Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bye Bye Author Rank - Hello Schema and Content

by David Brown
Certified Content Marketer

A Gift from Google
Recently Google cancelled an important search engine strategy that many of us in SEO and internet marketing were relying on, spent hours getting our sites aligned with, and thought that "this strategy will never end - it makes so much sense".

What happened?

Testing, Testing, Testing
Anything that Google does in relation to their search engine algorithms can be considered a "market test", or experiment in providing their users the best search result experience in terms of quality and relevance of content.

In a Google + post by John Mueller, who had been involved with the authorship program since its inception at Google, he states that:

" We've gotten lots of useful feedback from all kinds of webmasters and users, and we've tweaked, updated, and honed recognition and displaying of authorship information. Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we've made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results. "

The Silver Lining - Part 1 - Ranking 

The good news is that removing this program does not affect the ranking relevance of Google + posts.

"Search users will still see Google+ posts from friends and pages when they’re relevant to the query — both in the main results, and on the right-hand side. Today’s authorship change doesn't impact these social features."


The Silver Lining -  Part 2 - Structured Markup

Why this information was included in this same article is curious. Structured markup has nothing to do with authorship. The only reason I can think of as to why this was mentioned is to soften the blow of losing the authorship program to webmasters who spent hours understanding it, discussing it, and implementing it on their clients' web sites and blogs. The following quote from Mr Mueller shows Google's commitment to, and encouragement of structured markup also known as schema. 

"Going forward, we're strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we'll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results."

Information on structured markup can be found at www.schema.org 

We have been including schema in our client's web sites for over a year now, as it seemed to be the right way to enhance the page's potential for ranking. Now it is becoming the norm.
---------------
Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning internet marketing consultant and Certified Content Marketer. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO, web design, and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.




Subscribe to this blog in the widget top right, to be sure that you receive the next post by email or RSS.