Bill Slawski lesson about Author Rank

Bill Slawski lesson about Author Rank


  • Bill Slawski

    April 15, 2012 at 11:26 pm Reply

    Thank you, Gianluca

    Responding to questions with fairly complex answers can be tough when limited to 140 characters, but I love the opportunity to have meaningful discussions with people from around the globe on Twitter.

    I think there are elements of Agent Rank and Authorship Markup that still aren’t in place, and need to be addressed, and I was asked another really good question from @ShawnBishop about how Google might handle multiple rel=”author” links on a page.

    The original Agent Rank patent does anticipate having multiple agents or authors on a page, with the possibility that an article or blog post might have been written by more than one author (somewhat like this post itself), to commentors on a post, as well as advertisers, and even editors.

    It would also be great for Google to introduce some kind of meta data that could be used to point to syndicated content on other pages like they have for Google News, and I think Google chose to experiment with that on Google News to get a sense of how they might use it elsewhere.

    The question about translated content on other sites is another area that I believe Google will address somehow, and I’m looking forward to see how they decide to best to display it in both social search and web search results. A really good translator does more than just present content from one language into another, and I hope Google decides to present translated content in a way that both credits the original author and a translator.

    These are still very early days for author rank/agent rank, and the idea of creating a reputation graph that might include different reputation scores for authors for different topics. Add to that they idea that this kind of reputation graph also will intersect with an “interest” graph that could take in both user-behavior in how people browse and search along with how they share content, and the numbers of signals that Google is using to rank objects and content and entities on the web is growing considerable.

    Definitely interesting times we live in.

  • AJ Kohn

    April 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm Reply

    It’s great to see Authorship and AuthorRank discussed in such detail. What it also signals, for me, is a shift away from the brute force method of SEO (aka – build tons of links from anyone and anywhere).

    Multi-authorship is definitely something Google has given thought to as Bill mentions. In fact, I’ve seen Google recognize a comment on my blog with a link back to a Google+ profile using the ?rel=author parameter. It didn’t attribute authorship of the post to that person but the Rich Snippets Testing Tool did see the authorship parameter. It would be interesting to take that a step further and add the site you were commenting on to the Contributor to section and see what happened.

    I’m also interested in how Google will handle true co-authorship of content. For instance, the Agent Rank patent is actually authored by two Googlers. Attributing that work to both is likely fairly straight-forward but the display issues are actually a bit more difficult.

    Authorship clearly assists in identifying the ‘source’ of content which can then be used to better identify those who are scraping and using that content. Google’s actually gotten far better at identifying scrapers lately. Whether it’s related to this or not, I don’t know.

    Translation is a trickier issue. In discussing hreflang with a Googler, it was made clear than translated content is NOT the same. Meaning, you wouldn’t use a rel=canonical on a translated version of the same content. Whether it’s translation or syndication, the ability to make the authorship portable yet still valid seems important … and difficult.

    The difference between scraping and syndication is really all about granting someone permission. I, personally, would enjoy an interface where Google prompted me to grant or deny the copies of my content it had found during their crawl.

    What I’m most excited about though is the idea that AuthorRank will be granted by topic and that the link graph can be curated by experts in those fields.

    Search, it’s never boring.

  • […] That means, also, that probably the most important change Google did during all these years was including the concept of Entity.  In fact, the principles behind that concept are what have caused many of the big changes in the SERPs of Google: the so called “brandization” (Brands are nothing more than very structured entities), the Knowledge graph and possibly they also have an implication in the author rank (and “publisher rank”) hence on how Google can detect some of the classic spam issues (duplicated content and plagiarism). […]

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