When you use the G+ platform, do you know if you own the “authorship” of the content when that is shared?
What about “author rank” or “page rank” for the content you create or share?
Do these exist on Google Plus?
How does Google Plus authorship relate to searches, both global and personalized?
I had a very brief conversation with the leading expert in Google and Google+ Authorship, Mark Traphagen on some of these questions.
He has kindly allowed me to share this conversation with you in public.
Mark Traphagen, the Senior Director of Online Marketing for Stone Temple Consulting is a sought after speaker who writes regularly for the top industry sites on the topic of Google and Google+ Authorship as well as SEO.
I could not have found a more suitable person to help me understand this topic.
Here are the three Google Plus Authorship questions which Mark took time to address amidst his busy schedule
Louisa: When posts are re-shared on Google+, who does Google attribute as the author of the post?
Mark: For Google+ posts, each post is authored by the one who posted it.
This includes re-shared posts. So if I re-share a post of yours, I am seen as the “author” of my re-shared post.
Louisa: Are the Google+ authors attributed any profile authority on searches?
Mark: It depends on what you mean by “authority.” We know that Google+ profiles and posts have relative degrees of search authority because back in the day when Google was still publishing public PageRank, we could see that they had (varying) PageRanks.
But we don’t really know what goes into building the search authority of a particular profile or post. What really matters is whom one has circled. That means, I will only see posts from the people I have circled.
Louisa: Mark, here’s a slightly more complicated scenario. If I have both the original author as well as the author who re-shared a post in my circle, then which post would come up higher in my search (either within G+ or in a logged-in Google search)?
Mark: That will be determined by a complex set of factors, probably including the authority level of each profile and how closely related or “relevant” Google+ sees me to each poster.
But in “global” search (searching not logged into a Google+ account), we’ve seen many cases where if any Google+ post ranks in search at all for a given query, it will be from a higher authority profile.
Because when I re-shared your post, Google+ embeds your entire post in mine, the text of your post becomes part of my post; I can potentially rank for text in your post.
In essence you can appear on searches and rank for posts you did not originally post or may not have written or even contributed to but merely re-shared.
A post will rank either because of relative relationship to the searcher (logged in) or because of profile authority (logged out)
Authorship within Google+ is relative. It has to do with who you have in your circles. Where profile rank is important in global searches (when not logged into Google), the relative relationship you have with the person performing the search will determine if your posts will surface when you search while logged in to your account. Relational relevance, however, has no effect on global, logged out search.
This was a brief conversation on Google+ Authorship. If you are interested to find out more about Google+ or Searches, Mark has lots more resources for you on Google+ and at his consulting site.