At the end of August we found out that Google had axed its authorship experiment that they had been running for the past three years; John Mueller (webmaster trends analyst at Google) posted on Google Plus that the search giant will stop showing authorship in search, in addition, rel=author markup would no longer be data tracked.
The question on everyone’s lips was why axe this experiment after three years? After seeing many people on Google Plus talking about the issue, mainly people from the SEO community mentioned that for Google to understand a user’s piece of content, the content had to be marked accordingly (using the rel=author markup). Google tried to overcome this process by automatic author discovery, however, it was majorly flawed which led to the ramifications of the search company axing the experiment as I discovered.
Also, according to many, Google could be now focusing on other areas such as Google Knowledge Vault which will help them increase their knowledge through using a mass of algorithms.
Although Google has ‘axed’ their authorship experiment, in theory, that does not mean that you should not ignore your authorship practices. End of the day trust and authenticity are paramount, people want to know about the author and about their content.
It looks like the search engine giant will continue to experiment with the ways of identifying authors, possibly by some sort of mark up or by some automated method. From what I have understood by many of the SEO community on Google Plus is that the authorship concept might have been axed for now, however, it is still on their radar.
So what now? There are ways to build your authorship even though Google Authorship has been axed. Firstly, being a Google Plus user is a must; when Google provides search results, it looks at many factors and Google + connections/influencers are taken into account. This happens when you are logged into your Google Plus account and therefore your search becomes tailored and will feature any of your contacts who might have posted about the search topic that you are looking for.
What this means if you are a writer is that you are connecting with influencers and other like-minded people through the Google Plus ecosystem which will make you appear in their search results and therefore give you more authority.
Moreover it is worth introducing rich snippets into your content and can add them to any reviews, lists, and events that you might on your page. In addition, you can add rich snippets to a particular person, Google will display their contact information in search.
Another alternative would be to publish your content on Linkedin, the networking site has started to become a strong publishing platform for authors and it also a great place to post your articles from your own site and share with your audience.
It also worth tweeting your content since Twitter has a vast amount of people from various industries and also another alternative to gain traffic your website.
Although Google is the number one search choice by a majority, however, it is worth thinking beyond Google. Many spend too much time trying to impress Google that they forget that in today’s semantic web where trust and authenticity are really important, that they forget about the level of human interaction.
At the end of the day it is all about creating value for your users, once you have got this sussed, it will become more easy for search engines to pick up your content. This will then help build your reputation and authority over time.