Google announced automatic authorship attribution for WordPress sites (and a limited number of other beta platforms) today. This could be one of the biggest and best new things to come from Google since Call Metrics. However, it seems too good to be true. It has never been simple, or easy to sort out Google’s authorship attribution. Between author or publisher tagging and linking the whole thing has been quite a mess for some time. So, is it really that easy, and does it really work?
Automatic Authorship Attribution
From The Google+ Developers Blog
“Starting today we’re integrating Google+ Sign-In with Google’s Authorship program. So if you sign in to WordPress.com with Google, for instance, the articles you publish will now be associated with your Google+ profile automatically.”
Sign in with Google? There’s plenty of room for interpretation there! I would hope that statement means that if you sign into your website using Google Chrome, when you are also signed into your Google account (Google+ profile), then the Google machine will automatically add whatever tracking code is necessary to allow for automatic authorship attribution.
On the other hand, we all know that the devil is in the details, and details are really lacking at this point. So far, no one has any more information about automatic authorship than has been presented in the official release. After all, it takes more than a few hours to really figure this stuff out. 🙂
I do still have some concerns and questions about automatic authorship attribution:
Content created before automatic authorship:
Let’s say that (for like, the first time ever!) automatic authorship is as simple as can be, and launches in full without any problems – What happens to past content created before automatic authorship? Can we assume that if you could properly code and link your website and Google+ profile before, that all of that work will NOT be undone by automatic authorship?
Duration of automatic authorship:
Not being a programmer is why I have never had any luck with getting the coding and linking previously necessary for Google authorship attribution to work. 🙂 As such, I can only assume how automatic authorship works. But, I have to wonder – Is this all tied to your browser (history, cookies, etc.)? If so, what is the time out duration – How long does automatic authorship last? If you have to delete your cookies, clear your cache, etc. do you then lose your automatic authorship attribution?
I suppose we will find the answers to our questions with time (If you know more about this stuff than I do, please help me out in the comments, or post a comment with a link to your content explaining the details. That would be awesome!). Until then, let’s once again cross our fingers and hope that the practice of automatic authorship is as simple, easy, and effective as the theory.
So far, automatic authorship doesn’t seem to work… Perhaps it may take more than a few minutes after being published?