Google Authorship is a way to link content you create with a Google+ profile, which provides benefits such as your headshot image appearing next to your content in Google’s search results. Google provides a means to get started and more information here, and our The Definitive Guide To Google Authorship Markup guide will help you through the process. Stories below cover the latest developments with authorship at Google.

Yes, Google Does Have & Use Author Rank; Specifically Within In-Depth Articles

google-knowledge-mortar-board-graduation Google's Matt Cutts confirmed on stage at Search Marketing Expo today that Google does have a form of "Author Rank" in use today at Google. It is specifically used within the in-depth articles system to determine which articles to show in the In-Depth articles section. This question was prompted by a tweet from Matt Cutts: @marktraphagen to be fair, it does come into play in some ways. For example, in-depth articles use that data, I'm pretty sure. — Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 12, 2014   Matt confirmed again, on stage that this is indeed true. We are also expecting Googl [...]

Is Chasing AuthorRank A Waste Of Time For SEOs?

author On June 7, 2011, Google announced support for a new type of markup called the Authorship Tag. This was the rel="author" tag. It did not take long before the speculation started -- when would Google start using data from this new tag to impact rankings? The industry took to referring to this concept as AuthorRank. Note that Google never uses this term, and they continue to talk only about "Authorship." However, Google has continued to fan the flames with periodic comments on this topic, the most famous of which came from Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt in his book The New Digital A [...]

The Secret To Staying Relevant With Authorship

author At PubCon last year, Google's Matt Cutts discussed big changes to the search results, many of which we've seen played out over the past several months. In his talk, he mentioned upcoming improvements to authorship results. A couple months later in December, Google confirmed it had started tightening the belt when it came to authorship results after many had experienced a drop. The authorship update, which has been called a "shake up," "authorshipocalypse" and other endearing terms, focuses on the quality of content and the authority of the author, where higher quality in both areas [...]

Confirmed: Google Reduces Authorship Rich Snippets In Search Results

google-plus-authorship-featured The head of search spam at Google, Matt Cutts, has confirmed with us that Google has applied a 15% reduction in the amount of rich snippets displayed in the search results. Matt Cutts announced at PubCon a couple months ago that this would happen, saying that the ability to have and use rich snippets may be taken away for low quality sites in the coming months. And this has indeed happened. Matt said this would likely reduce authorship by 15% to only show more authoritative authors. Cyrus Shepard wrote that the MozCast features tool noticed a drop in authorship and webmasters have recent [...]

Infographic: How To Troubleshoot Google Authorship Issues, A Step-By-Step Flowchart

google-authorship-featured In October, I spoke at SMX East about some of the opportunities and challenges when implementing Google Authorship. At about the same time, a good friend of mine reached out to me with her authorship issue. While she appeared to have authorship markup set up correctly on her blog and linked correctly from Google+, her author image wasn't appearing in SERPs -- but did show for others writing on her blog. She's not the first person to reach out to me with an issue like this. Authorship setup can be confusing at best, and even when you think you have everything set up correctly, you still may [...]

Structured Data Superstars @ SMX East

SMX East - Up Close Logo Structured data has become a hot topic over the past year or so, and at SMX East, the room was packed for the Structured Data Superstars session. Evan Sandhaus of the New York Times kicked it off with a very impressive look at how the Times spent the last three years developing and implementing structured data on the site. Called rNews, the data model is compatible and intended to help the “machines” figure out page elements. And according to Sandhaus, to make Times web pages “pretty.” Getting a look at why the New York Times decided to delve into the world of stru [...]

Google Authorship Launches Within Image Search

google-plus-authorship-featured Today at SMX East, Google's Pierre Far told the audience Google launched a small update to authorship by adding authorship rich snippets to Google Image Search. To see it, go to Google Images and search for named of people who may have authorship. Click on the image and if the image has markup on the article, it may show a byline, linking to the authorship link. Here is an example: Pierre Far from Google said this launched quietly a couple weeks ago. Related Stories: Google Adds Automatic Authorship With Google+ Sign In Google Provides FAQ About Authorship, From Blocking To [...]

Google Adds Automatic Authorship With Google+ Sign In

google-plus-featured Google announced an even easier way to get your picture into the Google search results by adding automatic author attribution through Google+ signin. Google has integrated Google+ Sign-In with Google’s authorship program. Now if you sign in to with Google, the articles you publish with that sign in will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically. That means, Google may more easily show your Google+ profile image in the rich snippet search results. Google launched this today with a limited number of beta programs including Wordpress and Typepad. Google sa [...]

Google Provides FAQ About Authorship, From Blocking To No Mascots

google-authorship-plus Trying to get your head around Google authorship? The Google Webmaster Central blog has posted a new FAQ designed to provide some answers. What Qualifies For Authorship? What pages can have authorship applied to them? Criteria include the page actually being mostly authored by the designated author, that it carries a byline and that it's a single article, not a compilation page of articles by the author. No Mascots Allowed! Think it would be funny if the Geico gecko appeared as an author in Google search results? Google doesn't. Google "prefers to feature a human," it says. Pick One Googl [...]

Is Google Authorship Affecting Rankings Today?

trafficimprovement Many of us in SEO espouse the great benefits of Google Authorship and the potential of the rumored AuthorRank. Many in SEO would argue that AuthorRank has not yet been implemented as part of the Google algorithm. Or has it been added already? The Scenario A few weeks ago, one of my paid search clients contacted me with a problem. His normally very high ranking website had been dropping dramatically in traffic volumes from Google over the past 10-12 months. This particular client also is an association, a publisher of valuable information for the public. Diagnosis: Panda After taking a look [...]

Google: Authorship Bug Affects “Very Few Sites,” Actively Working On A Fix

google-plus-authorship-featured Google has confirmed that there are current issues with displaying authorship rich snippets on "very few sites." A Google spokesperson told us "it's something we're actively working on" but that "it affects very few sites" on the Internet. This is a topic I've personally been tracking very closely, as my own site is impacted by this very limited bug. About a month ago, I reported at the Search Engine Roundtable that my own face is not showing up in the search results for that site and there are dozens of other complaints from webmasters. This has been going on for months. Sites that had [...]

Advanced Authorship: The Deep Dive

Up Close Coverage From SMX Advanced 2013 Recently, I attended the SMX Advanced session, "Authorship: The Deep Dive", moderated by Elisabeth Osmeloski, and featuring speakers: John Carcutt, Advance Digital, Janet Driscoll Miller, Search Mojo, Mitul Gandhi, seoClarity, and Mark Traphagen, Virante, Inc. There were a number of interesting takeaways. Mitul Gandhi is up first. He quotes Eric Schmidt of Google as saying that authorship could become the most important factor for ranking. First, Mitul examined whether Google+ was appearing in SERPs and he found that there was a huge rise in vi [...]

Google Authorship Beyond Webpages

google-authorship-featured In last month's post about authorship, I shared that Google has been experimenting with inferring authorship for PDF documents in addition to webpages. This piqued my curiosity to see if any other indexable filetypes could also have inferred authorship. Microsoft Office Files PowerPoint files appear to infer authorship similar to PDFs and webpages, looking for the term "by" followed by the author's name. To generate the authorship snippet on an Excel file, I had to add "by Janet Driscoll Miller" to a tab in the workbook, and Google uses the tab name as the title of the page. Having a byli [...]

Google’s Matt Cutts: Web Spam Benefits From Using Rel=”Author”

matt-cutts-featured 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 Dan [...]

Google Continues To Experiment & Expand Authorship

If one theme was abundantly clear at SMX West in March, it was the question over the importance of authorship and how it might impact future rankings in Google. During the “What’s Needed For SEO Success In 2013 & Beyond?” panel, I asked Matt Cutts if Google planned to expand authorship credit (and potentially the rich snippet) beyond just written content (like blog posts) and begin incorporating other content types. In reality, content creators could truly author various types of content, including photos for photographers or video for videographers. Just because a piece of con [...]

No, Publishership Isn’t Coming Soon To Google Search To Join Authorship

Google logo There are expectations in some quarters that publishers will soon be able to have their logos showing up in Google in the way that authors can have their pictures appear. But, Google says there are "no plans" for some type of "publishership" to go live similar to the way it handles authorship. Expectations were raised after Kahena Digital and Standing Dog noted that publishers using rel=publisher can see how their logos would look in Google's Rich Snippets testing tool. However, Google told us generally that this has been working that way in the testing tool for months and that there are [...]

Google Downplays Google+ With Updated Authorship Snippet?

google-authorship-new-1366893396 Google has quietly changed the user interface for how they display the authorship snippet in the search results. The largest difference is that they removed the "more by" link that linked to additional stories written by that author. The other changes include that now clicking on the author's image and name will take you to a similar result set that you would have seen if you clicked on the old "more by" author link. I believe the author image and name use to take you to that author's Google+ page, when available. Now, the only way to get to the Google+ page of the author is to click o [...]

4 SEO Recommendations For Dealing With B2B Lengthening Sales Cycles

Many of our clients face sales cycles in a six- to twelve-month duration. In a recent client interview, one of the sales directors revealed that they were on the verge of closing a multi-million dollar deal that took nearly three years of nurturing alone to finally get to the proposal process. With multiple decision makers and departments impacting complete B2B solutions, marketing plays a pivotal role. A recent news release, which summarized a comprehensive survey of B2B marketing professionals put together by BtoB Magazine and Bizo revealed that the sales cycle is lengthening for many B2 [...]

Author Rank, Authorship, Search Rankings & That Eric Schmidt Book Quote

google-plus-authorship-featured Last month, an excerpt from Eric Schmidt's forthcoming book came out where he discussed how identity and authorship might be used to better rank search results. Since then, I've seen that widely cited as proof Google is already doing "Author Rank." It's not, nor was Schmidt describing a Google-specific system. But that could come, and Google's existing authorship program may be a part of it. Schmidt On Potential Future Of Profiles & Ranking The excerpt came from the Wall Street Journal, which quoted from The New Digital Age, the book due out next month that Schmidt has coauthored wit [...]

Is Bing Testing “Subjectship” Rather Than Authorship In Its Search Results?

bing-logo Some are spotting new author images appearing in Bing's search results today, similar to the way Google shows author images. Except, they're not really author images. They're what I'd call subject images, something that might be coming more formally to Bing. Author Images At Google Here are two examples of authorship images as they appear on Google: The first is a picture of Kara Swisher, next to a search that brought up an article that she wrote on the new season of Game Of Thrones. The second is for myself, for an article I wrote about a test I ran to see if my two boys would ch [...]

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