Has Matt Cutts Confirmed that Author Rank Is Coming?
Among the hottest recurring topics in SEO over the past two years, certainly speculation about Google AuthorRank has to be in anyone’s Top 10 List. When Google first announced Google Authorship in the summer of 2011, Google spokespersons Matt Cutts and Othar Hansson stated that it might be used at some point in the future to find authors who were respected subject-area authorities and give them a boost in the Google search rankings. Thus was born the concept of “Google AuthorRank,” which Google patent expert Bill Slawski had already associated with older Google “Agent Rank” patents.
Google: Authorship Does Not (Yet) Affect Search Rankings
Many expected we would see Author Rank in play by the end of 2011. But 2011 rolled into 2012 and then on into 2013, and still there was no conclusive evidence that any kind of author ranking system was in play. Sure Google had fully rolled out Authorship in search, and over the past two years many authors were able to get the coveted author photo next to search results for their content (which has recently been cut back some). But not only could careful SEO testers find no evidence that having authorship affected search rankings, during the fall of 2013 Google spokesperson John Mueller explicitly stated that Authorship was not being used to affect search. A couple of weeks later Googler Pierre Far made the same confirmation at SMX East in New York.
But Matt Cutts said…
However, at several points throughout 2013, Google’s best known spokesperson Matt Cutts made intriguing statements about subject authorities and search rankings. The first I’ve found was in May, and the latest just this past week. In every case, what Matt said was virtually identical in essence: Google wants to (or is) getting better at finding and boosting subject-area authorities, those who are have gained authority that Google understands that is, and giving them a boost in search results.
Many bloggers and social media posters have jumped on those statements and assumed Matt was referring to individual subject area authorities, i.e. “authors” as Google calls them. And if that were the case, then it would seem that something like an author rank was already here or soon to come.
I’m calling not so fast! [Continue reading]