SEO and Anonymous Content: The Importance of Authorship in Search Engine Ranking

By Craig Fitzgerald

In the last few years, Google has empha­sized qual­i­ty edi­to­r­i­al con­tent as a means of boost­ing your search engine rank­ings. Now it’s sug­gest­ing that the way for­ward isn’t just what you wrote, but who wrote it.

In Jan­u­ary, Pan­do Dai­ly ran an excel­lent arti­cle by Erin Grif­fith enti­tled “How Google Author Rank could change con­tent mar­ket­ing… and jour­nal­ism. In the arti­cle, Grif­fith writes “Now Google is ver­i­fy­ing indi­vid­ual writ­ers through its social net­work, Google+ with some­thing called Author Rank — Bylined sto­ries rank high­er, and they get more real estate. Most impor­tant­ly, they return click­through rates that are 40 per­cent greater than nor­mal, accord­ing to Greg Boser, Pres­i­dent of SEO agency Blue­Glass.”

Here’s an auto­mo­tive exam­ple of what the article’s talk­ing about: do a google search for “Hyundai Blue Link review”. Google will return about 909,000 results. The first result, nat­u­ral­ly comes from Hyundai. But the sec­ond and third results don’t come from some anony­mous bit of adver­tis­ing copy. They come from two actu­al human beings, nei­ther of which you’ve prob­a­bly ever heard of. They come from two writ­ers whose names and pho­tographs are right next to the arti­cles in ques­tion, and who are influ­en­tial in mul­ti­ple Google+ cir­cles.

It means that not only is bylined con­tent impor­tant, and not only is hav­ing a rec­og­nized name in the indus­try impor­tant. It means that hav­ing a Google+ account is going to be increas­ing­ly impor­tant. Erin Grif­fith writes, “The empha­sis before was about what was on the page not who wrote it.” Now who wrote it is going to become increas­ing­ly impor­tant. “Google wants those writ­ers to have iden­ti­ties.”

There’s a bit of self-serv­ing encour­age­ment to get some­one – any­one – to sign up with a Google+ account, to be sure. But the bot­tom line here is that Google is try­ing to weed out SEO spam­mers by attach­ing a name to a piece of con­tent.

It’s not an overnight revi­sion that’s going to dri­ve your page to the bot­tom of search results, but it is a clue to what Google is head­ing towards in the next five to sev­en years.

Craig Fitzger­ald is Edi­to­r­i­al Direc­tor for IMN. Read more of IMN’s blogs here.



    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required field are marked *.