A friend recently asked me that I discuss why I thought the rel=”author” attribute would play a huge role in the future of search engine rankings. In an attempt to respond to his query I felt I needed to let you know that rel=”author” seems to fit into a much larger plan Google is putting into action around personal profiles. Please note, this is simply my opinion based upon experience, research, and conversations with some of my bright peers in the Search marketing community.
Google Profile Facts
Google is taking into account the personal blocking data (the block site option in results) from users that have a long and trustworthy profile; this was confirmed by Matt Cutts, of Google Search Quality in the September 2011 Q&A .
Right now, if you've got a highly trusted profile and you've got authorship markup (rel=author) on your articles you will get representation in Google search results by having your photo show up next to the post. In order for this markup to work you must have a Google Profile and it must be correctly associated with the web sites you're posting on and your author page on the site has to link back to your Google Profile to complete the relationship.
Google is integrating Plus into most, if not all of their products - this was confirmed by Vic Gundrota, Google Social Business, on a recent Web Summit 2.0 conversation with Sergey Brin.
To be on Google Plus you need a Google Profile. Your Google Profile prompts you to link all of your social profiles so Google knows your social finger print and can highlight material in search results that your associates have socially shared or liked.
Links are an important part of Google’s algorithms but they are highly manipulated and most likely cause the majority of spam found in Google’s results.
If Google sees that other people like your articles then it has a far better chance of showing up at the top of relevant search queries.
Educated Assumptions about Google
If your content is shared widely on social networks, particularly Google Plus, and you have rel=”author”, Google will credit your profile with more trust. If someone links to your article or shares it, Google can see the authorship markup and will consider crediting your Google Profile - depending on the quality of individuals profile linking or sharing the content. Links are a trust indicator and Google Profiles will be a trust barometer having a tougher signal to fake.
By generating content frequently that is highly shared and signed with your rel=”author” you'll develop better trust for your Google Profile.
The greater the trust & credibility you have with Google, the greater the chance your content will have of showing up in the top search results.
In Summary, Build your Google Profile
Build your Google Profile as there are a lot of reasons to believe it will assist the ranking success of content you submit and socially share. In order to build your profile you will need to give Google every reason to think you're trustworthy and rel=”author” is amongst the tools they've given you to do just that. The sooner you get started, the longer your positive Google Profile history will be and the more trust you can gain prior to your competition wisening up.
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