Birth of the Author(ship)

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Ah, a tenuous Barthes joke. It must be the Friday before a bank holiday…

So, [how did my experiments from yesterday]( go?
Pretty well, as it turns out:
[![Google Authorship for my blog](](
Within a few hours of adding authorship mark-up to my blog, the home URL was showing up as authored by me, with a user avatar pulled from [my Google+ profile]( Now how about articles?
[![Google Authorship on an article](](
While it’s not yet showing for older articles, everything I’ve published since I added the authorship tagging is showing up in Google search rather nicely. It’s also interesting to note that Google has already revamped the “user pic on the far right” design it started with to one that’s more integrated with the article snippet. 
Oh, and this grab illustrates why it’s a positive thing:
[![Authorship versus aggregation](](
My blogs posts often get aggregated by places like [The Media Briefing](, [Mediagazer]( and (occasionally) [AllThingsD]( The nice thing about the authorship markup is that my original post stands out much more clearly in the search result because of the combination of the userpic and the byline. I have no problem with people aggregating and linking through to what I write, but I’d rather I got the search traffic in the first instance.
So, far, I’ve mainly seen individual bloggers getting their markup sorted for this. I can imagine that there’s a degree of discomfort within many publishers about allowing their staff to “claim” content in this way. I can’t see the harm in it myself – you don’t have to anchor the author link straight to the Google+ profile as I’ve done; there’s a method which uses your site’s author pages as an intermediary, with the article linking to the profile and the profile linking to Google+. But my gut tells me that many publisher would much rather that their brand log was there as an author – and with brands not supported in Google+ just yet, I can’t see that happening in the short term. 

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.