Transcript of "Google Finding New Ways to Identify Authoritative Content"
Finding New Ways
to Identify Authoritative Content
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Many webmasters markup their content with the author name as a
part of their search engine optimization efforts under the
impression that it will boost their Google search ranking. Participation
in Google authorship program requires two things: a Google+ profile
that links to your published content and published content that
references you as the author and links back to your Google+ profile.
However, in October 2013, A.J. Kohn, an experienced marketing
executive and owner of Blind Five Year Old, an online marketing firm
specializing in search, published an article Authorship Is Dead, Long
Live Authorship which said that Google has abandoned its classic
Authorship project. According to Kohn, Google is focusing on a
different method - – entity extraction - to assign Authorship instead
and show high quality content in search results. However, he points
out that as Google is continuing to display results with authorship
markup, it is still a good idea to implement Google Authorship.
According to A.J. Kohn, Google Authorship can generate a higher click-
through rate and build authority; your content would rank better as
Google knows that users respond to Authorship. But, he says there are
two problems with authorship markup at the same time such as:
The reason why Google is unable to use Authorship as a ranking signal
is that important authors are not participating, says Kohn. As per the
study conducted by leading SEO technology company Conductor,
around 88% of top tech blogs have not implemented ‘rel = author’
An analysis performed by BlueGlass UK, a digital marketing agency
revealed that only 3.5% of Fortune 100 companies actively use Google
authorship. If reputable authors are not participating, Google can’t use
the Authorship as a way to find authoritative content.
Limitations in Identifying Authority and
Anyone can post content on Internet. It is who is creating the content
and why should you value their opinion that makes the content
appealing. Though authorship markup can give some information
about the author and his/her expertise, it is not always reliable. There
have been several documented cases of Google showing the wrong
author for a particular piece of content. Sometimes, webmasters are
responsible for such errors. In some cases, Google could be trying to
automatically attribute authorship for some reputable author who
hasn’t implemented markup. Earlier, Google crawled public social
graphs to infer identity or authorship. Even if there was no authorship
markup, Google was able to assign authorship by extracting the data
via social media circles. However, the search engine giant removed
this feature few years ago. Google still needed a mechanism that could
identify people and their areas of expertise more accurately.
Entity Extraction – New Approach to
In order to identify authors, Google is now looking for entities - that
happen to be people - rather than concentrating on specific markup.
With the Hummingbird algorithm, Google has widely adopted semantic
search (considering the meaning of the search term) instead of relying
on keywords. This is surely a sign of entity extraction. A.J.Kohn says
Google has the following options for such extraction:
Freebase Annotations of the ClueWeb
FACC consist of ClueWeb09 FACC and ClueWeb12 FACC and around 11
billion phrases that refer to concepts and entities are there in Freebase
which were automatically labeled with their unique identifiers
(Freebase MID’s). Google can identify an entity within the text of a
particular document and match it to a Freebase identifier (as shown
As not every ClueWeb document is included in this corpus, there is
chance that a document may be excluded because no entities to be
Google Plus Profiles
If Google prefers a smaller set of entities to assign Authorship, then
Google + is a huge entity platform with a massive database of people.
It is the knowledge graph of everyday people.
Authorship is now defined as Google’s ability to extract entities from
documents, matching them to the descriptors of that entity (for
example, social profiles, official page, subjects) and measuring the
activity around the extracted entities.
The Bottom line
To sum up, authorship markup alone can’t alone make your content
authoritative and drive traffic. You need to build your authority by
producing quality content with comprehensive and up-to-date
information, engage that content within your community and find
methods to add yourself to entity resources including Wikipedia and
Freebase. Though authorship markup can increase the confidence level
of the match with the descriptors, it plays a supporting and refining
role rather than a defining role.