A new video by Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about how potentially using rel=”author” structured data can help Google’s Web spam team improve search quality.
Matt Cutts explains that moving from the anonymous Web to a Web with identity helps Google understand the authority and trust of the person writing that content. It can help identify a spammer from an author with a lot of authority and credibility.
The example given by Cutts is of our own Founding Editor, Danny Sullivan. If Danny writes something in a low PageRank forum, Google may consider that post written by Danny with more authority, despite the overall domain/forum it was written on having low PageRank.
Here is the video from Matt:
Let’s not forget that despite Google talking about an algorithm or having a patent on an algorithm, it does not mean Google uses the algorithm in their live search results.