homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.227.5.234
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: Robert Charlton & aakk9999 & brotherhood of lan & goodroi

Google SEO News and Discussion Forum

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >     
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.

 

mcskoufis




msg:4613754
 11:32 am on Sep 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

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


So it cleverly let loose the myth that Authorship is an important signal, got new Google+ users and also monitors closely those that are using it for manipulating its algorithms. I don't see them using it as a ranking signal soon.

Well done Google! (IMO all this is)

EditorialGuy




msg:4614047
 5:57 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

So it cleverly let loose the myth that Authorship is an important signal,


It's certainly important to publishers who additional traffic from rich author snippets in SERPs. Rankings aren't everything: Clickthrough rates matter, too.

and also monitors closely those that are using it for manipulating its algorithms.


Google has been moving toward letting its algorithms (not authors or publishers) determine what is or isn't "authored"--e.g., by scanning for bylines. Also, the fact that Google has made authorship markup automatic on large publishing platforms like WordPress.com and TypePad (where bloggers can verify their authorship credentials simply by logging in with Google+) suggests that Google doesn't regard Authorship adopters as "manipulators."

I don't see them using it as a ranking signal soon.


"Soon" is a relative term.

bwnbwn




msg:4614053
 6:27 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ahh guys do you think they would actually tell you it was a ranking factor. For them to come out and deny it makes me wonder all the more. I really don't care if google uses it or not I use it to claim our content.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614108
 10:45 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ahh guys do you think they would actually tell you it was a ranking factor.


They've already hinted quite strongly that it will become a ranking factor.

Once it is a ranking factor, they'll be under no obligation to say that it is, but they won't need to lie, either.

netmeg




msg:4614271
 3:46 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are still a lot of sites left out of Authorship (yo, ecommerce anyone? or just business or organization sites?) for it to be any kind of ranking factor.

diberry




msg:4614274
 3:50 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are still a lot of sites left out of Authorship (yo, ecommerce anyone? or just business or organization sites?) for it to be any kind of ranking factor.


That's how I see it.

snickles121




msg:4614309
 6:20 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

I dont know if anyone saw this yet "Google Plus no longer accepting name verification requests" https://support.google.com/plus/answer/3402542?rd=2

I wonder why?

EditorialGuy




msg:4614317
 7:51 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are still a lot of sites left out of Authorship (yo, ecommerce anyone? or just business or organization sites?) for it to be any kind of ranking factor.


There's no reason why authorship couldn't be a ranking factor for searches where authorship is relevant, and not for searches where it isn't.

BUT...

Before Authorship can become a ranking factor, Google needs to:

1) Determine exactly what qualifies as "authored" content.

2) Get the bugs out of Authorship, which is still a work in progress.

netmeg




msg:4614342
 10:27 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's no reason why authorship couldn't be a ranking factor for searches where authorship is relevant, and not for searches where it isn't.


Right, but there are also a lot of areas where these overlap.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614346
 10:57 pm on Oct 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Right, but there are also a lot of areas where these overlap.


Maybe, but Google is already making judgments about what constitutes "authored content" when it decides whether to serve rich snippets.

If Google decides that John Doe's page about invertebrate widgetology is "authored content" that qualifies for an author photo and byline in a SERP for that topic, isn't it reasonable for Google to take Mr. Doe's author history into account when figuring out how the page should rank?

To put it another way, why shouldn't the author's track record be taken into account in the same way that "domain authority" is? If Jonas Salk were alive today and writing a blog post about polio vaccine, wouldn't you expect that to rank as high on a SERP as an article on the same topic at Examiner.com or About.com?

I don't think Google has any doubts at all about using authorship ("AuthorRank," if you prefer) as a ranking factor, once the details have been worked out.

Robert Charlton




msg:4614378
 7:59 am on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's no reason why authorship couldn't be a ranking factor for searches where authorship is relevant, and not for searches where it isn't.

As it turns out, there's a whole separate section in the John Mueller video Hangout (beginning at roughly 20:53) that isn't technically about Authorship, but which is about how Google might look at ranking duplicate ecommerce product descriptions... and it does raise the question about whether the Authorship of shared ecommerce product descriptions in particular is relevant enough to be a ranking factor.

As Mueller is saying that 'matching the original author of a product description doesn't make as much sense as matching the author of a blog post or newspaper article', you can almost hear the shrug in his voice when he says "product description". It's as though product descriptions are necessarily so thin, with so much possibility for misuse, with such a sketchy history, that Google has chosen another route.

Not wanting to disrupt the ecommerce aspect of the discussion on this thread, I felt that there were enough factors brought up with regard to the ranking of product descriptions, separate from Authorship issues, that they were worth a separate thread, which I've started here....

Duplicate ecommerce product descriptions and ecommerce rankings (John Mueller)
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4614373.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I leave it to the posters who brought up ecommerce Authorship issue what's most appropriate here and what's most appropriate on the new thread.

mcskoufis




msg:4614458
 2:15 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

EditorialGuy I agree it is helpful for improving CTR from the SERPs... Didn't say it is not helpful, said it isn't helpful to make your site rank.

Google has been moving toward letting its algorithms (not authors or publishers) determine what is or isn't "authored"


I agree but they have diverted the SEO community's attention towards sorting authorship tags out... Always misleading on what truly makes your site rank... That's my point.

suggests that Google doesn't regard Authorship adopters as "manipulators."


I am not suggesting this at all.. All I am saying is by alarming SEOs to adopting the Authorship saga, they also draw loads of spammers to adopt it as well, since it is not a ranking signal, what a clever way that is to identify spammers.

I've witnessed many spammy websites using such Authorship tags in their code and are early adopters. It is a clever "catch all" approach to me and it helps them profile them much better.. Talking from a WebSpam perspective here...

EditorialGuy




msg:4614475
 2:56 pm on Oct 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

EditorialGuy I agree it is helpful for improving CTR from the SERPs... Didn't say it is not helpful, said it isn't helpful to make your site rank.


Yes, but it will influence rankings at some point--at least, if we're to believe Google. And I'd guess that "at some point" won't be years away, because it it were, interest in Authorship markup would fade before long before AuthorRank made its debut.

mihomes




msg:4614721
 8:58 pm on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I do not see this happening until they allow business to take authorship rather than a specific individual.

There is no way I am going to setup an individual to be the 'face' of the company for a number of reasons the main which comes to mind is crazy consumers. Can you imagine some of these crazy customers (we all have them) researching the author of a company showing up at their doorstep, calling their home phone, etc to complain about an experience, ask for 'personal' help, etc, etc. Yes, people actually do this kind of thing because they know no better or have that sense of entitlement that they are special.

Other reasons could be firing... your 'face' is fired, quits, new job, anything... what do you do now?

coachm




msg:4614740
 10:29 pm on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

As an actual author, I desperately want Google to be able to link my books and ebooks to my websites, and I want "google points" for being a demonstrated expert in real life by virtue of those books and selling several 100k of books around the world.

I see authorship, hopefully, as a first step to link between real world expertise and on line expertise that goes way beyond links and popularity.

In fact, it's pretty much all in place. Amazon, for example, could provide a field on its author pages (which of course I have) to link to G+ to establish that the amazon author, Coachme is the same one as the one on Google+ and in turn, then I get extra ranking juice for my sites. It's almost a no brainer.

As for non-content stuff like product description, I can see Google doing similar things for products, brands, etc, although it's not altogether clear to me why it would help buyers, but maybe...

As for spamming, not sure how that works now, or how authorship tags would make a difference in ranking for spammers, even if it DID boost rank via linking real to virtual world?

For content producers, this MAY be the one smart thing google has done in years, but you never know.

On another note, the issues mentioned about employees moving on is easy to address, since we have both publisher and author pages. The publisher uses the publisher tag, and provides an in article byline, but NOT the author tag. This would make sense for some companies, since the author, an employee, shouldn't get credit for the work, which belongs to the company.

The sticky stuff comes with blogs, like Harvard Biz Review contributors, perhaps, but probably same deal. Blog submissions belong to them, regardless of author, so they are in effect the publisher.

What am I missing?

EditorialGuy




msg:4614744
 11:08 pm on Oct 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

I do not see this happening until they allow business to take authorship rather than a specific individual.


Authorship is about content, not about businesses.

Still, there are plenty of businesses that have jumped on the authorship bandwagon--sometimes in ways that are ludicrous, such as the hotel booking site that stuck authorship markup on a vast number of boilerplate hotel pages a while back. "Authorship abuse" is likely to be a bigger annoyance for Google than lack of interest by businesses.

mihomes




msg:4614761
 2:44 am on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Remember that publisher and author are two completely different things. Publisher only states the company or 'G+ page' takes credit for that page. If nothing is done to allow companies to 'be' an author and authorship does count towards ranking you will see all kinds of crazy stuff that doesn't make sense and shouldn't be happening.

What I meant by an employee firing is all the author rank would be lost. The company would remove the link to the now fired employee who wrote the articles... even if they kept the articles and removed the author tag from the page if there was any rank influence from authorship that would be lost in one swift swoop. At least that is the way I see it happening in current state.

The author has the influence - author is gone - site loses due to the employee loss.

So... how are companies supposed to provide compelling, best in the field content and articles, with the company taking credit and being the 'face'?

coachm




msg:4614820
 12:56 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

So... how are companies supposed to provide compelling, best in the field content and articles, with the company taking credit and being the 'face'?


I'm obviously biased here, and I DO see your point, but WHY should a company gain via the authorship tag, when they have the publisher tag. Two different things, both practically and conceptually.

It's a smart distinction made by Google, provided they don't screw it up.

The company didn't write the articles that the employee wrote, so they can't claim they wrote the articles, even if they paid for them, or own them.

Authorship is, as google has said, about linking thing written by an author so google knows that something on blog a, on blog b, on a website, on amazon are all by the same person. PERSON.

For large "publishers" they already have a huge advantage in the SERPS, eg. if you look for various business terms, almost all the results will be for Forbes, Businessweek etc.

Or .edu sites.

The actual writers of the content currently get nothing from being published on those sites (in the SERPS).

I can see you you might not want to use the tags if you are a smaller business, but you probably wouldn't gain if you did anyway. The chances of your having content written by someone who, by virtue of being a real world expert, with connections to many other real world expert articles is slim.

What percentage of writers/authors/content creators will actually benefit from google seeing all their work as related? Not many, I'd guess. Less than one percent, probably. Unlikely you'd be able to tap into that group anyway.

In short, the authorship tag isn't for "you", as a company. Nor should it be.

coachm




msg:4614821
 1:03 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Still, there are plenty of businesses that have jumped on the authorship bandwagon--sometimes in ways that are ludicrous, such as the hotel booking site that stuck authorship markup on a vast number of boilerplate hotel pages a while back. "Authorship abuse" is likely to be a bigger annoyance for Google than lack of interest by businesses.


yes, silly indeed. I can't see how companies that do these kinds of silly things would benefit by using the tag, EVEN IF Google ends up using it to give additional SERP credibility by using the tag in ranking. So, the way I see it unless I'm missing something, it's not even an annoyance. One can try to game the system using authorship tags, but if it doesn't work, who cares?

EditorialGuy




msg:4614838
 3:41 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, the way I see it unless I'm missing something, it's not even an annoyance. One can try to game the system using authorship tags, but if it doesn't work, who cares?


Maybe I should have said "minor annoyance." The kind of authorship abuse that I mentioned is more likely to be about getting rich snippets on SERPs than gaming the search results.

mihomes




msg:4614869
 7:38 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

WHY should a company gain via the authorship tag, when they have the publisher tag


The publisher tag right now does nothing in terms of influence and/or rank (of course neither does author at the moment, but this topic is about the high chance of so in the future). You mention Forbes, BusinessWeek, etc, but the correlation you mention has nothing to do with the publisher tag or its use if any.

The chances of your having content written by someone who, by virtue of being a real world expert, with connections to many other real world expert articles is slim.


I have to disagree with this. Companies who have been leaders in the industry for x years are not real world experts and do not have connections with others? Where do you think these experts work? Do they all work by themselves as a single person business? Strange example to think of is the single person cobbler compared to Nike... while both might be experts who would you value higher for say an article on shoe aesthetics and comfort?

If author starts ruling the rankings then 'businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+' are going to want to get in the game. With that comes my original comments and issues.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614872
 8:01 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If author starts ruling the rankings then 'businesses, products, brands, and organizations with a public identity and presence on Google+' are going to want to get in the game.


A major cruise line publishes a bylined blog by one of its cruise directors. The blog is a big hit--it resonates with customers who have met the cruise director or would like to--and the company doesn't seem worried that the cruise director will jump ship.

Similarly, there are a number of niche mail-order/e-commerce companies whose owners have succeeded, to a great extent, though their personal reputations and writing skills.

Also, there's nothing new about companies hiring celebrities or experts to promote their products. Why shouldn't a company hire an author? Megasportsgear dot com might hire Joe Schmo, the widgetball guru (and former Olympic Champion in widgetball), to write a series of widgetball articles for its widgetball section in the hope of attracting prospective widgetball customers. As long as Megasportsgear dot com had a long-term contract with Joe, it wouldn't have to worry about Joe leaving for greener pastures in the foreseeable future.

mihomes




msg:4614885
 11:27 pm on Oct 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

No problem at all - I would expect it - that has been a regular staple forever it seems. My point is the actual brand/company/whatever being able to do the same thing without having a physical face associated.

I am an expert in my field and know plenty of others in it, but I will not be writing articles and linking to my personal g+ profile for the world to see, lookup my home address, my home phone, etc. At the same time I would have no problem writing for and under the company face.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614889
 12:07 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am an expert in my field and know plenty of others in it, but I will not be writing articles and linking to my personal g+ profile for the world to see, lookup my home address, my home phone, etc.


And that's fine. It's a personal choice: Google isn't requiring anyone to use authorship markup.

mihomes




msg:4614891
 12:29 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If authoring influences rank then yes, in a sense, they are.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614903
 2:18 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If authoring influences rank then yes, in a sense, they are.


If and when AuthorRank (to use the popular term) is deployed, it will be merely one factor in Google's algorithm. And it's likely to apply only to searches where author reputation might legitimately come into play.

Two other things to keep in mind:

1) The concept of author reputation isn't something Google thought up. Google is simply taking a long-established concept and bringing it to Web search. (If you want to learn about microbiology, would you rather read a bylined article by a microbiologist or a story by Joe Nobody at Examiner.com?)

2) There's nothing new about authors using their real names on articles, either--even if they're listed in the phone book.

mihomes




msg:4614911
 4:12 am on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Your name gives away a lot with this and I completely understand, however, it is just as easy to say the other side.

Would you rather read an article from Nike or from Joe Nobody at someblog.com?

There's nothing new about authors using pen names or brands being the face of information either.

I am not arguing against authorship - I am just saying there should be a method for a company to do the same, especially, keyword especially if authorship influences rank. There are too many holes in this proposal as is if they want to satisfy everyone and stop abuse, misuse, and problems with this method IMO. Although I have felt that way with a lot of things they have been doing lately.

I can promise you this... if authorship comes into play there are going to be loads of 'ghosts' releasing articles whether it has anything to do with a company, brand, product, or not. There will also be loads of real/fake profiles buying articles from others and releasing as their own work.

coachm




msg:4614939
 12:56 pm on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mihomes:

First, I shouldn't have mentioned the "real world expert", since it's MY personal issue, and to my knowledge google hasn't mentioned that. It's a bit of a red herring to the topic.

Let's make the assumption google doesn't screw up how authorship is used, I know, an unlikely scenario.

1. Think of taking credit for writing something (claiming authorship) is part of creating one's personal brand. If you wish to remain anon. online or off, you can't take advantage of that. Your choice.

2. Using the authorship tag won't and shouldn't confer any advantages at all UNLESS you have a reputation as illustrated by content that creates that reputation, and avaliable elsewhere, i.e. on amazon, on high rep. blogs etc. So, there's no advantage to "ghosts", except if they try to forge authorship. Fake profiles won't work, because all they will do is link to a bunch of other junk. I'm sure people will try but it's like today's keyword stuffing. It won't (or shouldn't work).

Authorship means "I wrote this". Companies don't write things. People do. Authorship is about the person. Not the publisher, which is what the company/blog owner, etc is.

I mentioned Forbes before because they, and HBR, etc, dominate the SERPS for almost all business searches, and in depth articles. They aren't benefitting from author or pub tags yet, but neither do they need to. I see writers getting a fairer shake with the authorship tag, the little guy who writes here and there, different places, different platforms, and can gain from having a personal brand.

As for companies "losing" if an employee with a good persona brand leaves, that can be covered in contracting as someone else indicated, but look, why should they be able to take advantage of MY personal brand, once I leave?

I see lots of good possibilities here. Google, for example, could incorporate links in its serps to OTHER content from the same author. (e.g. someone searches [business term], comes across something I wrote, and also sees an option to look at "Books by this author" which goes to Google Books, or amazon (right!). Or an option to see "Other articles by this author".

I don't really see a downside here. I don't see why a company should be able to claim authorship, when content is written by PEOPLE.

Would you rather read an article from Nike or from Joe Nobody at someblog.com?


Nike doesn't write. They publish. If Google uses the publisher tag somehow to improve Nike's SERP position, that covers that, but the reality is those companies already rank for EVERYTHING.

Let's come at it from another angle. Who would you rather read about a certain make of footwear? Nike? Or a known basketball player that reviews footwear and occasionally writes a blog? Or Joe Nobody?

The basketball player is the ONE that would benefit from the authorship tag. Nike shouldn't and wouldn't anyway. Joe Nobody won't either because he has no "authored" content that would boost his rank.

I'm going to see Nike anyway. I'm not interested in Joe, but he isn't going to get a boost. I WOULD like to see the basketball player's opinions, which right now, would not be findable in the SERPS, unless I search specifically for his name.

EditorialGuy




msg:4614947
 2:46 pm on Oct 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Nike doesn't write. They publish. If Google uses the publisher tag somehow to improve Nike's SERP position, that covers that, but the reality is those companies already rank for EVERYTHING.


Bingo. And that's likely to be true even if the Nike/Amazon/TripAdvisor/whatever page consists of anonymous user-generated content or PR fluff.

This 33 message thread spans 2 pages: 33 ( [1] 2 > >
Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google SEO News and Discussion
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved