Is this a Google ranking factor?

Is there anything more frightening to read an article that provides medical advice from a journalism major who graduated from a university with no medical background?

The fact is that not everything you read online is for your benefit. A lot of online content is completely untrue. Although the author may come from a harmless place, when certain copies are deemed to be the truth, it can become very harmful.

This is where the authority (or author level) of the author starts to influence your content.

Here, we are debunking the myth about the author’s authority.

Read on to find out whether author authority is a ranking factor.

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Disclaimer: author authority as a ranking factor

For Google, because of the EAT (Professional, Authority, and Trustworthiness) guidelines, it makes sense for them to use author authority as a ranking factor.

But as a search engine real Care about who created the content? Also, who is the author influencing the ranking algorithm?

Spoiler alert: There is not enough evidence to support this claim. But interest in this topic is growing.

Authorship as a ranking factor: Evidence

Let’s start with the first question, is author authority a ranking factor?

No, author authority is not a ranking factor. However, there are Google patents that can help them identify the author of a particular page.

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In August 2005, Google applied for a patent for Agent Rank. If you want to know more about it, Bill Slawski broke down the Agent Rank here.

Short version? Google’s patent uses “digital signatures” to rank content based on reputation scores.

On June 20, 2011, Google confirmed that it supports author tagging. Remember rel=”author:?

In 2014, Mark Traphagen conducted a study on author adoption rights, which showed that authors adopt author rights very slowly. He found that 70% of authors did not associate their authorship with the content.

Later in 2014, the authorship mark was formally deleted.

In 2016, Google’s Gary Illyes stated at the SMX conference that Google “no longer uses authorship at all”-but they know who the author is.

How does Google know this? Well, we learned in this 2021 video that as part of the process called reconciliation, Google considers many factors (for example, links to profile pages, structured data, other visible information on the page) .

The other relevant evidence we found came from August 21, 2018, when Google’s John Mueller confirmed that Google did not use author’s reputation as a ranking factor.

Now, eat it. Reputation is different from “professional knowledge” and “authority”.

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Reputation is what other people think of the author.

Professional knowledge and authority are the characteristics Google uses to evaluate authors.

But recent patents show how authorship has evolved. For example, in March 2020, Google applied for a patent called Author Vectors to identify authors through an Internet-based writing style.

In Slawki’s evaluation of the patent, he described how the process works:

“Different authors can have different writing styles, different professional levels, and interest in different topics.

Google tells us through this new patent on author vectors that they may be able to identify the author of unmarked content. “

The fact is, we know that Google is getting better and better at determining that content authors may be updates to their quality assessment guidelines.

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But we don’t know why or how they use it to support their ranking factors.

One thing we have determined is that Google recommends adding the author’s URL to the article structure.

Author authority as a ranking signal: our judgment

Over the years, the author’s authority has experienced ups and downs. Google’s quality assessment guidelines are related to EAT, which creates some gray areas in SEO.

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Although author authority may not directly affect your organic search ranking, it is still wise to follow Google’s quality assessment guidelines to improve the performance of your content.


Featured image: Paulo Bobita/Search Engine Magazine

Author authority: Is this a Google ranking factor?

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