Google authorship ties your content together with your Google+ account. The result is that Google takes you as an author into account when delivering search results (for a comprehensive view, check out this article on Google authorship). It was important when we wrote about it a couple months ago, and it’s only getting more important by the day. This week, Matt Cutts posted a video talking about how excited he is about the future of the rel=author tag, and rest assured, if Matt Cutts is excited, you should be paying attention. It’s a simple thing, but it’s going to have major effects on your cheap SEO efforts.
We’re not going to go back into how it all works (check the article above for that) but we will say how Google envisions it working in the future. Essentially the author tag is going to make content producers on the web accountable. It’s easy to see why they’d want that, isn’t it? If everyone was suddenly held responsible for the content they produced on the web, the spam and clutter that plagues Google’s algorithm would dry right up. By placing more and more weight on the authorship tag as a ranking factor, Google is forcing people to embrace it. Before long, you’ll either need to claim authorship or have a lot of luck if you hope to rank highly.
Now, this isn’t a problem for companies like Wikimotive. Our names are already on all the content we produce, because we have nothing to hide. It does produce a problem for black hat SEO though, because they won’t be willing to utilize authorship on their garbage content, and their old ranking tricks will slowly stop working. Of course, they’ll just move on to the next trick like always, but Google will have made results a little bit better for the consumer.
Our advice is to embrace authorship, no matter what your niche. Produce content that you’re proud of, and produce it often. Google is moving away from strings and towards socially proven credibility, so make sure you’re riding that wave.