Google: Author Bylines Don't Help You Rank Better; Google Doesn't Check Credentials

Jan 9, 2024 - 7:11 am 7 by

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Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison, in response to another SEO hit piece by The Verge said that author bylines and bios do not help a site or piece of content rank better. Sullivan also added Google also does not check out the credentials for ranking purposes.

Sullivan said on X, "Author bylines aren't something you do for Google, and they don't help you rank better." He said author bylines are for your readers, not for Google. "They're something you do for your readers," he wrote. But he also added, "publications doing them may exhibit the type of other characteristics our ranking systems find align with useful content," so keep that in mind.

In fact, it was mentioned in the who, how and why for AI content documentation from Google. "We strongly encourage adding accurate authorship information, such as bylines to content where readers might expect it."

But previously, Sullivan said author bios are for readers, not search engine ranking. "So you're saying I should have an author bio to rank better?" No! They should have bios because their own readers would expect that!," he wrote.

John Mueller of Google previously said author bylines are not a requirement for Google Search.

So Sullivan is saying Google does not use author bylines for ranking purposes now. He also added on X, "I know this will be a "simple, almost quaint answer" but this part of the article is wrong nor cites us saying this. Google doesn't somehow "check out our credentials." It is something I get that people can misunderstand, but not what I'd expect a news publication researching all this to misunderstand and assert in such a simple, almost quaint screenshot. It is a misconception that, as I shared last November, that we'll do more to address."

He responded to the author of The Verge piece saying, "That's a nice byline and background that that seems useful for readers. But it doesn't somehow cause The Verge to rank better as the article asserts. It's not something we somehow "check out" for general search ranking. Here's the clarification on that."

Here are all those posts:

Forum discussion at X.

 

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