Google’s New Authorship Markup Connects Authors to their Content

On June 30, 2011, wrote:

Great content comes from great authors.

At least that’s what Google thinks. That’s why, in an effort to recognize the people who write original stuff on the Web, the search engine company has recently rolled out a new authorship markup feature.

“(It’s) a way to connect authors with their content on the Web,” wrote Google software engineer Othar Hansson in a company blog post. “We’re experimenting with using this data to help people find content from great authors in our search results.”

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It gets a little technical, but the development is in line with Google’s attempt to encourage more original content to be published on the Web, all while minimizing the influence and performance of low-quality content (from content farms) in search results.

Google’s support for authorship markup extends to include:

  • Prominently displaying the names of authors of articles within search results

  • Enabling people to use Google search results to learn more about, find other works by, or contact and interact with an author.

  • Letting websites publicly link to author pages from content within their site, with the author’s information (and picture) / official Google profile then appearing in search results that also display his or her content

All these are done by way of a new code that distinguishes when a link is pointing to who wrote the article. The Jig Jam markup uses existing HTML and XFN standards (rel=“author” or rel-“me”) to enable the search engine to find and identify an author’s works across the Web. This way, online publishers and authors are more likely to get the SEO credit that they deserve for writing original content.

The authorship feature is being rolled out gradually and implemented algorithmically – but if you’re interested in finding out more about how your authorship information can appear in search results, check out Google’s Webmaster Tools Help for Authorship. Google says that, so far, they’ve worked with The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNET, Entertainment Weekly, and The New Yorker. Also benefiting from the new authorship markup are publishers of sites hosted by YouTube and Blogger.


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