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Why Does Author Authority Still Matter? – Here’s Why With Mark & Eric

Google might not show author photos in their results anymore, but the importance of author authority is far from dead. In this episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric, Eric will explain why author authority continues to benefit your content marketing strategy. Strong Author Authority provides many benefits, both search-based on more personal ones.

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UPDATE: Google patent expert Bill Slawski has blogged about a new Google patent that may reinforce that Google is far from done with the concept of author authority as a search ranking factor.

Full Transcript:

Mark: Google may have killed Google Authorship in its search results but Eric Enges of Perficient Digital says the importance of author authority is far from dead. I’m Mark Traphagen and in this episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric”, I’ll ask Eric to explain why understanding and building author authority remains a powerful part of your digital marketing tool kit.
Mark: Eric, why did Google end its Google Authorship program that showed author photos and bylines in their search results?
Eric: Well, for one thing, adoption by authors and publishers was abysmally low. You’re looking at the results of a study we did at Perficient Digital looking at the implementation of publisher and author tags on major publishing sites. Not only was adoption low, but a significant portion of those who did try to implement authorship did it incorrectly. In short, the benefits of the program probably ended up not being worth the investment it took for Google to run it.
Mark: Well, might Google had been doing something with the authorship beyond what we could see?
Eric: Well, it’s possible that they used the data that they got from those who actually did use rel=”author” to train their algorithm to identify authored content, but I don’t think so. It wouldn’t be that hard for Google to do that without involving a massive project involving voluntary user tagging.
Mark: So is there still any value in trying to build your author authority, your online authority?
Eric: Absolutely. For one thing, it’s a great way to build your reputation and visibility. If that happens, your content will attract more links, as well as increase social shares. Authoritative authors also boost a content marketing program. Your bigger fanbase means your social following grows faster and you will earn more opportunities to publish your content on better and better sites. Finally, your Google Plus content gets elevated in personalized searches of your followers as Google now has a deal with Twitter to get a firehose for their data, it’s possible that the personalization effect may grow even bigger.
Mark: So it sounds like author authority isn’t as search engine dependent as some people think.
Eric: Yes, indeed. The benefits are becoming well known, trusted, and respected as an author in your field is first and foremost a human value. That is the engagement, actions, recommendations, reshares of real people in your audience that bring value to you regardless of whether or not there’s any search ranking benefit.
Mark: Well, thanks Eric! For more about this topic and insights about author authority, be sure to click the link to Eric’s Search Engine Land article in the notes to this episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to get more useful videos like this one. You’ll find a handy subscribe button at the end of this video or in the notes below. So thanks for watching! We’ll see you next time for another episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric”!

Thoughts on “Why Does Author Authority Still Matter? – Here’s Why With Mark & Eric”

  1. A good thing to remember. I’m pretty sure there’s quite a few of us that when the pictures went away, so did the thought of authorship. Out of site, out of mind.

  2. That would be a real mistake, James. Building a reputation with your audience can be a powerful signal when people are faced with a choice of many content links for something they are researching. Glad you liked the video!

  3. I think that author authority makes an author popular and acknowledged for his or her works. Author authority also imparts a standard to judge the quality of a piece of content.

  4. Great video. This really highlight that there is other benefits having author authorship beyond SEO. But is there any advise on how to start building up this authorship? Through Google+?

  5. Thanks for the nice video & information.
    I have been doing some looking around to try to see if & why author authority matters anymore. I like how you covered the information about why author authority still maters.
    Many different people I have talked to lately all seem to say it doesn’t. I haven’t been a believer in the theory myself. I also explained how I felt it helps to solidify an authors reputation, so that when people see 2 similar stories and aren’t sure which to read, they will probably go for the one from an author that they might recognize.
    There are a lot of myths out there with unfounded beliefs. I’m glad I found your video here with some info I was hoping to find.
    Thanks again, Ulterios

  6. Glad you found the video helpful. It’s interesting that Google patent expert Bill Slawski has recently uncovered new Google patents relating to author authority in search. I’m going to add them as links in this post.

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Eric Enge

Eric Enge is part of the Digital Marketing practice at Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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