Can't Google do better at identifying article authors?!


So we like assuming Google is super smart: It knows what synonyms are, it can detect unnatural language, it can understand the page markup and identify which part of it is more important (content-heavy) and which part is purely navigational (sidebar), etc, etc

I was reading this article by on how reading can influence your author rank and came across this interesting find...

Apart from being rather pro-active in encouraging content providers to verify their content authorship, Google has recently upgraded its "Rich Snippet testing" tool trying to suggest possible authors of the article:

Google Extracted Author Name

And, what I found quite funny, Google's "genius" way to identify the author is based on an absolutely stupid formula:

  • Google finds "By" appearing wherever on the page;
  • Google makes sure there are at least two (Capitalized) words following the preposition;
  • Based on that, Google assumes that must be an author:

Google Authorship 'by author' pattern matching

Come on!


No By: in my anomalous author find

That may be part of it, Ann, but it doesn't explain the author identification of my 2005 article as described here:

I have seen this....

I think the authorship that is showing up in AJ's post is from a vCard markup in the comments section of the post. The rich snippet testing tool looks for vCard markup as well as authorship. I have seen this same thing happen on my blog as well at

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