Web giant Google has published an article on its Webmaster Central Blog which answers a number of the most common questions regarding authorship.
The search feature makes it easier for readers to find additional content by their favourite authors. Additionally, users are presented with the option of following authors on the Google+ network.
However, while the fundamentals of Google Search’s authorship feature are easy to grasp, the company has been approached with recurring questions and published the FAQ in response.
In the post, Google clarifies the criteria that pages must meet in order to qualify for authorship. A page must feature a single article or piece of content as opposed to being an updated news feed, and it must be primarily made up of content produced by the same author. It also states that there should be a clear byline somewhere on the page, which must give the author name as it appears on the corresponding Google+ profile.
Google also confirmed that, while some businesses like to produce content under the name or persona of a company mascot, for the purposes of credibility and the link to the Google+ profile, it’s best if content is produced by named human individuals. This, according to the blog post, makes sources seem more trustworthy for users.
Those wishing to avoid authorship simply have to set the author’s Google+ profile to be non-discoverable in the SERPs.
For businesses which stand as news providers, offering regular content regarding their operations and industries, falling in line with the criteria for Google authorship could help their readers find the content they’re looking for – particularly if sites have different members of staff covering different industry topics.