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Dennis Maier
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My Google Authorship Photo Disappeared But I Got it Back

In January, my Authorship photo disappeared from my blog posts in search engine results. After some research I realized the main culprit was incorrect SEO WordPress plugin settings. Changing the settings wasn’t the only solution I had to do. Read this mini case study to see all the steps I took to get my photo back including seeking advice from +Mark Traphagen

I’d like to thank Mark , +Eric Enge +Samuel Scott and this community for providing me with the necessary resources and support to restore my photo to all of my blog posts in search.
#seo   #googleauthorship  

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Coming Tomorrow....AuthorRank Pro

If you liked beta.authorrank.org - you ain't seen nothin' yet!
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Free eBook: How to Build Authority through Content and Google Authorship

To help you prepare for the brave new world of content marketing, this free ebook covers the basics of Authorship markup, PageRank, Author Rank, Google+, and much more.

This ebook will teach you how to make the best use of each of these developments, maximize your work, build your authority as a writer, and improve your visibility online.

You can download it (and fourteen other free ebooks) here: 
http://my.copyblogger.com/free-membership/
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Authorship pointed at a brand page that also has a personal name
Could lead to a loss of brand page or profile.

Yesterday +Mark Traphagen revealed a great post about "Google Now Penalizing Sites for Abusing Rich Snippet Markup" http://bit.ly/1eD7hPV

As I was reading this, it reminded me about a conversation I had last year with my Google Representative. The gist of the conversation was this; 

there will eventually be a sweep to eliminate pages that are acting as profiles and there will eventually be a sweep to eliminate profiles that are acting as pages

So really it is imperative, if you have a website that is your name like benfisher.com, that you link the rel=publisher to the BrandPage for it, but only use rel=author to point to your personal profile.

The tool linked to this post will help you identify if your profile is a brand profile or a personal profile.

Hope this help, any questions let me or +Mark Traphagen know.

#authorship   #brandpage   #richsnippets   #richsnippetspam  

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Google Author Rank: My Thoughts At Present

I get asked a lot whether I think Google Author Rank is "on" now, or if it is coming soon. A few people have criticized me for supposedly not being "willing" to admit that it's already a thing. In advance of the next Digital Marketing Answers Show ( #dmashow  Tues. 1 PM ET http://goo.gl/FASiSo) which will focus on Google Authorship and author rank, I thought it might be helpful to state my thinking at this time on the topic.

I want to emphasize that all of the following is my own opinion. But it is opinion based on careful testing and observation of how Google is using Google Authorship since the day the concept was made public. Nevertheless, there is much we don't know, so I want to be clear that I'm stating my opinions and educated guesses, not laying down "the law" on this topic.

What Is Author Rank?
First, what even is "author rank"? It's a term that has come into use in the SEO community to describe a theoretical system whereby Google would rate authors according to various signals that might indicate that those authors are seen as trusted and authoritative on the topics about which they publish content. Those ratings could in turn be used to boost the search rankings of content by the most authoritative authors when a search query is relevant to a piece of their content.

That author rank is something Google wants to do is based on several things:

1) The Agent Rank patents secured by Google years ago, which describe such a system.
2) The introduction of Google+ and Google Authorship, which provided the framework necessary to connect verified authors with their content on the web.
3) Periodic statements from Google spokespeople who indicate that being able to rank-boost subject-area authorities is something they are "working on," "want to do," and "are getting better at."

Whither Author Rank?
I believe we are still very much in the infancy of semantic search (of which author identification and ranking would be a part), and that we are talking years of development yet to come before the full promises of semantic search are realized. In the meantime, Google will continue to rely heavily on its established ranking methods, including links, as it works carefully toward being able to make use of things like semantic connections and social signals in accurate and meaningful ways.

That's what some people who are (in my opinion) over-eager to want to see author rank now fail to understand. They demands that I either declare it "on now"or admit we that I am only denying it to "save face." Of course, the truth, as anyone who has read me carefully knows, is that when we talk about Google innovation, we have to talk in terms of what "may be now" and "what may be yet to come," and it is often difficult to know from the outside where we are at in that timeline.

When asked about identifying and making use of trusted authors as a search factor, Google's Matt Cutts characteristically says "this is something we're working on" (see http://goo.gl/tQKsfz)

In his latest video about social signals (see http://goo.gl/jXtFHu), Matt Cutts repeats a time frame he has used so often over the past year, I know it is no accident or off-hand remark. He said that "over a ten year, multi-year span" they would know more about who is posting what and be able to use that data effectively in search. Now I don't take the "10 years" as literal, but I think Matt repeats that so often because he wants to send the message that nailing down topical authority of individuals is a difficult and lengthy process. We shouldn't expect to see it in action now, and we shouldn't expect it next week. As I said in my article linked at the beginning of this paragraph, "Google will serve no ranking factor before its time."

People tend to assume that huge innovations in search were invented 30 days before they appeared in public in Google. That is almost never the case. Most of the major innovations we've seen, such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird, were in development and testing for years before they were fully rolled out into search. I believe it is the same with author authority.

But of course, we shouldn't just take Matt Cutts' word for it. We shouldn't say that author identity isn't a ranking factor yet just because other prominent Google spokespeople like +John Mueller and +Pierre Far have said so, publicly and explicitly.

 I believe them because I have yet to see any credible, reproducible, verifiable evidence that authorship is a ranking factor. Sure you can find a number of people posting that they saw some one-off odd occurrence (such as they connected their content to authorship and quickly thereafter saw a ranking jump [usually temporary]). Anecdotes are not valid as evidence. As a careful data scientist, I'm not seeing any kind of consistent effect that we would expect to see if author rank were in effect.

Baby Steps Forward
That being said, I do think we are seeing some very early stages of a kind of author authority in the works. In my +Stone Temple Consulting  blog article about my research into what caused profiles to either lose or retain Authorship snippets after Google's December purge (see http://goo.gl/6ntJdg), I noted that I saw some evidence of some authors getting a "trusted author" status. That is, they had passed some "test" and were getting almost guaranteed Authorship snippets for everything they published. This was confirmed by two different Googlers whom I quote in the article. 

That's interesting, but it is not Author Rank as anyone has ever defined it. What I saw in the authorship study was a much simple author "trust" evaluation. It was not topically related, and it did NOT cause any author to rank higher for her content. It simply determined if that author had enough quality signals around her content to be more frequently awarded an Authorship snippet.

So....be sure to tune in on Tuesday for our Digital Marketing Answers Show and bring your questions. You can post them ahead of time at the event (http://goo.gl/FASiSo). And for more discussion on this topic, come join our Google Authorship and Author Rank Community at http://bit.ly/AuthorshipCommunity

#googleauthorship   #googleauthorrank   #authorrank  
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Google Patent for Reputation Scoring of a Multi-Author Web Document

This patent filed (applied for continuation) by Google on 4 February 2014 could be the next step by Google toward some sort of "Author Rank." 

One of the reasons I often cite why I think Google has not yet implemented author reputation as  a full-blown ranking signals is the present limitation of Google Authorship to giving credit to only one author per piece of content.

It was interesting, though, to hear +Pierre Far of Google, at +Search Marketing Expo (SMX) East in NY last fall say that even with that limitation, webmasters should go ahead and markup Authorship for all authors of a multi-authored document, hinting that that would make the document future-proof for coming Google updates.

The patent linked below describes a system for understanding multiple author attribution, assigning a reputation score for all the authors of a document, and then using that reputation score to influence search results.

Remember two caveats!

1. A company has a patent for something does not obligate them to ever use it, or to use it in exactly the way described in the patent.

2. A patent filing for technology takes place (typically) at a very early stage of the development of said technology. Do NOT jump to the expectation that seeing a patent like this means "now Author Rank will be implemented soon!"

cc: +Bill Slawski +AJ Kohn 

HT +Alex Cordes 

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Good Morning,

#FYI   The All In One SEO Plugin released an update, which provides the option to choose where the rel="author" tag appears.

They also updated settings for rel="publisher".

Thanks +Michael Torbert 

#aioseop  
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2014-02-22
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