Author authority was a hot topic in SEO circles when Google introduced its authorship markup in 2011. Today, it’s been all but forgotten.
The idea behind the project was that Google algorithms would recognize specific authors for their content in specific fields. For example, a prolific, and talented, casino reviewer would carry a certain authority that would be recognized by searchbots and rewarded in higher page rankings for his or her clients.
While Authorship seemed like a good idea, it never really caught on. Even worse, according to a recent piece by SearchEngineLand.com columnist Eric Enge titled, Authorship is Dead, Long Live Authorship, a large number of sites that adopted the Authorship tag implemented it incorrectly.
That’s why after just three years, Google abandoned its Authorship experiment. But Enge believes that author authority is something web content creators should still be keeping in mind.
Why Build Author Authority?
So if Google doesn’t care about Authorship, and author authority, anymore why should you?
Enge lays out a laundry list of reasons that include:
- A good reputation is always worth pursuing – We all have authors whose names we notice and whose content we like. That’s money in the bank for their clients, whether Google recognizes it or not.
- Author authority boosts social shares – Name recognition doesn’t just boost traffic, it boosts critical social shares, too.
- It makes pitching stories to other media a whole lot easier – The more name brand recognition your content producers have, the easier it is to pitch their work to other media outlets.
These are just a few of the reasons Enge gives for building author authority and they all come down to one point, brand building in the name of SEO.
Enge points out that building your brand will do more for your SEO efforts than you might think:
Much of the SEO game is now about building content and a user experience that’s so good that people will get upset if Google no longer shows it in the SERPs. At the same time, you should build your online presence to a point where Google is not your sole significant source of traffic. Ironically, if you do these two things, it will probably do wonders for your SEO at the same time.
That means quality content from quality content producers is still a goal that’s worth pursuing, whether Authorship is alive or dead.