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Is Content Authorship really that required ?

     
3:02 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



More and more blogs are now adding Author profile from Google+.
I like to be anonymous, and I am anonymous on my site too. But People suggest me to Add Author Profile in every page of my blog.

My question is, Apart from Popularity and all,
Is displaying Author's Profile really that important, any SEO Effect ?
3:18 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



The main motivator (other than possible future plans for Google to collect and analyse author information) is that you can get a better clickthrough rate with a nice picture next to your listing. So there is a tangible benefit beyond 'author-rank' style theories.

[edited by: Andy_Langton at 4:42 pm (utc) on Sep 26, 2012]

4:28 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Or a worse CTR, depending on your photo. You could always just follow the example of some of the biggest "how-to" type monster blogs and just create a fake person with an attractive photo.
4:29 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)



Fake profile will do the trick ?
4:45 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



The risk with fake data is that Google is clamping down on dubious rich snippet info which could harm you in the long term.

I did experiment with some wacky photos though (including one which was a Facebook like button) to see what would happen with it. Google didn't notice, of course, but that doesn't mean the risk is zero.
5:02 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Pay no attention to what Google wants. Don't join Google+. Don't give them your name, your photo, or anything else. It's none of their business.
5:13 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I dont know what sort of site you run and whether you consider it to be a business.
To my mind, any business should at least have a name and a postal address visible somewhere. I put this at the bottom of my privicy policy if not on the contact page.
I'm not talking Google+ here but I believe you must lose some credibility if you are anonymous.
7:16 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



To my mind, any business should at least have a name and a postal address visible somewhere.

Sure, if the business has a physical presence. But authors of dead-tree books don't publish their personal mailing addresses for all to see; why should blog writers be any different?
8:59 pm on Sep 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Sure, if the business has a physical presence. But authors of dead-tree books don't publish their personal mailing addresses for all to see; why should blog writers be any different?


The mailing address side is true (although many encourage writing via a publisher). But they all put their name and photo on the dust cover - and Google+ verified authorship is much closer to that than asking for a physical address.
1:01 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But they all put their name and photo on the dust cover - and Google+ verified authorship is much closer to that than asking for a physical address.


Except for authors who use pen names.

In any case, what is "Google+ verified authorship" really worth? Readers are capable of deciding for themselves if they like an author or not.
1:13 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



But they all put their name and photo on the dust cover

My home library ( over 12,000 books in at least 8 languages and editions spanning the last 2 and half centuries, many since the invention of photography and printed dust jackets ) would beg to differ with that assertion..less than 10% ( nay, less than 2% or 3 % ) of them have authors mug shots and or bios anywhere , inside or out..

Of course, I don't have any Barbara Cartland, or Geoffrey Archer ( yes I will be wiping this keyboard down with Dettol having typed those two names ) on my shelves..so YMMV ;)
2:44 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



I agree that earlier author's never disclosed their actual entities but today its a different ball-game altogether. People want recognition and when there is a source available then why not use it. I think not using Author profile will be a mistake for any writer who wants to be in touch with his readers.
2:50 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



People want recognition and when there is a source available then why not use it.


In general yes but there are still authors that have knowledge to share that don't want the attention that will accompany it. It's writing for passion's sake as opposed to for popularity's sake. They want the message to be the focus of attention, not the messenger.
5:45 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yes some authors remain anonymous (although I am sure they can be tracked down) but I am assuming that the OP is also the publisher of his site.
To me, it doesnt sound professional for a publisher to remain anonymous.
6:12 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



The publisher isn't anonymous. The "publisher" is the site itself. "I read it on wikipedia"-- how many people look up the author of an individual article to find out if it's someone reliable?

It's always two things getting conflated. Attribution and appearance. Is a source more reliable if you know the author's name? if you know what the author looks like? Would postings at WebmasterWorld carry more weight if they included avatars?

All things being equal, are ordinary humans more likely to click on a search result if it's got a picture next to it? (Does google know? Are they studying the question systematically? Will the information ever be published or leaked?)
8:26 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



It has been suggested that the authorship tag will indicate to Google that you have the original content so you should not be outranked by anyone that scrapes your content. I read on here that people thought the site was scanned manually before the tag was approved. The long time it takes to get approval could be the reason.

Surfers are becoming more aware that the publishers photo indicates that the site is one they can trust and believe me, in my case it certainly gives the click through rate a boost and my mug is not a pretty one.
8:38 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Of course, I don't have any Barbara Cartland, or Geoffrey Archer


I'm sure you know that your implication that books displaying author information are somehow of lesser quality than those that do is a spurious one ;)

how many people look up the author of an individual article to find out if it's someone reliable?


It's a bad example - Wikipedia doesn't have individual authors, although they're quite happy to publish in full everyone who has contributed. But I would certainly say that checking your sources is a key part of knowing whether content is reliable or not, and something that anyone using the internet for information should be doing. Now there is a technological solution to the idea of authorship, and people are using it.

I guess I can understand 'anti Google' in the context of this, but 'anti authorship' in general just seems strange to me. It's a semantic web idea, not a Google one - they just happen to have the implementation with the most leverage. It seems inevitable to me that the web in general is headed in that way.
8:57 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



I use a fake G+ account. :)
9:33 am on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



It has been suggested that the authorship tag will indicate to Google that you have the original content

Let's say "can indicate" instead of "will." It may well depend on other trust factors for that particular author and publiher, as well as the basic use of authorship mark-up.

Getting that kind of IP protection has been my experience in some market niches, especially with authors who lave built or are building a name for themselves. One site that used to outrank by scrapers and "collating" sites now outranks them, and fewer of them even get past the algorithm.
1:42 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Here's a benefit, an extra three author links in the SERPs: Bonus Links After a Back Button Click [searchengineland.com]
3:14 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I like to be anonymous, too. My website is about its content and writing, not about me. I have a very loyal readership, but they only know my first name and fake last name and partial mailing address (unit number left off). My picture and true identity are nowhere online and I'd like to keep it that way. It's worked pretty well so far.
4:04 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



In my opinion this is another example of the misguided path that Google has strayed onto in recent years. I think it is a reaction to their failed attempts to keep spam and low-quaiity content off the first page of the SERPs. Apparently if you're willing to join Google+, and give them your name and photo, somehow they take that as a signal that you're an authority on whatever subject you decide to write about. What nonsense.
4:40 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



Here's a benefit, an extra three author links in the SERPs: Bonus Links After a Back Button Click [searchengineland.com]


Wow, this is important. Interesting stuff there. Maybe not enough people adopting G+?
4:45 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Wow, this is important. Interesting stuff there. Maybe not enough people adopting G+?


Actually, I think the most interesting aspect of this is that it suggests clicking back from search results may not be a bad thing for the site in question, which is strongly against some of the 'conventional wisdom' you may hear.
4:48 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



Here's a benefit, an extra three author links in the SERPs: Bonus Links After a Back Button Click [searchengineland.com]

That alone made reading this thread worthwhile.
4:55 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



...which is strongly against some of the 'conventional wisdom' you may hear.


I was thinking that too but didn't say anything. So in spite of them saying they don't use "clicking back" as a signal because it's too unreliable, yet here they are saying they use it as a signal. It's obviously a part of the algorithm if they are using it in this instance. How can they turn it off for some types of search but leave it on for others?

And of course they want this featured to get widely rolled out so they can increase their profiling so the reward (bait) is a whole 3 extra links! Where do I sign up?

I think I'm overdue for another career change.
5:04 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)



I remember Bingdude talking about how they only really see that immediate clickback reaction as a negative signal from a user. This article talks about the "magic" two minute mark. Seems to make sense as I think many people will use the back button even after they've found what they want or like what they've seen. Maybe a click through to an additional page from the same author may be seen as a very strong indication or user satisfaction.
5:04 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



It's obviously a part of the algorithm if they are using it in this instance


That's a step too far, I think. You may also be rewarded with 'block results from www.example.com' when clicking back. So, I would regard this as an interface thing, not an algo thing. What it does confirm is that Google do not view clicking back as necessarily reflecting negatively on the site you just viewed.
5:11 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



One downside of having an author pic might be that it will be used in preference to the pic (for some) which appears in the SERPS because of Rich Snippets.

For example, say I have created a recipe page for "lamb in cat's pee sauce". At the moment my entry in the SERPS for that recipe (courtesy of Rich Snippets) shows a picture of the cooked result of the recipe.

Would I prefer a picture of my cooked recipe in the SERPS or a picture of me? I vote for the cooked recipe picture. So why would I go for the authorship option?
5:16 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



I vote for the cooked recipe picture. So why would I go for the authorship option?


You actually could get both - the recipe pic and a small authorship image underneath, which is lots of page real estate if nothing else.
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