Author Pages and SEO: A Strategic Response to AI Content Creation
With the rise of AI and AI-created content, Google is putting more emphasis on content created by real people. They do this by prioritizing first-hand experience, but also by looking at the author’s page, for example. Google wants to know the author’s credentials so that the algorithm can better estimate what authority the author has in a particular field.
The rise of ChatGPT and content creation
While Google does not explicitly ban the use of AI tools like Chat GPT, they do see a proliferation of automatically generated content being published that they are not always happy with. Often there is no depth and little relevance and the content is published just to add new content. A strategy, by the way, that will not work in the long run and can probably even result in penalties that will reduce the site’s overall ranking.
But AI tools are not the only challenge for Google to provide its users with relevant and high-quality information. Indeed, there has also been a proliferation of SEO and content agencies that usually go for quantity rather than quality. With some copy and pasting and a bit of rewriting, they produce as much content as possible and, in doing so, actually ‘pollute’ the web. These are the main reasons why Google puts more emphasis on finding out who the author is and what expertise this author has.
The importance of an author page for SEO
One of the ways to show Google that you are an authority in a particular field is by creating a dedicated author page. This page lists who the author is, what the author has done, learned, and is doing, and on which other sites or (social media) platforms the author is active.
An author’s page is very difficult to fake by content agencies because Google wants the information to be verifiable. This is possible because sites with high authority also recognize the author as an authority by publishing about him or her or linking to the author’s page.
The author page does not have to be given a prominent place on the main page or in the menu, but it should be accessible via the author bios or name link to an article. This author bios is a very short summary of the author page and gives both readers and search engines more credibility.
What can you mention on an author page?
Author pages are meant to list everything an author has done, is recognized for, and does. On my page Ben Steenstra, you can see an example of how to build the page.
- Name and position: Tell what your name is, when you were born, and what position you currently hold.
- Summary: In a few sentences, describe what your passion or area of expertise is, what your main achievements are, and what you are currently involved in.
- Photos: Show some photos of yourself
- Distinctiveness: Briefly tell what makes your thinking, method, or approach unique.
- Work experience: list companies or foundations where you have worked or founded and when it was.
- Clients: List clients you have worked for and when that was.
- Publications: List any books, articles, or research you have published with references to them.
- Awards: List any awards you have won or titles you have obtained.
- Training & courses: List the education and courses you have done.
- Interests: List or briefly tell what your interests are.
- Recommendations: List key (verifiable) recommendations from other people.
- Contact: Link through to your social media accounts and tell how people can reach you
By putting the above information on an author page, search engines can see who you are, and what your expertise is about and verify your identity. This particularly helps for E-E-A-T (First-hand experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness), a key ranking factor of Google.
Note! Do use schema markup on your author page so that search engines can better understand the page.