Authorship first became a buzzword in SEO circles in 2011 when Google introduced the aptly named rel=author HTML attribute. At the time, people speculated that Google wanted to reward legitimate and respected authors with greater search visibility wherever they published their material on the internet. There was some movement from the SEO community to adopt rel=author and enhance their authorship profile, but Google announced a few years later that the HTML attribute would become defunct and that was that.

Despite Google pulling the plug on authorship as an HTML attribute, many of us still believed that authorship as a ranking signal would live on within Google’s algorithms. The most likely evolution would be Knowledge Graph, so entity optimization became the new thing for SEOs around 2015. Still, most practitioners would focus primarily on classic ranking signals such as technical health and backlinks, and it wasn’t until the May 2024 Google leak that renewed attention would be given to authorship.

In this post, we’ll discuss why authorship still matters to SEO in 2024 and how you can start optimizing in this area for greater long-term visibility.

Authorship as a Ranking Signal

The concept of authorship as a ranking signal was reaffirmed in the May 2024 Google leak where the Boolean (true or false value in math and computer science) attribute isAuthor appeared numerous times and is described as being true if an author entity is the creator of a particular document, or content piece. It primarily applies to news articles and scientific papers, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that there may be cases where it would apply to blog and online magazines as well.

Authorship seems to exist as an important facet of Google’s whole Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) approach to rankings. A byline from an author with perceived renown not only strengthens the credibility of a content piece – it also means that someone is accountable to the information in the document. This implies that the webpage has a trustworthiness edge over others that might have similar content, making it more deserving of better rankings than others lacking that attribute.

In short, authorship ostensibly adds another dimension to rankings that go beyond content quality, backlinks and other traditional ranking factors. Noteworthy authors will be able to manifest their real-world clout on Google’s SERPs thanks to authorship counting as a ranking factor.

In practice, an author like boxing journalist Dan Rafael will be favored by Google if he writes a story about Manny Pacquiao over a Juan Dela Cruz who blogs about boxing as a side hobby. The former is recognized as an entity backed by decades of experience, a wide body of work, and a track record of credibility, while the latter is someone on the internet who just so happened to write about a boxing topic on a given day. Readers will gravitate more towards Dan Rafael’s work, so it’s in Google’s best interest to give it better placement on its SERPs.

How to Optimize for Authorship

There are several things you can do to enhance the authorship profiles of content creators in your website. Here are a few:

a. Make Yourself Identifiable

To build a strong author profile, it’s essential that you remain easily recognizable across all platforms. Consistency in your name and profile picture helps search engines and readers connect your work, building a cohesive online identity.

Actionable Measures:

    • Consistent Naming: Use the same name across all articles and platforms. For example, always use “John A. Doe” instead of switching between “John Doe” and “J.A. Doe.”
    • Professional Headshot: Use a high-quality, professional headshot across your website, social media profiles, and bylines. This helps in creating a visual brand that people can associate with your content.
    • Author Pages: Create a dedicated author page on your website that consolidates all your work. This page should include your bio, headshot, and links to your published articles.

b. Make Your Credentials Visible

Creating detailed author bios on your website and social media profiles is crucial. Including your qualifications, experience, and areas of expertise establishes authority and builds trust with your audience.

Actionable Measures:

    • Detailed Author Bios. Ensure your bios on your website and social media profiles are comprehensive. Mention your educational background, professional experience, and any notable achievements.
    • Certifications and Awards. List any relevant certifications and awards you have received. For instance, if you are a digital marketer with a Google Analytics certification, make sure this is prominently displayed.
    • Professional Affiliations. Mention your affiliations with reputable organizations. For example, if you are a member of the Philippine Dental Association, include this information to bolster your credibility.

c. Get Mentioned Outside of Your Website

Mentions and backlinks from reputable sites can significantly enhance your credibility and boost your search rankings.

Actionable Measures:

    • Resource Citation. Getting quoted as a resource person by a journalist, blogger, or an organization will expose your name to a broader audience and help Google see that you’re a recognized author in your field.
    • Interviews and Podcasts: Participate in interviews and podcasts relevant to your field. This not only increases your visibility but also positions you as an expert.
    • Collaborations: Collaborate with other experts in your industry to co-author articles or research papers. These collaborations can lead to mentions and backlinks from authoritative sources.

d. Write Outside Your Website

Contributing content to other reputable sites and forums helps establish you as a thought leader and expands your reach.

Actionable Measures:

    • Industry Publications: Submit articles to respected industry publications. For example, a finance expert could write for Forbes or The Wall Street Journal. If you don’t quote have what it takes to get published on those platforms, similar appearances on smaller publications will also move the needle.
    • Blogs and Forums: Participate actively in industry-related blogs and forums like Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, Quora, or Reddit. Answering questions and engaging in discussions can showcase your expertise.
    • Guest Contributions: Offer to write guest posts for influential blogs in your niche. This not only spreads your knowledge but also helps you reach a wider audience while getting your name mentioned on webpages outside your own domain.

e. Make Your Social Media Channel Names Consistent

Consistency in your social media handles and profile pictures across platforms helps in creating a strong author brand that is easily recognizable.

Actionable Measures:

    • Unified Social Media Handles. Use the same handle for all social media platforms. For instance, if your Twitter handle is @JohnADoe, use the same for Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
    • Consistent Profile. Picture. Use the same professional headshot on all your social media profiles to maintain a consistent visual identity.
    • Profile Uniformity. Ensure that your bio and professional details are consistent across all social media platforms. This reinforces your brand and makes it easier for people to recognize you.

f. Write. A Lot.

Regularly producing high-quality content increases your visibility and establishes you as an authority in your field. Nobody ever became an authority at anything by writing just 2 or 3 articles over a year. Constantly growing your body of work will help people and search engines alike recognize you as a consistent and legitimate author.

Actionable Measures:

    • Content Schedule. Create a content calendar to plan and schedule regular posts. Aim for consistency, whether it’s weekly blog posts, monthly articles, or daily social media updates.
    • High-Quality Content. Focus on producing well-researched, informative, and engaging content. Quality should never be sacrificed for quantity.
    • Diversify Content. Write across different formats such as blogs, whitepapers, eBooks, and social media posts to reach a broader audience.

g. Create Original Material

Unique insights and original research not only differentiate you from others but also establish you as an authority in your field.

Actionable Measures:

    • Conduct Original Research. Undertake original research and publish your findings. For example, conduct surveys or studies relevant to your industry and share the results.
    • Unique Case Studies. Share detailed case studies of your projects or experiences. This could include challenges faced, solutions implemented, and results achieved.
    • Innovative Content. Create content that offers new perspectives or solutions to existing problems. This could be in the form of opinion pieces, thought leadership articles, or innovative methodologies.

Optimizing a Website as Publisher

It’s not just your author entity that needs to be optimized. In the same Google leaked documents we’re referencing, the attribute isPublisher also appears and is described as the entity where a document is published. Basically, an author is the creator of the content, and the publisher is the platform (website) where the content appears. For instance, sports media personality Skip Bayless is an author since he creates content, but the publisher or platform where his content resides is Fox Sports.

Google seems to also take into account whether a website is a recognized publisher and whether it is a credible, authoritative, and trustworthy one. In short, content not only has to be optimized using classic SEO methods – it also has to come from a prominent author from a respected publisher. Going back to the Bayless-Fox Sports example, both are noteworthy as author and publisher respectively, giving them an inherent ranking advantage over their competitors on Google’s SERPs.

If you want to get started on optimizing your website as a publisher, the following measures can be taken:

A. Invest in Branding

Building a strong, recognizable brand is essential for establishing credibility and authority.

Actionable Measures:

    • Consistent Visual Identity. Ensure your website, social media, and all online platforms have a consistent visual identity, including logos, color schemes, and design elements.
    • Brand Voice and Messaging. Develop a clear brand voice and messaging that resonates with your target audience. Consistency in tone and messaging helps build a strong brand identity.
    • Quality Design. Invest in professional website design to ensure it looks modern, clean, and trustworthy.

B. Invest in Digital PR

Digital PR helps in gaining media coverage and high-quality backlinks, enhancing your online reputation.

Actionable Measures:

    • Press Releases. Regularly distribute press releases about significant company news, product launches, or achievements.
    • Media Outreach. Build relationships with journalists and influencers in your industry. Pitch story ideas that are relevant to their audience.
    • Content Marketing. Create and share high-quality content that can be picked up by media outlets.

C. Publish a Significant Amount of Content

Having a large volume of high-quality content helps establish your site as a comprehensive resource.

Actionable Measures:

    • Content Strategy. Develop a content strategy that outlines the types of content you will create and the frequency of publication.
    • Diverse Content Types. Publish various content types, including blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, and podcasts to cater to different audience preferences.
    • SEO Best Practices. Ensure all content is optimized for search engines, including using relevant keywords, meta descriptions, and internal linking.

D. Publish Content Regularly

Consistency in publishing is key to maintaining audience engagement and improving search rankings.

Actionable Measures:

    • Content Calendar: Create a content calendar to plan and schedule your posts. This helps ensure a steady flow of content.
    • Regular Updates: Update existing content regularly to keep it relevant and accurate.
    • Seasonal Content: Produce content that aligns with seasonal trends and events to capitalize on timely search traffic.

E. Have a Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile enhances local SEO and helps your business appear in local search results.

Actionable Measures:

    • Profile Optimization. Complete your Google Business Profile with accurate information, including business name, address, phone number, and business hours.
    • Customer Reviews. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Respond to reviews to show engagement and build trust.
    • Photos and Posts. Regularly update your profile with photos and posts about your business, products, and services.

F. Get Mentioned in Other Websites

Mentions and backlinks from reputable sites enhance your domain authority and search rankings.

Actionable Measures:

    • Guest Blogging. Write guest posts for reputable blogs in your industry. This not only builds backlinks but also exposes your brand to a wider audience.
    • Collaborations. Collaborate with other businesses and influencers for joint content projects or campaigns.
    • Online Directories. Ensure your business is listed in relevant online directories and review sites.

G. Make Social Media Channels Your Brand Reach Extensions

Use social media to extend your brand’s reach and engage with your audience.

Actionable Measures:

    • Consistent Posting. Post regularly on social media to keep your audience engaged. Share a mix of content types, including articles, images, and videos.
    • Engagement. Respond to comments and messages promptly to build a community around your brand.
    • Social Media Ads. Use social media advertising to reach a broader audience and drive traffic to your website.

H. Have Clear Author Bios of Content Creators

Detailed author bios build trust and allow readers to connect with the content creators.

Actionable Measures:

    • Author Bio Pages. Create dedicated bio pages for each content creator on your site, including their photo, qualifications, experience, and links to their work.
    • Consistent Bylines. Ensure all articles and posts have clear bylines with links to the author’s bio page.
    • Showcase Expertise. Highlight the author’s expertise and credentials in their bios to establish authority.

Wrapping Up

In the age of generative AI and its ability to flood the internet with massive amounts of curated and aggregated content, Google wants to make sure that original. highly engaging and useful content are given top placement on its search results. Making sure that your website is recognized as a trusted publisher while your content creators are seen as prolific authors will grant you a search visibility advantage that traditional SEO simply can’t. Following these tips will set you on a path not just to greater prominence on Goggle, but as a website with a strong and diverse set of organic traffic course.