Lauren Kaye

Hi, Lauren Kaye with this week’s Content & Coffee with Brafton and I have some insights to share about Google Authorship. Click play to watch the video or read the full text below!

By now, you probably know how important Authorship is – and could become – in the future. Google says it doesn’t have any immediate plans to turn on AuthorRank, a theorized search technology that could rank web content based on an author’s credibility and social sway, but publishers already see the benefits of giving writers credit for their posts.

At Brafton, we’ve noticed that content containing Authorship markup receives more clickthroughs than posts without rich snippets – sometimes 100 percent more clicks – simply because links with writers’ bylines and photos get more attention on the screen.

Some prominent search marketers who spoke at last week’s SMX East conference assert there are bigger benefits at play, and content with Authorship consistently outranks equivalent posts without the markup.

But the “does it or doesn’t it” debate is old news. What’s new from SMX is that Authorship is NOT ideal in certain situations. Sometimes, you want other rich snippets to show in search results.

Take video for example. During a session about Authorship, Search Mojo’s Janet Driscoll Miller explained that for videos, you want video player rather than Authorship markup to display in search results. This shows a thumbnail of the video directly in SERPs instead of a writer’s photo and byline, and it’s better for two reasons. One, it helps Google understand the content, and two, the click-to-play link gives internet users direct access to the content they want.

And we all know Google wants to give users the best experiences possible.

Video isn’t the only type of content that’s better off without Authorship. Website or blog landing pages, company press releases, PDFs and PowerPoints are also formats that may not benefit from Authorship markup. If the information doesn’t convey an opinion or relay a person’s insight, you should think twice before slapping on a byline. Chances are, there is another type of markup that can also help increase search visibility while also providing users (and Google) with more relevant information.

Catch you next week, and happy content marketing!