Between the March 12th Google algorithm update and the de-indexing bug causing some pages to fall out of the SERP, there’s been a lot of shakeup in the SEO world recently. Google fixed the de-indexing bug, but many sites are still seeing widespread effects since of algorithm update. Once again, it seems that the YMYL sites (Your Money Your Life) have experienced the biggest fluctuation, whether positive or negative.
I’ve researched this algorithm update more than others in the past for one specific reason: I’ve seen more dramatic drops in Google Analytics than previously before. I read article after article, and they all seemed to have one thing in common: making sure your editorial content is tied back to a legitimate author on the site.
Author Bylines & Google’s E-A-T
One Search Engine Journal article states, “For blog posts…information about the author needs to be available in order to evaluate whether they are a suitable expert for the topic at hand… If the author information isn’t available or is difficult to find, this could hurt the E-A-T score.”
The author needs to be an authoritative source of information who’s an expert in their field and can, therefore, be a trustworthy source for the reader. These three factors are integral, and they all go back to optimizing your website for Google’s E-A-T.
What Is Blog Authorship?
If you’re a Page 1 client, then you've likely heard your IMC recommend that you add blog authorship to your website. Adding blog authorship does exactly what I just mentioned, which is assigning an author for any editorial content on the site.
If you have a blog on your website that you regularly post new content to (which you should), then it’s highly suggested to have a trustworthy source displayed as the author and internally linked to from the piece of content.
Why Doesn’t My Blog Already Have an Author Byline?
I knew this would be the #1 question I’d receive from clients after explaining the need for adding blog authorship to their website. This is often the case whenever Google rolls out a major algorithm update and flips the SEO world on its head.
So why didn’t your site have this built-in from the very beginning? To put it bluntly, it wasn’t a necessary basic practice. SEO needs change as the algorithm changes, and we’re always having to try new strategies and shift how we work to make sure we’re up to date. Google never tells us exactly what gets changed in the algorithm. If it did, SEO wouldn’t exist the same way it does today.
Added SEO Benefits of Displaying Blog Authors
I hope it’s clear now how important it is to have blog authorship on your website. What are other SEO benefits? When blog authorship is coded into the backend of your website, it gives the added benefit of using the rel=author field in your HTML code, alongside the author tag in your schema code. These elements are crawled and understood by Google bots, going unnoticed to the average user.
To cover all of your bases, anyone listed as an author should have a well-optimized About page on the site listing their qualifications, certifications, and anything else that helps Google see them as an expert on the topic at hand. Make sure to link out to any awards or external sites that will help boost their authoritativeness.
Organic Traffic Trends for Sites with Blog Authorship
One Page 1 client added blog authorship to their site prior to the algorithm update and actually saw an increase in organic performance when the update was rolled out. The client is in the medical industry and therefore falls into the YMYL site category. The screenshot here shows the organic traffic trend over time, based on sessions.
Blog Authorship - Just One Piece of the SEO Puzzle
Is blog authorship the only thing you need to work on if your site dropped after the algorithm update? The short answer is no. Adding blog authorship to your site is just one of the many items that should be addressed to make sure your site is as optimized as possible.
Here are some other high-level items that you should also be working on:
- Online reviews
- Content quality & freshness
- Backlink building
- Social media engagement
- Local business listings
- Site crawl errors
If you have additional questions about adding blog authorship to your site, we encourage you to reach out to your Internet Marketing Consultant or call Page 1 Solutions at 800-368-9910.