It had been a good three-year run for the by-lines and photos that identified quality content in Google’s search results pages. On August 28, 2014, however, Google Authorship took its last breath.

Google Authorship
Google gradually dropped the feature in two tranches as early as June, starting with the photos. John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools made the announcement, saying that it didn’t provide a significant bearing on search experience. It didn’t have any negative effect on quality content, but it didn’t have any positive effects either.

Amid the demise of Google Authorship, it won’t be totally erased from existence. It left a little present for quality content of the future in the form of Author Rank.

Author Still a Factor

Author Rank is separate from Authorship, but not because it’s not what Google calls its system of determining author reputability. Patented in 2011, “Agent Rank” (as Google calls it) uses a set of criteria, such as number of Likes and Shares, number of followers, and quality and volume of inbound links, to ascertain an author’s reliability.

How Agent Rank actually works is rocket science, but benefitting from this system is as simple as creating great content. The feature won’t suffer from the death of Authorship since by-lines and cover photos have been part of articles, particularly news stories, since time immemorial. Those things aren’t going away anytime soon.

Affecting SEO

While Author Rank is just one of several determinants in search rankings, Perth SEO services such as SmallBiz SEO know well not to ignore content creation. Demand for unique, relevant content is riding high. The Internet, for many, is a know-it-all; that’s why quality content must be part of an SEO agenda.

How much will Author Rank affect SEO? According to Search Engine Land’s “The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors,” content carries the heaviest weight among other factors; a total of 12 points. To get a high score, if not perfect, content must be fresh, well-researched, and engaging to readers.

Overall, Authorship’s demise barely shook the foundations of search visibility. Search engine optimisation in Perth and other areas will march onward without the by-lines and display photos, knowing that Google is still keeping watch from the sidelines. As a business owner, always keep in mind that the content you upload to your website will still matter.

(Source: Google Authorship May Be Dead, But Author Rank Is Not, Search Engine Land, August 29, 2014)