Black Hats Prepare To Spam Google's Author Authority Algorithm

Dec 26, 2013 • 7:57 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google's Author Authority AlgorithmFor the past six-months, Google has been working on an algorithm to promote authorities on topics.

In short, Google is going to try to figure out which authors or individuals are authorities on a specific topic and promote their content across any site, in some way. You can read more about it in the links above.

This morning, I spotted a thread at Black Hat World where "black hats" are seeking ways to exploit this algorithm by "faking" author authority.

This is how one explained it:

So Google now allows you to "tag" an author in your content. Good authors who are popular get extra ranking bonuses for their articles.

So it seems very simple to me. Find a popular author in your niche, and tag him in your links to your content.

Extra link juice off someone else's work.

Another added:

see i am thinking about using my own "fake authors" and starting to build authority around them by using them on all my press releases and article submissions... then later in time, anything posted by that author will be easier to rank?

I doubt, seriously doubt, it will be that easy. But hey, someone has to keep Google on their toes.

Forum discussion at Black Hat World.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: December 25, 2013


Gaurav Srivastava

12/26/2013 01:21 pm

I also find one response in same discussions, and now it seems, this strategy is not going to work : This is the response: ************* I understood this differently. Its not going to give you the benefit of ranking your articles or posts higher, merely make them tied together and thus easier to find with an advanced search query. Otherwise we could all write a random blog post and sign it as rel author=matt cutts. From what I understand it is just easier to find more content from the same author on Google as it allows Google to identify the author of the content across multiple sites; so if you find something you liked you could find other articles or sites where the same author writes. Obviously if your keyword is your name it would be helpful but I don't think its designed to allow your article to rank higher just by adding an authority name to the tag. ************


12/26/2013 02:51 pm

Currently, I have to list the places I write in my google+ to get authorship to work properly. It's still 2-way authentication, correct? You'd have to trick the author into listing your site for this trick to work.

Alexander Hemedinger

12/26/2013 02:51 pm

Not sure if I agree with this tactic. But you are right someone has to keep Google updating and understanding their tactics.

Alexander Hemedinger

12/26/2013 02:52 pm

You would think.... It has to be a 2-way not just linking to that author....

Durant Imboden

12/26/2013 04:47 pm

That's true if you use Google Authorship markup. But now that Google seems to be focused on "entity extraction" as a way to associate content with authors, who knows? There's nothing to stop a black-hat site from sticking an author's byline on its junk pages and hoping that Google won't be able to tell that Pope Francis isn't really the author of "How to Get a Payday Loan." (Even if that ploy worked only one time in 20, it might be worth doing.)


12/26/2013 06:10 pm

The posts that you cited on BHW are from 2011. It seems that someone just posted to it today for some reason. The original poster said they never actually tried the method looking back.


12/26/2013 06:22 pm

No comments. . . . . LOL ))))))

Sam Malone

12/26/2013 07:18 pm

Now that's reaching, bring up a thread from 2011, strange that someone would bring up a thread that old, and then this article gets published....


12/27/2013 11:20 am

This is not an old thing, already seen this scheme in action :)


12/27/2013 12:29 pm

When Google give webmasters more power to influence Google's perception of their website they gain more granular data more easily (they just have to crawl their own tags across the web), but they also open the algorithm to be manipulated. This is exactly what happened with the Meta Keywords tag. It was great during its inception because it was free, fast categorical data. Once it was abused however, it tore asunder a huge chink in Big-G's algorithmic plating. Human input lends the capacity for contextual data determined by real people; but it also forces any mathematical sets behind the data to become vulnerable. This is the curse of trying to combine raw numbers with subjective information.

Clovis Bassington

12/27/2013 02:46 pm

Oh dear, we have to add black hat spamming to tax evasion, city destroying and slave labour working conditions. What a surprise, I imagine that Amazon are really worried.

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