• Scott Taft

    Great post, Brian. It does make it seem like Google does not use the authority of Google+ profiles as ranking signals. Would love to try this on a massive scale with authors across different subject matters.

  • Brian Jensen

    Thanks Scott! Comments made by Matt Cutts suggest that while author authority isn’t currently a ranking signal, it’s something they’re looking closely at. I definitely agree more tests are needed to understand how, if at all, Google is using Authorship as a signal.

  • Ammon Johns

    There are 2 factors in play.

    The first you already note in the article, which is the addition of a nofollow link from Mark’s G+ profile, which itself is certainly one of *the* most authoritative URLs for the ‘entity’ of Mark Traphagen. Despite the nofollow of PageRank, could there still be a small measure of authority passing along? We’d have to do a lot more varied experiments to be sure. The fact that the page overall seems to have lost impressions for other terms relevant to the broader entity of ‘Mark Traphagen’, such as his wife’s name, place of work, etc, leads me to suspect this was not a factor. Added authority on any semantic level should have reinforced those associated things too.

    The second factor is a far bigger one, and I didn’t _note_ it being mentioned in the article. To gain authorship for the page, you had to add a link *to* Mark’s G+ page, thus adding an excellent link, to what is probably the most authoritative URL for “Mark Traphagen”. This would obviously increase your ‘Hub’ score for the query. A factor known about for as long as there has been Google, and a little before, when the likes of AltaVista started looking at links.

    Personally, I believe pretty much all of the benefit you noted came from that added citation value.

  • Grant Simmons

    There’s always talk about links in the literal sense, to Ammon’s point, there’s a citation value as well, that’s in the mix and often ignored. Cheers

  • Mike Smith

    I think in a short time, we will see the benefits, Google is after all able to pick links we don’t even know existed. Google + is going to be a force to reckon with. Facebook look out!

  • MixStrix

    Amit SinGHAL would doubtless help you rank better if you spelled his name properly ; )