Marketing 3 min read

Are Author Pages Essential for Ranking on Google?

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VectorMine /

There’s a general belief that author pages are essential for ranking on Google.

This is especially true when the content creator is an “expert author.” Google would note the credibility and reputation of such an author, and rank his or her content higher on its search engine — so was the belief.

However, Google has never said anything like that.

So, an SEO firm working with news websites popped the big question during a Google Webmaster Hangout. They asked Google’s John Mueller whether author pages are essential for ranking on the search engine.

The question reads:

“Question about E-A-T and YMYL. We’re working with news websites. What tips can you give us about an indication of content authors? Is it really necessary to make pages for each author, provide big info with photo, bio links to social networks? …Does this really matter that there are lots of work to do elsewhere.”

Here’s Mueller’s response.

Google’s John Mueller Comments on Author Pages

John started by pointing out that E-A-T and YMYL are terms from the Quality Raters Guidelines (QRG)

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness. Meanwhile, YMYL means Your Money or Your Life. “These are terms from the Google Raters Guidelines that we put out,” says Mueller

Google put out the QRG as a guide for third-party raters. That way, they’ll have a standard for rating search results rather than using subjective opinion.

The search giant also recommended that publishers use QRG to judge their site’s quality. However, Google has never said that the guide reflected its algorithm. It’s just a standard for rating websites.

With that said, Mueller went on to downplay the use of an author page as a ranking factor.

The webmaster and trend analyst at Google explained:

“I think like with all kinds of content; it’s not the case that you can say this really matters, and you absolutely must do it.”

He said that unlike removing a no-index meta tag on a page, adding or removing an author page is not an on-and-off switch. In other words, it’s not an SEO factor.

Muller, however, admitted that an author page is an excellent way to build trust with your readers. This is especially true for news websites looking to establish a reputation as a reliable source of information.

It brings us back to the original question:

Are Author Bios Important?

According to Muller, author pages are not ranking factors. However, it’s part of the common standards that quality raters look at to verify a website’s quality.

Author bios can help build trust with readers. And visitors who trust your site are more likely to recommend your content to others. This could, in turn, increase your content’s credibility.

So, while an author page is not a ranking factor, it could indirectly increase your ranking and traffic.

See the full video here:

Read More: Ranking On Search Result Isn’t Always The Goal ~ J. Mueller

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