The Power of Authorship

Jul. 25, 2013 | by Piers.Butler

How authorship results in higher rankings

The rel=”author” attribute has been written about a lot over the past year. I am a big fan of this form of structured data and can see that it is worth implementing the rel=”author” attribute just for the increased click through rate (CTR) as Russell Jensen from SEO body Builder found out in his study.

First, here is a quick guide of implementing the author mark-up:

  1. Create Google+ profiles (the profiles has to have a clearly displayed face)
  2. Once the Google+ profile has been set up insert the following code into each post that the author has written (on or off-site):<a href=”https://plus.google.com/GOOGLE+ PROFILE PAGE URL HERE?rel=author” rel=”me”>INSERT NAME HERE</a>
  3. Return to the Google+ profile and navigate to your “About” page, update the “Contributor” section and add the URL of the site that the author has written on (and any off-site/guest posts)
  4. Then share the URL of the new content on Google+, this will ping the URL and help facilitate the author mark-up

Rel-author

The main reason for this article however, is to draw your attention to another powerful aspect of the author mark up. As a part of the iCrossing R&D team, I wanted to see if the author mark-up could increase the equity passed by a link within the content. So I set up the rel=“author” VS standard linking test.

Introduction to the iCrossing R&D authorship test

This test was conducted to determine whether the implementation of rel=“author” combined with a standard a href link will increase the visibility of a page over a standard href link or just the rel=“author” attribute in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP’s)

Methodology to the iCrossing R&D authorship test

By using six domains, the team and I were able to identify if the rel=“author” attribute in conjunction with a standard a href link will enhance the visibility of the page over just a standard a href link and just the rel=“author” attribute.

  • Domain A uses standard a href link to Domain 1
  • Domain B uses the rel=“author” attribute to Domain 2
  • Domain C uses the rel=“author” attribute and a standard a href link to Domain 3

Code Example of rel=”author”

  • Domain A uses standard a href link to Domain 1
    <a href=”http://www.Domain.com/page/”>ANCHOR TEXT HERE</a>
  • Domain B uses the rel=“author” attribute to Domain 2
    <a href=”https://plus.google.com/10236546467851562576?rel=author” rel=”author”>YOUR NAME HERE</a>
  • Domain C uses the rel=“author” attribute and a standard a href link to Domain 3
    <a href=”https://plus.google.com/10236546467851562576?rel=author” rel=”author”>YOUR NAME HERE</a>
    <a href=”http://www.Domain.com/page/”>ANCHOR TEXT HERE</a>

Results of the iCrossing R&D authorship test

The results of the test were as follows:

The domains with both the rel=“author” attribute and a standard a href link gained more visibility than the domains with just the standard a href link or the rel=“author” attribute.

  • rel=“author” attribute and a standard a href link: Increased visibility for all three Domains
  • rel=“author” attribute: Second most visible domains
  • Standard a href link: Surprisingly the least visible form of linking

From our research, the team and I concluded that the rel=“author” attribute and a standard a href link gained more visibility than any other form of linking. Perhaps the most surprising result seems to be that the rel=“author” attribute looks to be a stronger ranking signal than just the a href link on its own.

Conclusion

Not only does the author mark-up increase you CTR, but it actually increases the amount of equity the link can pass when associated with the mark up. This is a win, win situation. Not only can you become an authoritative content creator within your vertical, but you can increase your click through rates and help improve your visibility by using the attribute.

Piers Butler SEO

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    Comment (1)

    • Community Press: Flattery and Authorship

      [...] The Power of Authorship [...]Jul 26, 2013 03:24 pm

     
    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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