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how does authorship apply to ecommerce?

 5:14 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been reading about the growing importance of authorship in the SEO world. This whole concept seems to be geared towards bloggers and article based sites. How does this apply to strictly eCommerce sites?



 8:18 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

In short, it doesn't yet.


 8:21 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

well thank you for that easy to understand response! :)


 9:30 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

What netmeg said.

Mind you, that won't keep e-commerce businesses from trying to claim authorship for boilerplate sell pages and anything else they can think of. (I've already seen some blatant examples.) Whether Google will simply ignore or penalize such "authorship abuse" remains to be seen.


 9:44 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

So, with that being said, do you think it's a bad idea for an e-commerce site to include this? To be honest, I'm a designer trying to learn SEO as I go, and kept reading authorship tags are a must have, so I added it to a small business ecommerce site that I work for. Should I take it off? This company has only gotten involved with social media in the last year or so, so I'm trying to get us caught up in getting our pages linked and such.

Robert Charlton

 10:53 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

I agree that claiming "authorship for boilerplate sell pages" is pointless.

On the other hand, if you had content pages or a blog on your ecommerce site, with original articles about your products or your market niche, by all means establish your credibility via authorship of those articles.

An ecommerce site can offer industry news and resources, instructional and how-to material, in-depth product reviews, etc. To the degree that there are people within the company who have or for whom you intend to establish public credibility, their authorship of this material can help you.

If you're hiring writers at five-cents a word, or using temp office workers to write your articles, it's likely that claiming authorship for this material is a bad strategy, one that might come back to bite you.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 10:54 pm (utc) on Dec 13, 2013]


 10:53 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Generally talking, authorship is not related to good SEO performances (if this were true, forcing that on every page would be enough for best rankings), neither is in relationship with e-commerce websites. It is just useful for "official credits" to every single original article of the web, for identifying "good" and/or famous authors. E-commerce does not use usually this concept (except from outside) because they are useful for other purposes.


 11:50 pm on Dec 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your input everyone!


 1:43 am on Dec 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's a quote from a Google FAQ about authorship in a commercial context:

Authorship annotation is useful to searchers because it signals that a page conveys a real person’s perspective or analysis on a topic. Since property listings and product pages are less perspective/analysis oriented, we discourage using authorship in these cases. However, an article about products that provides helpful commentary, such as, “Camera X vs. Camera Y: Faceoff in the Arizona Desert” could have authorship.

Source (with more information):



 2:15 am on Dec 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

To be honest, I'm a designer trying to learn SEO as I go, and kept reading authorship tags are a must have...

Rule number 1 to learning is: "Don't fall for the hype, sensationalism, FUD, or sales pitches -- That's all they are."

Robert Charlton

 11:26 pm on Dec 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding the question of authorship in relation to ecommerce content in particular, here's a discussion I started in October. I'm planning to revisit some of the issues raised in that thread and kick it up....

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

As I note in the above thread...
...there are several inescapable suggestions that... at least with regard to product descriptions... authorship will not be relevant.

As I read it, Google is more or less officially bypassing the issue of who originated product descriptions, and will be looking to factors of site authority, query intent, and to other content on the ecommerce site to determine rankings...

Also to be revisited is this thread on Authorship, which was a starting point for the ecommerce discussion...

Google Authorship not (yet) a ranking factor, per John Mueller
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4613727.htm [webmasterworld.com]

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