Weekly SEO news: 27 August 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google has recently published frequently asked questions about the rel="author" tag. For example, you cannot use mascots in the author image, you shouldn't have multiple Google+ profiles for multiple languages, and authorship isn't for product listings. This week's article has the details.

In the news: +1 clicks have no impact on rankings, Google's messages are confusing, page speed is not more important on mobile, and more.

Table of contents:

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Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official Google information: everything you need to know about authorship
Google has recently published frequently asked questions about the rel="author" tag.

Google authorship

For example, you cannot use mascots in the author image, you shouldn't have multiple Google+ profiles for multiple languages, and authorship isn't for product listings. Here are the details:

1. What kind of pages can be used with authorship?

Pages that contain a single article or a single piece of content by the same author can use the rel="author" attribute. If the page is a list of articles or an updating feed, then Google won't use the rel="author" attribute. Google also won't use the attribute if the author frequently switches on the page.

If the page consists primarily of content written by the author, and if the page contains a clear byline on the page, stating the author who wrote the article (using the same name as used on the Google+ profile), then Google might use the rel="author" attribute.

2. Mascots are now allowed

If you have a pest control business and want to write articles as the 'Pied Piper' then you're free to do that. However, Google's won't display author information in the search results. They just want to show the author images of real people in the search results.

Important: Link the authorship markup to the Google+ page of a person. Do not link it to your company's Google+ page. Google wants to feature people with the rel="author" attribute.

3. Only use one Google+ page, even if you write in different languages

If your website contains articles in different languages, do not use two different Google+ accounts in different languages for the same person. One author should have only one Google+ page.

4. Each article can have only one author

At this time, Google's search user interface supports only one author per article, blog post, etc. This might change in the future.

5. You can prevent Google from showing authorship information

If you don't want to see author information next to your website in Google's search results, make the Google+ page of the author not discoverable (instructions). It also helps to remove any profile or contributor links from the website.

6. Authorship is not the same as publishership

The rel="publisher" attribute enables businesses to link whole websites to the Google+ page of that business. The rel="author" attribute links articles to the Google+ profile of a person. Both attributes link relationships, but they are completely independent of one another.

7. Do not use the rel="author" attribute on product pages

The authorship annotation is useful to searchers because it signals that a page conveys a real person's perspective or analysis on a topic. Product pages are not perspective/analysis oriented. For that reason, you shouldn't use the attribute on these pages.

If you write an article about products ("Camera X vs. Camera Y: Faceoff in the Arizona Desert"), you can use the rel="author" attribute with that article.

If you want to improve the look of your web pages on Google's result pages, take a look at the rich snippet creator in SEOprofiler. If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the wee

Insider information: five Google ranking myths debunked

"The blog ‘State of Search’ has interviewed four ex-Googlers. The ex-Googlers collectively bring about 20 years of work experience at the Google Search Quality Team to the table."



Matt CuttsGoogle's Matt Cutts: +1 clicks have no impact on rankings
"In a discussion on Hackernews, Google’s Matt Cutts said that more +1 clicks do not lead to higher Google rankings:

'If you make compelling content, people will link to it, like it, share it on Facebook, +1 it, etc. But that doesn’t mean that Google is using those signals in our ranking. Rather than chasing +1s of content, your time is much better spent making great content.'"



Matt Cutts: page speed is not more important on mobile

"In a video on YouTube, Google’s Matt Cutts said that the loading time of a web page is not more important on mobile than it is on desktop search.

He said that, all things being equal, faster pages tend to get better rankings. There is no number of seconds in which a web page must be loaded because different web pages can have different load times."



John MuellerGoogle’s John Mueller: “We know that our warnings are confusing”

"Many website owners are confused by the warning messages that Google sends. Some webmasters think that particular backlinks have a negative influence on their rankings although they haven’t. Others think that Google penalized their whole website although only a single page is affected.

In an online discussion, Google’s John Mueller said that they are aware that the messages are confusing."


Mobile gains greater share of search

"This year, the share [of all digital search ad dollars spent on mobile devices] will reach 22.1%, and by 2017, eMarketer expects, US advertisers will spend 59.6% of all digital search dollars on mobile."


Search engine newslets

  • Yahoo tops Google in top 50 U.S. web properties for July 2013.
  • #GoogleGate – Can you trust Google?
  • Bing replaces Bing Shopping with Bing Product Search.
  • Bing: Seven examples why Bing image search is better than Google's.
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3. Recommended resources

How to get a website health-check quickly and easily

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The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks your web pages once per week. Then you get a report that shows all the issues that should be corrected. By correcting these issues, you make sure that search engines can index all of your pages correctly. Here’s a screenshot of the overview page:

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