The supposed Google ‘author reputation ranking factor’ isn’t actually a thing, the search engine clarifies in a recent Webmaster Central video chat…
John Mueller of Google has clarified the search engine’s algorithms do not measure author reputation as an organic ranking factor. The misconception author reputation plays a role in how a site ranks organically comes from changes made to the Google Quality Rater Guidelines.
Google Confirms Rumored ‘Author Reputation Ranking Factor’ not Real
For years, a misunderstanding in SEO community has persisted that author reputation is a ranking signal for the search engine. Google itself helped to perpetuate the misnomer by introducing and later killing off, its now defunct authorship program. (A program which allowed people to connect their Google+ profiles to display in organic listings.)
Although, author reputation is part of the manual review process, there is no such factor in the algorithms. Furthermore, quality raters cannot directly impact website rankings. Even if a quality rater discovered an author had a poor reputation, there is no action that rater could take to affect how the website ranks.
One participant asked Mueller the following question, in relation to the misconception:
“Say we have a site with multiple authors and then we find that one of the authors has a poor reputation or has developed a poor reputation. Is there a way to remove the author from the site but keep the content?”
Mueller answers by explaining Google treats such actions like any other change. So, removing an author, for whatever reason, does nothing. He goes on to warn about the difference between Google’s quality rater guidelines and its algorithms:
“I wouldn’t look at the quality rater guidelines as something that is like our algorithms are looking at this explicitly, and checking out the reputation of all authors, and then using that to rank your websites.”
Here’s the Google Webmaster Hangout video chat, with the relevant portion beginning at the 28 minutes, 17 seconds mark: