Introduced over a year ago to little interest and no acclaim, the Google Authorship Programme has a bold vision to make content personal, unique and (as ever) to stamp out content farms and machine-written content.
Working hand-in-hand with recent updates to kill off-page spamming, the Authorship programme is looming large on radar, if not square in front of us. The key to it’s success is the ability to link content to real people. This is most definitely a trick missed by Facebook when it created, in effect, the world’s largest credibility directory.
As part of the programme, Google is using it’s (sort of) social network, Google+, to verify people are real and starting to rank and rate them. As Google becomes more confident in the “measure of realness of a person” they are likely to rely more and more on that index when it comes to ranking content. How?
When Google establish the credibility of a person, or a company, and securely link external content back to that author they have the alternative to the much hated PageRank method of rating the value of content. It’s really as simple as that. There are side benefits, sure, including greater adoption of Google+. But remember, greater “sign-up” rates doesn’t actually mean more activity or value. It neatly gives you a lovely entry in Google, to boot!
The whole SEO ecosystem is pivoting like crazy to address it’s double whammy of penalising off-page SEO and promoting real content we’re seeing something truly extraordinary but must be keeping quite a few SEO/content company executives awake at night. It’s very likely that this area will be one of the cornerstones of every digital strategy.
If you’ve not heard about the programme and done something about it then you probably ought to shoot your digital agency. Now.
Here are some quick guides and useful links to get you started:
By Martin Dower