What began as an experiment 10 months ago is now showing up in nearly one of every five Google search results.
I’m talking about authorship — Google’s use of the rel=author markup to identify content creators next to their content.
A new SearchMetrics study published this week says that about 17 percent of queries included at least one instance of rel=author within the first 100 search results. The company analyzed a million keywords — including a mix of navigational, information and transactional — and found that more than 170,000 included a rel=author display somewhere in the first 10 pages of results for each keyword.
What about on the first page, you ask? We asked that question, too, and SearchMetrics says its study found at least one rel=author integration showing up on page one for 3.07 percent of its one million keywords.
To be clear, SearchMetrics counted only the actual rel=author appearances in the main organic results; the study didn’t count author appearances in the “People and Pages on Google+” content box that occasionally shows on generic queries.
SearchMetrics also put together a list of the authors who appeared the most in those one million keywords studied, and the author with both the most overall appearances (4,274) and the most appearances on page one (1,658) is Diana Rattray, a food author and contributor to About.com. SearchMetrics includes an Excel spreadsheet that lists the top 200 authors at the end of its blog post.