Author Filtering in Search Results

Author Filtering in Search Results

10th October 2012

An interesting find yesterday by Andre Alpar on his AKM3 blog (in German) of which I’m not sure its very new (looks new), but it is very handy for sure. Andre found that when clicking the ‘more by author’ link, which now shows up for most results which have the author rich snippet with the image in it, you will not just get the results from that specific author, the author name is also visible inside the search bar.

Andre also found that Google is giving each author a “People ID”, a special number next to the name which can be found within the search url as well. This is the Google+ number you get when you sign up. This makes it a lot easier to search for articles from specific authors, both on their own sites as outside of those sites. It again is another way which can help pinpoint who you should target and who you shouldn’t target. It can help you find the right author to write about your business, a new PR Tool!

So what exactly happens?

What Andre found was an extension on authorship. Google is using the data they are collecting from the authors to make it easy for you to filter information. Here for example is a result you could find for my name, my personal blog (yes I need to work on my snippet 😉 ):

As you can see there is a ‘More by Bas van den Beld” link just below the domain name. Clicking on on that link will take the searcher to a search result page which will have results on it which are all articles connected to my Google+ account, which should mean that since Google has figured my author profile, these are all articles I’ve written. You can see in the image below that even though the first few are from my personal blog, there are also search results from State of Search there.

Interesting however is also to look at the search bar where in front of my search for my name the filter, for my name. This is where you can start playing around with this feature to find out more about your targeted author. You can for example do a ‘site search’ to see all the articles I wrote for a specific site:

Or you can search on a topic to see if I’ve written something about that topic:

Or, and this is interesting, type in a company name and see what I’ve written about that specific company:

Note here that Google actually puts ads on top of this specific search.

Sidenote: One of the reasons I show Linkdex is because I know they are launching a feature which is very much related to this, we’ll probably write about that more in a later stage.

People IDs and names

Andre points out that this filter is triggered by the “ppl ids”, a People ID, which is a specific number, a number which is the same number as your Google+ number. Funny enough this number is not there on every search. I didn’t find the number on the ‘regular’ search when clicking on the ‘more by’ link, but only when I did a specific search for everything I wrote on a specific site. Why that is I am not sure about, but it is interesting because it means that by looking for the number of someone’s Google+ profile you can now adjust your search so you can see where people have been writing, even if the ‘author’ is not always triggered.

Author “Knowledge Graph”

Something else which Andre points to is the ‘Author Knowledge Graph’ which can show up in the right pane. For me that was only triggered with personalised search turned on. This is a part where you get to see more about the author. This is not new, but again a very interesting addition to the authorship markups. It again provides the searcher with a lot of information on the author.

What can we do with this?

So what can we do with this? As an author it shows that you need to get your authorship elements in order, because this can help your branding a lot. But actually this is far more interesting for businesses who are trying to reach out to the right influentials.

Take for the Linkdex example I gave. Once you figured out who you want to target you can figure out what that person is writing about what topic and on which site. Which is interesting to know so you can see who is writing about your competitors.

It still takes some work but it is possible. But as said, I know that this is coming out soon in other tools like Linkdex.

It does show, again, how important authorship is for Google. Get to work!


Written By
Bas van den Beld is an award winning Digital Marketing consultant, trainer and speaker. He is the founder of State of Digital and helps companies develop solid marketing strategies.
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