Muschamp Rd

Google Authorship

July 7th, 2013
Dilbert Google logo

Just like the weekend before, I spent too much time in front of my computer appeasing the Googlebot, or at least the powers behind the Googlebot.  Apparently it is necessary to be popular or at least prominent in search engines to be successful. It takes time for Google to re-index content but the early returns don’t seem to be very promising. I can’t say I’ve noticed an increase in traffic and I’ve been looking at Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools more than ever the last few weeks.

Google Giveth, Google Taketh Away

A little over a year later the rich snippet for authorship is being phased out by Google. You can still get rich snippets in search results if you implement structured meta data, which I advise e-commerce websites to do. Yoast has built this into version 11 of their WordPress 11 plugin so everyone should use it. I’m not sure everyone will edit over 700 posts like I’m doing to try and improve their search engine optimization, but it is a competitive world out there let me tell you.

Everyone is an Author

I don’t know if I’ll ever get official “authorship” of everything I’ve published online, I’m not sure I even want this. I’ve guest blogged for instance and written original content for organizations that no longer even exist. That isn’t going to help my Author Rank or my Klout, but I did modify two blogs I control over on to included links to my Google+ profile with ?rel=author and claimed I’m a current contributor to them on my profile. The rich snippets are supposedly working but I don’t see the “More by Muskie McKay” link, that feature has gone the way of the dodo. is taking over

On WordPress it is now easy to implement but for hand coded content I still stick with OpenGraph and Twitter cards as that is something I’ve mastered. I am giving serious thought to blowing my entire website away to start anew, but I just have too much content that I don’t want to rewrite or even edit though I’m forcing myself to edit as much content as I can while I’m temporarily unemployed again. I have scrutiny to make XML sitemaps for my subdomains that are not powered by WordPress. I also fixed some bad links and some missing meta data reported by scrutiny. I submitted the sitemaps to Google’s Webmaster tools, but without them being automatically updated, like the one generated for this blog, they are of limited use. I also modified my quotation mashup slightly as apparently Google frowns on multiple pages having the same meta description.

Googlebot is a harsh mistress

Recently I noticed individual quotations were getting keyword referrals, perhaps some of my updates will make that portion of my website more popular, but there are a lot more quotation collections online then there were a dozen years ago, let alone in 1995 when I started uploading them to the Internet. I also noticed that Google’s Webmaster Tools Authorship seems to imply that four of my blog posts are the only things I’ve ever done online that are of any value. I even took a screenshot:

My important posts according to Google Webmaster Tools Authorship report

Content Trumps Keywords

All the rest of my content is unimportant according to Webmaster Tools Author stats. In reality many other blog posts and content receives keyword referral traffic but the keywords must be of little value to advertisers. I haven’t reported on all the strange keyword referrals I’ve gotten over the last few years, but just today Arstechnica did a post very similar to one’s I’ve done in the past that caused me grief and led to me attracting an unwanted element to the comments of this blog. I don’t know if Muskblog will ever recover from blogging about calves.

Use Google’s Webmaster Tools

I do know I should have been using features of Google’s Webmaster Tools a lot sooner. The search console was majorly overhauled since I originally wrote this. There are a lot of keyword phrases that I should be working into some mythical overly clever blog post, but time and energy for blogging isn’t something I have. Though I appear to willing to spend more time and effort than most, especially given how little ROI I’ve seen.

Search Engine Optimization Takes Time

Now that I’ve been pulled back into the search engine optimization game, one thing people seem unable to grasp even after all these years is it takes time. I claimed authorship, I updated sitemaps, I fixed meta tags, I installed plugins but it will take a while for that to have any major effect on the search engines. People are impatient, they want the immediate hit of a viral overnight success. They want to be the next Psy. Gangham Style was off Psy’s sixth album. So he’s an overnight success that took six albums to produce a worldwide hit.

Why do people claim Google Authorship?

Besides vanity, having your picture beside your content in Google’s search results supposedly increased CTR (Click Through Rate) by up to 150%. Google Authorship was one of the highest percentage means of ensuring a “rich snippet” appears in Google’s search results. There is a lot of speculation on existing and potential future benefits to claiming authorship. Klout and Bing have supposedly joined forces to create a similar feature in Bing’s search results. Alas the number of people who use Bing despite the television ads pales compared to the number who use Google and Klout has also gone the way of the dodo. Facebook’s open graph meta data is another means to encourage the showing of “rich snippets” though Google would prefer you use

The content Google loves the most

I’m still a little disappointed that out of the 1000s of pages and posts I’ve now claimed Google Authorship over, only these four matter:

  1. 30 CFA® Questions you should be able to answer
  2. FREE CFA Level 1 Study Materials
  3. The Largest Employers in Vancouver
  4. CFA Level 1 Study Advice

Cornerstone Content

None of those four posts are among my cornerstone content so time will tell if my search engine optimization efforts to start 2019 have a marginal effect. My Andrew VS Muskie problem has not gone away but with implemented for Muskblog maybe it finally will. Alas once again it seems following expert advice has not made me rich and successful, my Twitter handle is the single thing most likely to get me rich search engine snippets in Google which is ironic to say the least.

If you have thoughts on search engine optimization, rich snippets, and Google you can leave a comment below.


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