Google Authorship: Does It Really Matter and Will Google Use It To Improve Search Quality?

Everybody has been talking about the importance of implementing the Google Authorship markup. Some say that it is an important ranking signal, and some say that improves CTR (Click Through Rates). While all the buzz surrounding the use of “rel=author” is widespread, I actually never saw a specific video from Matt Cutts (Google WebSpam Chief) talking about it (see video below).

What is Authorship Markup?

Let’s see if we can answer this question in a very simple way. This is what happens when you have your authorship claimed.

Google Authorship Markup

As you can see, the markup is a way of Google to show within the search results who’s the author of the content on a specific page. Usually, you will see the authors photo, a link to G+ profile, number of circles, etc..
[note]UPDATE: September 2014 – Authorship no longer is as important as it used to be. Read more here.[/note]

How To Claim Your Authorship

Claiming your Google authorship was quite complicated to implement some time ago. Today, it is actually simple, and one can easily implement it by using a WordPress plugin, doing it via email, or simply following this simple set of claiming your authorship instruction. The only catch is that you MUST HAVE a Google+ profile.

If you were ever in doubt on implementing authorship, watch this video as it may change your mind. After that, there are some key notes that I took from what Matt had to say.

Will Google be evaluating the use of rel=”author” moving forward?

There you go. If is was not important before, I guess that after watching the video, the answer to the question about its importance is pretty much straight forward. I’m curious as to how the “rel=publisher” will work, but that seems to be another issue that Matt will talk about, hopefully in the very near future. We’ll see.

Google Authorship Key Notes

  • Matt is very excited about the rel=author program
  •  Moving from an anonymous web to some sort of identity
  • A lot of benefits “for free”
  • Continue to improve on how they handle that “signal”
  • Moving to a richer and more annotated web
  • Philosophy of Google “moving away from keywords or strings” to “things” – this can be big??
  • Knowing who the “real author” is on a real world helps improve search quality
  •  Continue to see how the rel=”author” can be use to improve user search experience

So, what do you  think. Are these all signs that authorship has important SEO benefits or that the so called Author Rank will actually exist, now or in the future? I’m guessing that it will be, in one way or another. So don’t neglect this one, if you are into search rankings.

Have you implemented your authorship yet? What are you waiting for? Do you think that it is important to have your Google authorship claimed?


DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Digital Marketing Services in SP Brazil.

30 thoughts on “Google Authorship: Does It Really Matter and Will Google Use It To Improve Search Quality?

  • I recently claimed my authorship and noticced a spike in traffic, cant tell however if it was penguin 2.o that caused the increase but either ways i dont think author rank hurts your stand in the SERP’s rather it just puts a face to a blogpost making it more legit.

    • That’s definitely one way of looking at it.. “makes things more legit” 🙂

      • hi DiTesco, ya i experience it that google authorship make your CTR higher compare double when your site ranked in 1st page with 1-3 position. thanks for this tips.

    • There’s no such thing as “author rank” All of the G+ moderators refer to this as social signals. The main idea for authorship is to be able to verify that you are the creator and owner of the content that you create,

  • Whatever Google does it will be super cool. They are closing Google reader but will open something really cool instead. So, rubbing hands and waiting! Patience is the key)

    • I agree. I think that G Reader goes out, but they will probably “replace” it with something else. Most likely it will be yet another feature on Google+? What do you think. The way I see things on G+, this is probably where it will be integrated somehow…

  • help full

    i have a blogger blog can i also apply for author ship or it already active in blogger


  • Having the Google authorship will make your website more noticeable in SERP. Plus, it’s more attractive seeing a real person that owns the content. Glad to know that Genesis Framework and WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast have added support for Google Authorship, so it’ll be much easier for users to set it up.

    • Yeah, I think that soon, every theme developer will follow suit. As I mentioned on my post, it is no longer the difficulty in doing so, but rather more of a choice…

  • Some people say that it does draw attention and helps encourage people to click on your link in search results. I can see that to happening a little, but I still think people will click the first couple of results whether there is an author image or not. Probably because they are so accustomed to doing so. It is nice to see your author image appear in results though.

    • I see your point.. Sometimes it does encourage people to click on the results with an image because of the “perceived authority” I guess. This is specially true if you already know the person on that image. Also, I think that it is just not the image itself, but rather the “markup” that is actually growing in importance as far as Google is concerned.

  • I have read that Google Authorship has benefited many bloggers. I have not claimed it yet, but I will.

  • I am a late comer and that is because I noticed your post just now. I will claim my authorship today itself, lets see how it affects me. Well I am expecting it to enhance my readership but I am just keeping my fingers crossed.

    • Well that’s good.. Let me know how it goes for you. Thanks for stopping by

  • Certification from the University of Google. I suppose it all depends on the community acceptance. If sites start using this a basis of using only authorship qualified bloggers I’m sure it will snowball quickly.

    • I think that’s already happening Kris, at least for “legit” bloggers 🙂

  • This has been almost 3 years in the making, and Google has changed the mechanics on it at least once. Hence, I’m never sure if I have the attributes set up correctly, and I seem to get random results back on the author credit. Sometimes my articles are credited, other times, they are not.

    Further, it takes time for the attribution to appear in SERPs, which makes implementation a multiday affair. It’s not something which can be “just git ‘er done.” I’ve had to follow up regularly ensure it’s working

    All that said, if they get it working so it’s easy, it should help search results a lot. A huge benefit for me would be if they tied my Google Scholar page to authority measures. The cool thing about the Scholar page is it measures authority with first order popularity canceled out. While citations are of course at least somewhat political, systematically failing to cite correctly carries social penalty.

    Anyway, authorship attribution is welcome and I think ultimately necessary.

    • Thanks for leaving your thoughts David. Now, you pointed something out here that is quite interesting (Google Scholar) and perhaps should have much greater weight when determining authority.

      Anyway, I agree that the authorship attribution is “ultimately” necessary. Maybe this is one way of them “pushing” people to use G+ 🙂

      • Authorship attribution is certainly the only reason I’m currently maintaining a presence on G+!

        • LOL, I’m guessing you are not alone 😉

  • Hello!
    I’m using authorship for my blog! And i see that when some one search keyword on google, the sie which have small avatar (by google suthorship) alaways have high attention!
    Thanks you!

  • As far as my understanding is concerned about “Google Authorship”. It’s only valid for articles, but I still see many business websites are using this authorship. I think they’re using it only for increasing their CTR.

  • As I understand the benefit of rel=author is that if I write an article about ‘x’ and the article is highly thought of, then when I write an article about ‘y’, big G knows the article came from me and will push it up the SERPs.

    Even if that signal gets diminished to the point of nothingness among all the other signals, I can’t see a downside to using rel=author – so why not, even if the practical benefits are more illusory than real for most authors.

    • Hi David. Not really sure if using the “rel=author” will push you up the SERPs, however, it does identify you as the author of the content and for that matter may disregard “others” that scrape or copy your content. All in all, I think that it is a signal they are using, but as to its significance I guess “they” will be the only ones who will ever know. I have seen “searches” that shows only results with the markup included. Then again this could all change..

  • I have scan that Google Authorship has benefited several bloggers. I actually have not claimed it however, but I will.

    • Totally recommend you claiming it.. So, have you?

  • Hi Ditesco, Google Authorship is really a great tool. I think it will help stop your content from being stolen , it has happened with the best of us. We all work hard and come up with unique content, but someone out there just gets away by copying it leaving us helpless. Moreover, it will also help us gain recognition amoung our readers. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • Hi Nathan. Authorship attribution, among other things does help to “say” that we are the original author of a certain piece of content. Sadly though, that won’t discourage content scrappers from doing what they are doing.. Anyway, anything that “helps”, in my books is always a welcome addition

  • Hi, I still see a lot of sites which are not using the authorship but still rank well above the ones which are using it, so I guess right now it is carrying very little weight in terms of a ranking factor, but I agree with the comments above that a search result with the image of the author makes it look more realistic and genuine 🙂


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