commit: fb200d8 - #595 (2014-04-14 00:44:57 -0400)
I really don't see how you can draw any conclusion from that. That's just Google being Google.
I thought it was pretty much a given that AR isn't here yet, but it's coming. When? Soon TM (Curse you, lack of superscript!)
I felt the need to clarify the whole concept as many have taken it for granted that Author Rank is already here. Articles are being written and shared, casually referencing Author Rank as if it's already an active part of Google's algorithm.
Simple proof is here:https://www.google.com.au/search?q=author+rank&pws=0
To be fair, the majority of those posts do use future tense language: "will be" "could be" "get prepared." As I indicate in my comment below, I do advocate NOT acting like AR is active now, but acting as if it will be.
This thing has gotten so far down the road, with so many blog posts and presentations at major conferences, that I think if Google had no intention of ever using it as a ranking signal, they would've clearly said that by now, to help stop all the huge momentum that is building about it. But they haven't.
I think John confirms in the video that the main reason AR hasn't yet been incorporated into rankings is Google remains dissatisfied with the quality of the signal. They are not yet getting enough from it that they could call truly authoritative to turn it on. Which leaves me scratching my head as to why they are seemingly dilluting it by attributing it to high profile people who have never verified it, at least in the SERP's.
Mark, I believe that they are still trying to get the signal from the "noise". With G+ getting so many users I believe that only SEOs & Marketers are truly "early adopters". When everyone else starts working with authorship tags, it will be a whole different story. Also, there is a problem how will they handle all the "old" sites and pages that people haven't tagged and they still deserve to rank due to page/domain level metrics and the quality of the content.
I agree Goran. There are entire competitive verticals in search where there are few or no Google Authors showing. Very ripe opportunity. Right now word is spreading in the real estate world thanks to some very savvy real estate people operating popular communities on Google+.
I'd certainly see a need to clarify it if that were the case, but as Mark mentions, a lot of those articles and the ones I've read talk about preparation what it could mean for SEO.
Arguing over semantics really. I also just sort of taking everything Google says with a pinch of salt.
My comment from a Google+ thread about this:
Even though I started the Google Authorship and Author Rank community on G+ (now with 1000 members), with Author Rank in its name, and I am a great enthusiast of the Author Rank concept and of Authorship in general, I am also a big advocate of being up front with people that there is NO evidence to date, either from our own observations or statements from Google, that Author Rank is an active ranking factor at present.Two observations:1) +John Mueller did not say "no, never." He said, "not so far." And more importantly, he said it probably wouldn't be "until we can be certain that authors really are writing great content." I take that last statement to be confirmation of what I and many others have guessed is the reason we are 1-1/2 years into Authorship with no evidence of Author Rank yet: Google is still not satisfied with the results they are getting from Authorship. They are not going to turn it on in rankings until they can be sure it is a reliable signal.2) John said more than once "as far as I know." This leaves open the possibility that it has been and/or is being experimented with in small ways. I have a quote from a Google search engineer from late summer of last year who said that while it is not yet a "major ranking factor," it is "part of the social signal we look at." Hard to parse what the latter means exactly, but at least it seems they are actively looking at and playing with the incoming data.My takeaway is the same as I've been telling clients and anyone that asks for the past year:If Author Rank is not yet in play, why bother with Authorship:1) Because, as John said in the video, there can be an "indirect effect" from people constantly seeing your face in their search results when their search interests match what you write about. Authorship can be an important part of building a powerful personal brand online.I have an anecdote about this. Last year at PubCon, a huge Internet marketing conference in Las Vegas, I had a complete stranger stop me in a hallway, stare at me for a moment, mumbling, "You look familiar." Then a light dawned on his face. "I know. You're in my search results all the time!"2) From the beginning and several times since, Googlers have confirmed that Authorship allows Google to accumulate data on the activity around your content. If and when Author Rank gets turned on, anyone who has a long history of authoritative engagement data in their primary topics is going to be ahead of all the "wait and see" people.
Kind of disappointing though that John Mueller basically acted like he never heard of AR. I would have been bombarding him questions. 18 months since birth, and it has nothing to do with rankings? There's no difference in Google's eyes of a post from an AR that has a 100 posts under their belt that were well received versus someone that is writing there first post with or without AR? Seems strange, would have been asking when then? A lot of noise about AR, and John didn't seem to interested. Strange.
Steve, I had the same kind of reaction when I watched it. I understand that Google is experiencing difficulties in making Authorship work right, but they had better get something on the plate for it in the near future (other than getting our pretty picture in SERPs) or interest will wane. Right now Authorship is fairly hot (among those who care about such things), but the enthusiasm can't be sustained indefinitely.