Google: Using Admin Or Author For Author Name On Articles

Oct 26, 2021 • 7:31 am | comments (1) by twitter | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google's John Mueller was asked if using "admin" or "author" for the author name on articles would be okay for some web sites. The answer was not 100% clear, but he suggested for YMYL categories of sites, it's best to stay away from generic author names like that. But even for other sites, it might be best to leave the author name blank as compared to using "admin" as the author name.

This came up at the 38:48 mark into the recent video hang out with John Mueller. John was asked specifically about a theater news website, he was asked "I run a theater news reviews and ticket website, some of the content that's posted is generic from the show's producers. Is it okay to post this on the website with admin as the author or is it always best to have a person as the author?"

John responded "I think having admin as an author seems kind of, I don't know, too generic with regards to to any business. Where maybe you're better off just saying well there is no author for this specific piece of information or it's just written by our website. But essentially that's more up to you."

So basically do what you want but if it was him, he would leave the author field blank rather than show "admin." John did add that for topics that need to convey E-A-T, "you want to make sure as a user that this is actually written by someone who's trustworthy or who's an authority on this topic."

There is also the structured data aspect, if you are using structured data that asks for author name, you need to give Google a real author name.

Here is the video:

Here is the transcript:

I run a theater news reviews and ticket website, some of the content that's posted is generic from the show's producers. Is it okay to post this on the website with admin as the author or is it always best to have a person as the author?

I think this this kind of comes from everything around the quality rater guides and information that we've published around EAT, which is expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthy. And this basically applies to to sites that are really critical. And essentially sites where you're giving medical information or where you're giving financial information, then for those kind of really critical situations you want to make sure as a user that this is actually written by someone who's trustworthy or who's an authority on this topic.

But when it comes to theater news for example or SEO news or anything kind of random on the web, that's not necessarily something where the trustworthiness of the author is a big issue. So that's something where I would say it's it's the less critical how you frame this.

I think having admin as an author seems kind of, I don't know, too generic with regards to to any business. Where maybe you're better off just saying well there is no author for this specific piece of information or it's just written by our website. But essentially that's more up to you.

The one place where author. I think the author name does come into play is some types of structured data also have kind of information for the author. And in that case it might be something that is shown in the rich results on a page. So from that point of view you might want to make sure that at least there's a reasonable name there or you explicitly don't use that kind of structured data. But otherwise for I think a generic news and reviews and tickets website, you wouldn't necessarily worry about the name of the author that you specify there.

Here is how Glenn Gabe summed it up on Twitter:

Also, this reminds me of the question around authors who fear to publish their names on certain topics. That was covered here and it is a touchy situation. This also gets into how do you know if your site needs E-A-T and is in the YMYL category, that we discussed yesterday.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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