Robert_Charlton - 8:06 pm on Oct 23, 2012 (gmt 0)
Several comments in the above suggest possible confusion about authorship in relation to Wired. First, why are we interpreting Wired as a "personal" site? And why would Wired.com's having verified authors suggest some kind of "special arrangement" with Google? Wired is an immensely well known publication and it has a dedicated /author/ directory with author pages, all in compliance with Google's Authorship instructions noted above by coopster...
For the record, Steven Levy did write In The Plex about Google and has a very close relationship of mutual trust with Google....
"In The Plex" - getting a clearer picture of what Google IS
It's very possible that several of Levy's concerns about author credit inspired the author tag, and it's likely that he was a beta tester for it. It's probably a tribute to him that Google is using him as the example author in its Authorship documentation.
...an arrangement that might give Wired articles an artificial undeserved boost in the rankings
I don't think they need it, aristotle. It's more likely that the "author" username which sunnyujjawal cited needed the boost. We allowed the post so members could examine it. In this forum, we generally don't allow linking to search results... and, had the search terms been published on this thread, I would have deleted them.
It's unfortunate, IMO, that Barry mentioned the specifics in his SER coverage of this thread [seroundtable.com...] ...as to some extent that mention probably does distort the results.
Barry did check out the connections, though, and he noted...
The Google+ about page for this user has this Twitter account linked in the profile and also has the Pinterest account linked. So that association is there for Google to make the assumption that the author is the same.
I should add that the search terms were extremely specific, consisting of the word "pinterest" and a unique username, and even without the links might have been interpreted as navigational.
To me this also suggests, btw, the kinds of uses which Google is making of connected "named entities" within in a limited context. See this recent discussion, eg....
Google's Knowledge Graph Demonstrated with 'Bacon Number'
There are many "layers" in the algorithm at this point, which are putting all these connections together. Ultimately, they will be harder to game, I believe, than any one layer by itself would be.