Remember rel=”Author”?

Older SEOs might remember Google+, Google’s aborted attempt to create a social network. It was a nicely thought out platform in many ways but it didn’t really take off because apart from the SEO consultants who flocked to it straight away other communities and more, let’s say normal human interests, were under-represented with most of us at the time preferring Facebook, Twitter, or even the likes of Reddit.

Despite finally coughing its last in 2018 there are echoes of one Google+ concept that you can still hear in the SEO communities and conferences today, and that is Experience-Expertise-Authority-Trust (E-E-A-T). E-E-A-T essentially a credibility check on your content which informs G whether searchers are likely to be interested in reading it, because y’know despite the direction of travel in traditional media most of us still prefer to get our insight from experts rather than self promoting gobshites.

Anyway, back when Google+ was a thing they introduced a tag called rel=”author” which would allow you to tag your blog posts and articles with your Google+ profile. You can see how this would be useful in linking E-E-A-T concepts back to an individual and really gain an insight into their expertise on a subject as a result of their other work and social media interactions on a topic.

In fact I was writing (slightly cryptic) blog posts about this being a necessary direction of travel for Google as far back as 2012, and I honestly believe that if they could have just stayed the course with Google+ every SEO in 2023 would be churning out endless tweets, posts, and articles about how to optimise your author rank.

Anyway, for the history buffs here’s an old Google Search Central blog article on the subject of Authorship.

Screenshot of "authorship" in search results in action from an old Google Webmaster Central blog

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