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Some Anomalies In Verified Authorship

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#1 bwelford

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 12:43 PM

I believe that the hot topic in search this year will be an increasing emphasis on AuthorRank rather than PageRank.  This is win-win for the author and for Google in its attempts to root out spam web pages.  I believe the Penguin/Panda updates will never achieve acceptable results by themselves.

 

Much has been written in a variety of places about how to verify your authorship of your web pages.  You can also check which of your web pages has been verified as belonging to you as author by looking at the link for Author Stats under the Labs link in the left sidebar in Google Webmaster Tools.

 

The anomaly I have seen is that an article I wrote in 2005 before there was any way of verifying authorship is listed as a web page for which I am the verified author.  Obviously Google is proactive in searching out authors and does not just wait for the authors to do all the work.

 

You can see more details in Authors, Google May Be Looking For You.



#2 iamlost

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:00 PM

My concern is that Google is relying primarily on inhouse verification, i.e. G+, although techically it isn't necessary. And rel=author is spoofable, spammable as with email. I suspect that as the year goes we'll be seeing complaints of 'others' being credited as spammers use G+ and/or rel=author to add 'credibility' to scraped content. If author1 and author2 both claim the same content... how will G's algo decide?



#3 EGOL

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:30 PM

I really like the fact that google is allowing authors to claim their work.

 

<rant>A problem that has always existed is that content thieves can grab your work and publish it on their website without your authorization.  They can still do this if you claim authorship and they can also say that THEY are the author.

 

Now, if google prevented that from happening, filtered unclaimed copies from the SERPs and swatted down spun versions... then I would buy pizza for everyone at the plex.</rant>

 

I do agree with Barry that this is a great step for google.  It might cause the public to value articles that are attributed to authors.  It may even result in the public looking for or favoring articles authored by specific people. 


Edited by EGOL, 04 February 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#4 jonbey

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:43 PM

Yeah, seen a few reports of this. Seems to be some sort site-trust thing too, so unlikely spammers will trick google.

 

There was a news story about it a few weeks back, some famous deceased person was attributed as the author of a page that just mentioned his name. Cannot remember the details now though.



#5 joehall

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:56 PM

In this post, you can see that Dave Snyder stole my authorship (with my permission) to prove that names and faces can be stolen! I think its likely that Google will be forced to nail down a more secure way to verify, like they do for web master tools.



#6 iamlost

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:41 PM

But the web is NOT Google nor is verification Google's strong suite...as my 500+ DMCA's to them last year - regarding content 3 to 10 years old that continues to be scraped and poof-rank near or above the originals. There truly is something grossly broken when out of nowhere sites less than a year old can pop up full of other established sites scraped content and rank right along side them.

 

Just as I have not bothered with rel=nofollow or rel=canonical I shall watch but not bother with rel=author. All three are Google admitting they can't do whatever and conning others to do the job for free (free to G that is, the time cost alone on all those rel additions and discussions about et al...must be millions).

 

Google has an urgent critical fundamental search problem and it is Google NOT webdevs that needs to corrert it. Unfortunately rel=author is not and can not do so.



#7 bwelford

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 12:56 AM

Hi Joe, good to see you hear.

I commented on your (Dave Snyder's) article but it may be worth repeating the thought here.

 

In essence, I was suggested the reality of an author can be measured by the extent to which they bring out a different point of view from what has gone before at that point in time.  The computational challenge in calculating that measure would be significant but perhaps an approximate calculation would give a good part of the measure.

 

In other words, if you are just repeating the same old, same old stuff that others have set down, then you may not be real.  If you are saying something new, then with high probability you are the real author you claim to be.



#8 iamlost

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:31 PM

A timely article, given this discussion, by Michael Martinez, SEO Myths About Authorship and Author Rank, SEO Theory, 06-February-2013. Interesting read and not bad conversation in the comments.

 

While reading pay close attention to the difference between Author Rank and Authorship, i.e. as indicated by rel=author; I missed that Barry, in his original post, had referred to the former and only spoke to the second. Here and now I'll only say that given what troubles Google appears to be having with simply assigning authorship, that a workable repeatable, scalable AuthorRank seems pie in the sky.


There are several fundamental myths about Authorship that have taken root in SEO bloggary and Conference Theology. Let’s take a look at them.
Myth Number 1: Author Rank and Authorship are the Same Thing
...
Myth Number 2: Anything That Mentions Authors is About Author Rank or Authorship
...
Myth Number 3: Anyone Can Play in the Authorship Sandbox
...
Myth Number 4: Authorship Works As Promised
...



And another of Michael's buffoon popping proverbs to add to my collection:
It’s Not SEO If It’s Wishful Thinking

#9 bwelford

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

As I have just commented on Michael's site, I think both AuthorRank and Authorship are fuzzy concepts with considerable overlap.  Until the mists clear, I think little harm is done by conflating them and using the terms almost interchangeably.

 

I also suggested the best indicator of where Google has got to in all this is the Author Stats link under Labs in your Google Webmaster Tools desktop.  Perhaps if sufficient people compare notes on what they see there, we may be better able to understand where Google is heading.


Edited by bwelford, 06 February 2013 - 04:34 PM.


#10 glyn

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

It's great for authors if they can be credited. Maybe Google can also build a database of the best authors so we don't need amazon or bookshops anymore.

 

The first place an article is published is the place of authority. Because if I write something and publish it somewhere that is the first place it has appeared. The problem is that you can't know about everything being published, so other factors can be used to establish where the article appeared first. These might have been .edu once upon a time, and now they are more complex ;)

 

The author citation can be fooled, but if organizations are putting these into their content, and perhaps the ones that do produce content will do so as it protects an asset. It might mean that such a citation could be the thing that swings you as an authority when the algo gets undecided on who published it first.

 

But who really knows anyway.

 

G.



#11 iamlost

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:51 PM

Off Topic offtopic

PROOF!!!

I've been suspicious for quite some time now:
* once is happenstance: Interests: Too many to mention. :: organize the world's information.
* twice is coincidence: avatar: Tron character :: Tron Earth

And now...
* thrice is enemy action:
glyn with the lowercase 'g' just signed off with an uppercase 'G' and a period.
The only "big 'G' period" in our webdev universe is :abducted:

 

"He will join us or die, my master."  :capeguy:

 

...to be continued...

 



#12 jonbey

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 04:09 AM

But, just because the author citation can be fooled to show a mugshot / name in search, it does not mean that Google will give that page an extra boost. There is probably going to be more to the whole thing than slap a G+ profile up and a link to win in the serps. 

 

Eric S. mentioned "verified online profiles" and ranking the other day, not "smiley faces next to search results". So tricking Google into thinking somebody wrote an article when they didn't may really be a waste of time.

 

I just ran 3 random searches (how to cook chicken, how to build a computer and benefits of jogging), and while the top results generally had author profiles attached (probably because these sits are hot on SEO in general) only one author was verified (Whitson Gordon).

 

So the question for today is - How to get your profile verified?

 

Hang on, did I just miss the whole point? Probably!


Edited by jonbey, 07 February 2013 - 05:19 AM.
confused / not understanding the question!


#13 EGOL

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:07 AM

[offtopic]

PROOF!!!

==================

Are you sure that your last batch of weed was good stuff?


Edited by EGOL, 07 February 2013 - 10:07 AM.




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