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Google Says These Are Not Good Signals

Google Says These Are Not Good Signals

In a recent interview, Google's Gary Illyes provided insights into why the company trusts less in signals directly controlled by site owners and SEOs. This offers important guidance for digital marketers on where to focus their optimization efforts.

Authorship Signals Not a Priority

When asked about the potential return of authorship signals, Illyes quickly dismissed the idea, stating: "Uhm... I don't know of such plans, and honestly, I'm not very excited about anything along those lines, especially not one that is similar to what we had back in 2011 to 2013 because pretty much any markup that SEOs and site owners have access to will be in some form spam."

Illyes elaborated that SEO-controlled markup is generally "not good signals" for Google, citing rel-canonical and meta descriptions as examples of suggestions rather than directives.

Algorithmically Determined Authorship Lacks Value

Even the prospect of algorithmically determined authorship signals did not excite Illyes: "If it's algorithmically determined, then perhaps it would be more accurate or could be higher accuracy, but honestly I don't necessarily see the value in it."

This suggests that Google does not place significant weight on authorship indicators, whether manually input or algorithmically derived.

Canonicals as a "Strong Suggestion"

In response to the interviewer's observation about poorly implemented canonicals, Illyes acknowledged the issue but emphasized that rel-canonical remains "a strong suggestion, but still it's a suggestion."

This implies a relative scale of trust, where suggestions like canonicals are considered more trustworthy than other types of SEO-controlled markup.

Implications for Digital Marketers

Illyes' comments underscore an important principle: Google is wary of signals directly manipulated by site owners and SEOs. Rather than focusing on authorship or other metadata, marketers should prioritize optimizations that improve the overall quality and usefulness of their content for users.

By heeding Google's guidance and aligning their efforts with the company's priorities, digital marketers can enhance their chances of earning stronger rankings and visibility.

 

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