SEO and inbound marketing have never been closer than since the last Google updates. With Panda in particular, site publishers must offer high quality pages under penalty of sanctions. To clarify, the Mountain View company has established a list of 23 questions to ask to be sure to offer quality content …
Recently Matt Cutts also said in an interview that working on his link strategy is not illegal in itself, but that it is prudent to always put quality first. According to his remarks, it is easy to understand that the next target of Google will not only be the content farm networks, but also the so-called low quality guestblogs: “If people just move away from doing article banks or article directories or article marketing to guest blogging and they don’t raise their quality thresholds for the content, then that can cause problems. “
So beware of poor quality posts, mechanically copied / pasted from one blog to another.
It’s in this environment that the attribution of paternity for web content has arrived with great fanfare for the past few months. Highlighted by Google and its rel = author attribute (a similar attribute also exists for associating content with an editor – rel = publisher), the idea is not as restrictive as it seems and even seems behind its time. Indeed with the emergence of the semantic web, one would have expected for a long time to have a system to sign its articles.
When to claim authorship of a page?
In general, not all web pages will benefit from being claimed (signed). In fact, all content that you would sign in paper format must also be claimed via the authorship attribute. This therefore concerns blog posts, powerpoint presentations (on slideshare you can link your slides to your Google account if you have a minimum of 5 followers),
Other cases do not call for paternity claims. First of all, we should avoid signing pages that correspond to succinct and undeveloped descriptions such as product sheets, or news briefs (AFP news style). In the case of a photo gallery with captions, the choice is yours and should be based on the length of the text accompanying the image and its informative value.
What to do on pages with several authors?
In the case of multi-author pages, caution should be exercised. Google currently doesn’t manage pages written by multiple writers, and the presence of different attribution tags often creates conflicts that make snippet display unstable and unpredictable in search results. Whether it’s forums or comments where your signature points to your Google+ account, the likelihood that Google attributes the partnership with someone else, or nobody is great. On some English forums, the snippet simply does not work anymore, if the URL contains the word forum.
Pay attention to the content generated by your users especially on your blogs. It is indeed possible to steal the authorship of an article by inserting a link to a Google+ profile in comment of a post. I imagine that in the future, Google will have to restrict the positioning of the link on a page so that it is taken into account: in the body of the article and not in the comments, for example. In the meantime, there are handmade solutions.
Author or Publisher? Two rankings, Author Rank and Brand Rank.
Two attributes exist and are taken into account by Google: the one describing an author rel = author (pointing to a person’s Google+ profile), and the one describing the editor of a site rel = publisher (pointing to a company Google+ page) ). Although not yet formalized by Google, two rankings seem to coexist informally: The Author Rank and the Brand Rank. The first associates with people through their Google profile the second refers to companies through their Google+ page in particular.
The subject is very complex and it is difficult to go around it exhaustively, but a word of advice to conclude: do not forget to implement the said tags on your websites. They will quickly become essential to your reputation and your online ranking.