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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Google Authorship Concerns

Recent changes to Google Webmaster Tools have made it obvious that they are placing a lot of emphasis on Google Authorship to help determine which sites/pages get a good ranking and which don't.

Many Wordpress based sites, especially those using the latest default free Wordpress Theme "Twenty Fourteen" don't have the correct "Date Updated" and "Author" hatom micro-format codes generated (a shortcoming of the theme), and these sites are now exhibiting a lot of warning messages if they are linked to Google Webmaster Tools.

I have recently been making updates to one of my sites that gets low traffic and that I hadn't been posting to regularly in the last couple of years, and I happened to notice that this site had a lot of warning messages because of the hatom codes missing from the posts.

So, as well as bringing Wordpress up to date and publishing new posts, I set about updating the theme to correct these problems (there are simple solutions if you Google for them), and the number of posts with warnings has dropped from close to 500 right down to 18.

At the same time having ensured that the posts output the "author" I was able to link the site to my Google Plus profile and to vefiry authorship, but so far this has NOT had the results that I expected.

By adding new posts to the site, fixing the warnings and telling Google that I was the author, instead of my traffic going up, it's gone down, right down to practically nothing.

I can only assume that for some reason Google is seeing me as a loor quality author, either that or there are some low quality backlinks going to my sites (as well as the high quality ones), but this is really frustrating after all the hard work that I have put in. Certainly Webmaster Tools doesn't indicate that the site has any problems.

My solution?  Well I don't really know what the best solution is, since I can only assume what the problem is, but my immediate reaction is to try and post more regularly to more of my sites, in particular the higher ranking ones (like Blogspot for example), and hope that by doing this I will increase my readership and ranking.

If you do find this article and read it, have you experienced anything similar, found any solutions, or do you have any ideas on how I might go about building a better reputation?
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