Google has had a busy year. That much we know. With the introduction of the constantly evolving Panda algorithm webmasters are having to work harder than ever before to keep their sites on top in search. The addition of content quality factors is a big step towards what Google hopes will be a better quality web and we hope that their 2.3 update released a few days ago will be part of an ongoing improvement to this ‘filter’ so that good content and authoritative sites actually do win.
The news that the big G are now employing an army of ‘work-at-home’ content quality checkers is a sign of how important they see this to the future of their search results. Which brings us onto the main subject of this article; Authorship.
This new markup was announced with little fanfare earlier this month as Google quietly wheeled out what, on the face of it looked like another option for those sites that have the development resource to include rich snippets across their sites. We, however, think it is MUCH more than that.
Why? Simple really. Google’s core algorithm has always been about Link Trust but as all SEOs know this has limitations and is open to misuse. Google signalled its intentions to begin focusing much more on on-page content with Panda and Authorship tags are what we think are the start of a new core algorithm that puts much more emphasis on the writer and their own ‘Trust Rank’.
By asking webmasters to begin marking up who has written what story in a certain way it enables them to start collecting data about individuals and with a little machine learning and time this could become a very powerful data piece that allows them to promote authors with more authority and trust in certain niches above others, irrespective of which site they write for etc. In many ways it puts the power back in the hands of the professional writer again and we could end up full circle once more with the best writers and journalists in demand rather than out of print-based work.
Its an interesting theory and one we will be monitoring closely. For those that missed it here’s the official Google announcement of Authorship Markup.
We hope you enjoyed reading this blog, it was written by Simon Penson, Founder and Managing Director of Zazzle Media.