In the latest Google Webmaster Help Channel video, Search Engineer Matt Cutts says he is excited about publishers using of the rel=”author” tag in their online content because there’s potential the markup could make the internet a less anonymous, more transparent place. Combined with Cutts’ previous advisories, this declaration adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that marketers must enhance their web content writing efforts to populate more SERP real estate.
Cutts does not give a direct response to the question submitted – “Will Google be evaluating the use of rel=”author” moving forward?” – but he indicates the search engine is working on ways to use the coding to improve user experiences. In the past, he has warned marketers and SEOs not to read too much into the technology patents it purchases.
Brafton reported this might be in response to chatter about the possible introduction of AuthorRank, an algorithm that assigns search positions based on writers’ credibility and authority. When authors’ identities are linked with the content they produce, Cutts believes, “You have some notion of identity and maybe even reputation of individual authors.”
While internet users have better information on which to base their search decisions, the rel=”author” tag also makes it more difficult for spammers to hide under the cloak of anonymity.
The benefits are multifaceted, he explains. While internet users have better information on which to base their search decisions, the rel=”author” tag also makes it more difficult for spammers to hide under the cloak of anonymity.
The Search Engineer then states that this is part of Google’s overarching plan to move away from basic ranking signals and toward sophisticated measurements that benefit end users. Another recent video shared the same message, as Cutts warned SEOs not to get stuck on links at the expense of other practices, such as social media marketing and design.
Over and over, we hear that SEO must be serving a larger content marketing strategy – not the other way around.