The Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East was held in New York October 1-3 2013, and there’s a lot of news coming out of the event about Google Authorship. Briefly Google Authorship is a method based on a number of patents, discussed in more detail here, outlining a method of attributing content with the person who created it. This Authorship initiative ties into Google Hummingbird, and the semantic web. This semantic web is more a web of people than a web of things.
Given the connection between Authorship and the semantic web it’s easy to see how important understanding the latest developments are. The information outlined below will cover both what Google is saying about Authorship, and how industry leaders are responding.
Industry Leaders & Google Authorship
Google Authorship is gaining ground among industry leaders! For example John Carcutt of Advance Digital, representing 100 news outlets nationwide, says he sees a time when an Authorship history will be part of their hiring requirements. This is a major indicator of industry sentiment, and highlights the importance of Google Authorship. Building the kind of history with Authorship that will impress future employers requires engaging Authorship today.
Melissa Harden, who attended this years SMX event commented that, “Digital value is just as important as performance value.” One of the features of Authorship is its portability. Basically an Authors history and reputation are associated with the author not with a company. Digital reputation is becoming a commodity, and Authorship is a solid metric to measure its value. Employers are increasingly looking to digital commodities to bring value to their brand.
Google News About Authorship
Mark Traphagen, a leading expert on Google Authorship and a presenter at SMX East 2013, recently reported that, “Pierre Farr of Google confirmed that it matters what pages on your site you hook up to Google Authorship.” Basically this is Google confirming that high quality, unique content is important, and that building trust with people is also important. This is a good indication that Google is making strides toward understanding and attributing authority.
Google also announced at the SMX event that there has been an update to Google Authorship. Now images, that appear on a page with the proper Authorship markup on them, will be attributed to the author via Google Authorship.
Since the Google was granted its Agent Rank and associated patents there has been rampant speculation about Google AuthorRank. You can read more about , but basically it is a mechanism whereby Google would rank content produced by highly authoritative authors more highly based on the authors authority in the subject matter. However Mark Traphagen reports that, “Pierre Farr of Google confirmed that Authorship is not at present a search ranking factor.” so no AuthorRank yet.
This was further confirmed by a previous statement from John Mueller of Google who said in a Google Webmaster Central Hangout (click to view the video at right) that, “we don’t use Authorship as a ranking factor.”
Going Forward with Google Authorship
There were some very interesting announcements, and comments made at SMX East in 2013. We see Google expanding Authorship to images, and industry leaders indicating that Authorship will be majorly influential more broadly in the coming months and years. For now the best advice is fairly simple. Build an Online reputation by producing high quality content, and forming meaningful relationships with key people on Google+. Tie your reputation into your content with Authorship, and you’ll be future proofing your Online marketing efforts.