Google Authorship Kidnapping: Why Authorship Photos Disappeared from Search

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The results from my in-depth study of hundreds of Google Authorship profiles, revealing common patterns among those that either retained or lost Authorship results in Google Search during December …

The results from my in-depth study of hundreds of Google Authorship profiles, revealing common patterns among those that either retained or lost Authorship results in Google Search during December 2013.

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  • 1. The Great Google Authorship Kidnapping Presented by: Mark Traphagen Stone Temple Consulting
  • 2. Hi, I’m Mark Traphagen! • Sr. Director of Online Marketing – Stone Temple Consulting • Google.com/ +MarkTraphagen • @marktraphagen
  • 3. In December 2013 many Google Authorship photos went missing from Google search.
  • 4. Matt Cutts promised this was coming at Pubcon Las Vegas in October 2013.
  • 5. Mozcast.com/features And sure enough, in December we saw it happen.
  • 6. Mozcast.com/features In fact since then, there have continued to be fluctuations in whose Authorship is showing.
  • 7. And a new way of showing Authorship for some...
  • 8. Second Class Authorship “Second Class” Authorship, where author gets a byline but no profile photo.
  • 9. Let’s put on our Authorship glasses and see what happened and why.
  • 10. No Change For authors, there were five possible effects: 1. Some authors showed no change at all.
  • 11. Mixed by Site 2. Some authors had Authorship reduced for some sites but not others.
  • 12. Mixed by Content 3. Some authors lost Authorship for some content on a site but not for other content.
  • 13. Mixed by Authors 4. On some sites, some authors retained authorship while others lost it.
  • 14. Author Loss Across All Sites 5. Some authors lost Authorship for all sites on which they had published.
  • 15. Reduction by Query From http://moz.com/blog/googles-december-authorship-shake-up While fewer queries were showing authorship, the number of authorship results/page did not change.
  • 16. Messages from the Kidnappers In January 2014 we finally heard from some Googlers about the change.
  • 17. Messages from the Kidnappers • “…estimating quality of an author’s documents.” 1. Google is using some kind of scoring of an author’s content quality as a qualifier.
  • 18. Messages from the Kidnappers • “…estimating quality of an author’s documents.” • “…the documents an author typically writes.” The scoring is aggregated from content across all sites publishing the author’s work.
  • 19. Messages from the Kidnappers Google uses author scoring as a qualifier for other search features, such as In-Depth Articles.
  • 20. Messages from the Kidnappers • “…estimating quality of an author’s documents.” • “…the documents an author typically writes.” • “…people you’ve circled on G+.” There is also a personalization factor for logged-in searchers.
  • 21. Messages from the Kidnappers John Mueller - GWT We also heard from Google Webmaster Tool’s John Mueller when questioned in a Hangout On Air.
  • 22. Messages from the Kidnappers • “Is the author someone Google recognizes as “worthy”? John Mueller - GWT Mueller seemed to reinforce the idea of an overall author content quality score.
  • 23. Messages from the Kidnappers • “Is the author someone Google recognizes as “worthy”? • “Is the content high quality?” John Mueller - GWT The application can also be on a content-by-content basis.
  • 24. Messages from the Kidnappers • “Is the author someone Google recognizes as “worthy”? • “Is the content high quality?” • “Is the site known for publishing high quality content?” John Mueller - GWT There is also a publisher factor.
  • 25. How can authors improve their chances that they will get more Authorship results?
  • 26. @marktraphagen Factor 1: Author Reputation
  • 27. Factor 1: Author Reputation • Reputation for quality content 1. Author has a reputation for the highest quality content.
  • 28. Factor 1: Author Reputation • Reputation for quality content • History of publishing such content 2. The author has an established history of publishing quality content.
  • 29. Factor 1: Author Reputation • Reputation for quality content • History of publishing such content • Consistent earning of social shares 3. The author’s content usually gets good social signals.
  • 30. Factor 1: Author Reputation • Reputation for quality content • History of publishing such content • Consistent earning of social shares • Consistent earning of quality links 4. The author’s content tends to attract valuable, natural links from reputable sites.
  • 31. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation Another factor seems to be the quality and reputation of the site on which the content is published.
  • 32. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation • High domain authority 1. Does the site have good domain authority?
  • 33. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation • High domain authority • Long history 2. Does the site have some history? (Newer sites less likely to show Authorship)
  • 34. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation • High domain authority • Long history • Never been penalized 3. Does the site have a clean record with Google, never having been hit by any penalties?
  • 35. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation • High domain authority • Long history • Never been penalized • Frequently publish content from quality authors 4. Does the site have a reputation for publishing other high-quality authors?
  • 36. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation Another factor: Site has not connected Authorship to non-author-content pages.
  • 37. Factor 2: Site Quality & Reputation bit.ly/relauthorFAQ An official Google FAQ said only connect to pages w/ original content by the stated author.
  • 38. Recovering the Kidnap Victims So how do Authorship “kidnapping” victims get restored to having Authorship shown in search results?
  • 39. Recovering the Kidnap Victims • Publish on high-quality, trusted sites 1. Publish only on sites that appear to care about the quality of their content.
  • 40. Recovering the Kidnap Victims • Publish on high-quality, trusted sites • Quality over Quantity (but stay fresh!) Be more concerned with creating quality content than a quantity of content (but keep your content fresh!)
  • 41. Recovering the Kidnap Victims • Publish on high-quality, trusted sites • Quality over Quantity (but stay fresh!) • Connect rel=author only to real content Only allow your Authorship to be connected to your real articles on a site.
  • 42. Recovering the Kidnap Victims • Publish on high-quality, trusted sites • Quality over Quantity (but stay fresh!) • Connect rel=author only to real content • Build your network & audience Building up an audience that loves your content and will share it creates good signals around your content.
  • 43. Thanks! • StoneTemple.com • Google.com/ +MarkTraphagen • @marktraphagen Thanks to Weal Media for the caricature!