Google to use authors as search ranking signal

The "authorship markup" tag should make it easier for readers to find the work of specific writers

Google has started using individual authors not just the publications they write for as one of its criteria for ranking search engine results.

Starting on Tuesday, Web publishers will be able to highlight for the Google search crawler the authors of content such as news articles, blog posts, reviews, columns or short stories.

Publishers should link each author's name to an "author page" on the same site which can contain an author's biography, photo and links to other articles and external sites, like their personal web page.

With this new "authorship markup" tag, Google hopes to make it easier for users to find the work of specific writers, and broaden its search engine's ability to use individual authors as an element for ranking pages and sites.

"We know that great content comes from great authors, and we're looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results," wrote Google software engineer Othar Hansson in a blog post on Tuesday.

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