as G+authors. Coincidence?

diberry




msg:4615118
 2:30 pm on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Uh, we're not all Nike, and we're not all ranking like Nike.

Okay, so let's say you're a little startup called, oh, let's say Doogle. And you put forth one of your best engineers, Matt Dutts, as the "author" and "face" that communicates your missing with others in related fields. You start ranking really well because of Dutt's popularity.

But the rankings aren't instant cash. And what you are making from them, you are reinvesting in your company - hardware upgrades, hiring new engineers to fill in all the work Dutts doesn't have time for because he's so popular.

Dutts asks for a 200% raise. You can't afford to lose him, but neither can you afford to pay him that much just yet. Negotiations fail, and Dutts goes off on his own and starts a competing company.

Doogle would have been better off either skipping authorship altogether, or creating a fake Google+ page in somebody's grandma's name or something, and making their employees author content under that profile.

EditorialGuy




msg:4615125
 3:07 pm on Oct 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Doogle would have been better off either skipping authorship altogether, or creating a fake Google+ page in somebody's grandma's name or something, and making their employees author content under that profile.


People need to get over the idea that authorship is about helping companies. It isn't. It's about helping Google users.

How your hypothetical company keeps "Dutts" from jumping ship to Boohoo or Fling isn't Google's problem. Google's objective with authorship is to improve the quality of its search results.

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