Google Big Gun Discusses Authorship Program
August 1, 2012
Have you noticed the little author profile pictures that have begun popping up in Google results pages over the past year or so? If you are curious, you may want to see Search Engine Journal’s “Google Authorship: An Interview with Google’s Sagar Kamdar.” One of many Googley efforts at social search, Authorship is an program for verifying Web page authors. Writer Grant Crowell reports:
“Kamdar explained to me that the Authorship program was based on the premise that content associated with a real identity is often of higher quality than content published anonymously. . . .
“Of course, one of the important reasons that Google implemented the Authorship program is to help them identify duplicate content. Some authors have had problems with others ranking higher than them in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for their own original content. Authorship is supposed to push the original author to the top of the rankings when someone does a search for their article.”
That’s great! But wait just a moment– Google’s method is to have authors point their pages to their Google+ profiles. One could be excused for viewing this as yet another way to push Google+ onto the world. Google would stand to gain if every author without a Google+ account took on a patina if inauthenticity. Not so good for a writer like me, who is too stubborn to bow to the Google+ takeover (so far, at least.)
From the interview, we learn that Authorship does not, as of yet, directly factor into the search ranking algorithm. Instead, it is one of several “social signals” that are used to weight search results. The write up notes that the inclusion of an author photo can be a valuable tool; people like to click on pictures. Such are the observations of an SEO pro.
Cynthia Murrell, August 1, 2012