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Google Starts Supporting Authorship Markup

     
4:15 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Google Starts Supporting Authorship Markup [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com]
Today we're beginning to support authorship markup -- a way to connect authors with their content on the web. We are experimenting with using this data to help people find content from great authors in our search results.

We now support markup that enables websites to publicly link within their site from content to author pages. For example, if an author at The New York Times has written dozens of articles, using this markup, the webmaster can connect these articles with a New York Times author page. An author page describes and identifies the author, and can include things like the author’s bio, photo, articles and other links.

If you run a website with authored content, you’ll want to learn about authorship markup in our help center. The markup uses existing standards such as HTML5 (rel=”author”) and XFN (rel=”me”) to enable search engines and other web services to identify works by the same author across the web. If you're already doing structured data markup using microdata from schema.org, we'll interpret that authorship information as well.
4:17 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



< moved from another location >

We now support markup that enables websites to publicly link within their site from content to author pages. For example, if an author at The New York Times has written dozens of articles, using this markup, the webmaster can connect these articles with a New York Times author page. An author page describes and identifies the author, and can include things like the author’s bio, photo, articles and other links.


[insidesearch.blogspot.com...]

[edited by: tedster at 6:12 pm (utc) on Jun 7, 2011]

4:40 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm hoping that this will help Google sort out attribution of original publisher when content is syndicated - at least a little bit.
4:44 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Seems a little too easy to me. But ... maybe.
4:48 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I hope, too, it'll help with attribtion. I wonder if Google will use it as a tool to slap scrapers. I guess we'll have to test it to see.
4:52 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting.

I'm less interested in scrapers with this, more curious how this can help me rank better - if I have great content on my website AND I have great content on industry blogs, does that maybe help my website?

Probably not yet.
4:58 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Ok, just read the article.
enables websites to publicly link within their site from content to author pages.

So it's only within your site. What the heck good does this do me? If I want an attribution link, I can just give myself one from within the article. This seems pointless.

we’ve taken the extra step to add this markup to everything hosted by YouTube and Blogger.

Oh thanks Google. You're creating a specific tag to allow all the content thieves that use your blogger service to host my scraped content, to automatically get the attribute that they wrote my content?

Is there anything that Google's done in the last 2-3 years that hasn't specifically screwed over either webmasters or content owners?
5:19 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



The author page should be on the same domain as the content page.

Authorship page [google.com]

That is a very curious limitation. Now I'm not sure what they're getting at. Is this simply a bow to news sites?

[edited by: tedster at 5:21 pm (utc) on Jun 7, 2011]

5:20 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



This sounds a lot like a velvet blackmail combined with a sop to copyright protection and attribution.."do this ..or don't complain when you get scraped"...and as wheel points out ..google owns the largest scraper haven on the web ..and actively says ( as reported here a few days ago ) it is not interested in policing it.."take it up with the scraper"..
5:53 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



In other words...

Linkless attribution, an extension of Google's linkless pagerank system where credit is given without an href. Nothing new but this is confirmation it exists imo.
6:13 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



There is a link and an href. Here's Google's example:

<a rel="author" href="../authors/mattcutts">Matt Cutts</a>
6:18 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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So how would an affiliate site handle this? I have original content on all my category pages, but the widgets titles are from the merchant?

I did an authorship markup but anyone think Google will see me as trying to take ownership for the widget titles?
6:21 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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...is it just me or do the search engines make the web much more complicated than it needs to be? Every few months something new comes up, why cant we just stick making our websites better instead of worrying how we can please G. even more...

thank godness i started already to block half of my website and within a year my whole website is blocked for search engines, that day will be the biggest relief of all, no more reading up on how to please those pests, and i can finally say again I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul...
6:37 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hmm...I just noindexed all my author pages because according to Google's "escape from panda hell" guidelines they are thin pages. Just a list of links to articles the author wrote.
So what does linking to the author page accomplish if that same author page can't be indexed by Google?
6:47 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Maybe I'm mistaken, but this does not seem seem to be a way to sort out attribution for ranking purposes in the general SERPs. This appears to be limited to making it easy for searchers to find more articles written by a specific author.

From Matt's twitter stream:

one big potential win is that web could move from disjointed web pages to learning about great authors on the web.


It appears to simply be a different way of ordering the SERPs, by author. It doesn't seem to impact the general SERPs in terms of sorting out who is the original publisher of a work.

Re the same site limitation, this is what Matt posted on Twitter:

...for now it's same-site, just to be safe. My (personal) guess is we'll see if that can be expanded over time in a trusted way... Remember we started rel=canonical out as same-site in the same way, then broadened as we trusted it more.
8:09 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Yea, kinda like this [news.google.com...]
8:53 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Saw Matt Cutts at lunch and asked him about how the feature falls short of helping give proper attribution for content. Matt said this is something they want to do but that they need to monitor how the feature grows and matures before they can figure out how to implement it. Matt was enthusiastic about the possibility of it to help impact the SERPs in terms of identifying the proper attribution of content. He said the team working on this project is physically just across the way from his team so working together is easy. I asked Matt if it was ok to post and he gave me permission.
10:15 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



The markup uses existing standards such as HTML5 (rel=”author”) and XFN (rel=”me”)

For a given definition of "existing standards".
10:25 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



There is a link and an href. Here's Google's example:


Actually it works without it, Google is able to pull all pages together with the same author name so it's not required. Google's blog search has been displaying author names as links if an author is mentioned on page and clicking on the link leads to all posts by that author... without any trace of markup.
10:37 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



one big potential win is that web could move from disjointed web pages to learning about great authors on the web.

Oh, now there's a problem that needed to be solved.

I work with a couple of 'great authors on the web'. Nobody has any problems finding them or their material.

THis looks like foolishness. Solves no problems, provides no new information or access to it, no consumers are asking for it.

I'll pass on this one. My articles (I'm as prolific as many in my niche) will continue to have attributes via a direct link to my website.
10:50 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'm not a web deveolper, but much of the chattel, including post-Panda, has certainly been interesting. Maybe the next thing Google should buy is the Crystal Cathedral. They're acting like God anyway.

May the best man win. I've had it with Google so I sure hope it's Bing or another Search Engine.
11:06 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)



I'm still processing the part about the page having to be on the same domain as the tagged content. That doesn't seem to be the way Matt is doing it here, although he's using rel="me" not rel="author" when linking to his other profiles: [mattcutts.com...]
11:12 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Maybe I'm mistaken, but this does not seem seem to be a way to sort out attribution for ranking purposes in the general SERPs. This appears to be limited to making it easy for searchers to find more articles written by a specific author.

Right. And what I'm gathering from the explanation is that I can now provide a way for my users to find more articles written by an author on my site.

I have several authors who write articles for my site, but they also write for other news organizations, schools, etc. I currently maintain an author page (i.e. bio, links to all of their articles on my site) and I think this will allow me to also include links to other articles they've written (outside of my site).

Nothing extraordinary, but I'm willing to try it out.
11:15 pm on Jun 7, 2011 (gmt 0)



Anyone want a guest post? I'll link to my SEO blog a few times and then put this in the bio:

<... rel="me" href="http://twitter.com/mattcutts">Twitter</HREF>

Instant authoritaaaaay!
12:43 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I have several authors who write articles for my site, but they also write for other news organizations, schools, etc. I currently maintain an author page (i.e. bio, links to all of their articles on my site) and I think this will allow me to also include links to other articles they've written (outside of my site).

Well that's why this is such nonsense. What they're doing is already being done in a far more straightforward fashion. If you want to link to their other articles, why don't you.....link to their other articles?

I was showing an author today some examples of how to write high quality guest posts for a blog. I took him to a popular blog and gave him the username of a great author. The blog has a bio page, and a link to all the author's articles. Right? The web visitor already has the information Google's suggesting this new tag is going to provide. Which means its not for the web visitor, is it?

What do consumers get out of this? Absolutely nothing - heck they can't even see it.

What do YOU as a webmaster get out of this? Nothing. (so why are you going to partake of this?).

What does Google and the NYTimes get out of this? No idea - but they've got something in mind. I don't see how that is going to be beneficial to anyone.

Nope, I'm OK with this not gaining traction. Let the NYTimes and blogger do their thing. But I don't see me helping Google make this their new standard.

And if that's not good enough for you, all of you bitchin' about scraped content (and that's me too) are going to own this bad boy in the future when the scrapers figure out how to pwn you using this tag. You should be taking steps to ensure this doesn't get implemented because it's got lots of possibility of screwing you, and as far as I can tell, provides no benefit to you.
1:11 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Andy Beard just published his archive of a Twitter exchange with Matt Cutts about rel="author" [andybeard.eu]. Matt confirms that it is same-site only for now. Then he goes further:

My (personal) guess is we'll see if that can be expanded over time in a trusted way.

Remember, rel=canonical also started as same-site only, then as we trusted it more, it became cross-site.
2:33 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



comparing this to rel=canonical is not the same thing at all. That tag fixed problems for webmasters and SE's.

Any of your clients complaining about a need to do, well whatever the heck it is that this tag does?
2:44 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yes - particularly for sites that publish articles under many bylines.

[CONJECTURE]
As I said earlier, I think that the press has a lot to do with this direction. That rather strained relationship needs to be repaired or else there will be one mainstream "Google sucks because" article after another.
5:22 am on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not sure how this is helpful to anyone, unless they want to further segment search by popular authors? Maybe someone can share their insights...

Matt said this is something they want to do but that they need to monitor how the feature grows and matures before they can figure out how to implement it


*If* I were a search engine, I would consider first ways to correctly attribute content from the thousands of stellar writers out there to the correct website (the originating website).

Then add ~bells and whistles~

Am I missing something here?
12:36 pm on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member wheel is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Yes - particularly for sites that publish articles under many bylines.

OK, so let the bears pay the bear tax. And it's certainly not something I've ever heard or seen as being a problem. There's no threads around here through the years talking about this type of problem.

Adoption of this by the mainstream webmaster community or SEO folks will not have positive consequences for us.

I told you so.

Also, my tinfoil hat is itchy :).
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