Let’s examine in detail the significance of author authority in terms of website rankings.
Suppose you are experiencing a minor medical issue. Every time you bite your food, your jaw clicks aloud behind your molars. It’s not painful, but it’s unpleasant. You turn to the all-purpose bank of knowledge, the internet, to find a solution to this irritating problem.
When researching on the internet, which source do you consider more dependable: an article written by a physician with ten years of experience in otolaryngology or a blog post written by a guy who specializes in Minecraft?
It’s an obvious choice.
Credibility matters a great deal, which has never been truer than today when misinformation runs rampant on the internet. Most authors genuinely attempt to help, but there is much harmful information on the internet. Whether this inaccurate or blatantly incorrect content results from malice or ignorance, it can do much damage.
Author authority, also known as author rank, is why it’s an essential part of the search engine optimization strategy. Here’s how it works.
Is It True That Having Author Authority Influences Page Rankings?
Google prioritizes E-A-T when evaluating the quality of a website and whether it answers a user’s query. This stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Does E-A-T factor in the author’s credibility? Would a real expert be more convincing than a recent journalism graduate in writing a piece?
The concept of author authority has been around for years, and its role in ranking sites has long been a debate among SEO experts and digital marketers. In this article, we’ll better understand what author authority is and how it works.
Author Authority & SERP Ranking As Evidence
Google has never said that an article’s author directly influences rankings. However, you cannot ignore it.
Google’s interest in identifying authors is evident from a patent application in 2005. Agent Rank was a concept that allowed the search engine to rank articles by reputation, a function that the search engine could weed out low-quality content.
Despite Google supporting authorship markup with rel=author in 2011, adoption could have been more active. Only 30% of authors utilized this tag in 2014, and Google eliminated it the same year.
Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes stated that Google does not utilize authors but has systems to recognize the creator of a piece of content. Illyes’s comments appear to reference Google’s Knowledge Graph.
The Knowledge Graph is a database of information and entities (that is, things or ideas that are singular, unique, well-defined, and easily recognizable). Google recognizes authors as official entities, although the search engine only sometimes knows who wrote a specific piece of content. It’s important to note that ‘reputation’ does not equal ‘expertise’ or ‘authoritativeness,’ even though it matters.
Google’s expertise and authority determine a subject’s reliability. A writer’s reputation is a more subjective measurement based on how readers appraise the individual. According to Search Quality Raters Guidelines, reputation is determined by a set of principles used by human raters who evaluate search engine quality and sometimes test proposed changes to search algorithms.
Google has been transparent that these human-generated scores are never used to affect search results. However, one of these standards says that a low score held by the content creator is enough to give the article a low-quality score.
Google filed a patent for Author Vectors in March 2020, which detects whether an author produced unattributed content with a certain writing style and levels of expertise and interest in various subjects. Although the search engine giant has not divulged why exactly they are using this program in search rankings, they have advised authors to include author URLs in article schema.
It does not say what this URL should connect to, but it is usually employed to send visitors to a social media account or biography page.
The Judgement: It's Not Clear Whether Author Authority Affects Rankings
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer regarding how much significance Google gives to authors when determining search results.
Even if it does not directly impact your organic rankings, it is still a smart move to follow Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines. Users care about the reputation and relevancy of an article’s author.
Read Next: Ways To Improve The Quality Of Content For People & Search Engines
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