EditorialGuy - 3:26 pm on Jul 21, 2013 (gmt 0)
Re Google's idea of "authority":
AuthorRank is a step in the right direction (at least for informational content). If and when it's implemented, it will assign signals of reputation, expertise, etc. to individual authors (and, by extension, individual pages) and not just to publishers or domains.
Matt Cutts touched on this on May 13, when he commented on authority in a Webmaster video about search changes that were in the works:
We’re doing a better job of detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space, could be medical or could be travel or whatever, and trying to make sure that those rank a little more highly if you’re some sort of authority or a site that according to the algorithms we think might be a little more appropriate for users.
For what it's worth, this was the same video where he predicted a "softening" of the Panda algorithm (since redefined as a "more finely targeted" version of the Panda algorithm), which rolled out almost exactly two months after he made that video.
The specifics of how Google might define "authority" or "reputation" for an author are open to question (and debate), but some wouldn't be too hard to guess: If someone has "M.D." after his name and has written for the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Lancet, it would make sense to give his bylined articles more "authority juice" than articles by no-name permatemps at medicine-by-laymen dot com. Similarly, if John Doe has been writing Web articles about canine choreography since 1997, the odds are pretty good that he knows a fair amount about the world of doggie dance.