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Suggestion: Let our author profiles be crawled by search engines

 
Greekgeek
Posts: 6
Message
on 10/22/2012

I was very surprised to find a noindex tag on our author profile pages. 

That's the first time I've seen a website do that. It seems to me quite drastic, and I can't understand the reasoning behind it. What am I missing?

I'm especially concerned with how the noindex tag blocks Google Authorship.

Google authorship is when you link your author profile on a site where you publish to your Google profile. This provides many benefits:

  • If Google likes your content, it puts your profile photo in search results next to articles you've written plus a "More by..." link that will cause more of your articles to come up.  The profile photo and snazzy Google listing give search results a huge advantage; they look more professional and eye-catching, so they get more clicks. 
  • If people like something you've written and look up your profile or Google you, they'll discover what else you've written. Right now, if you Google "Greekgeek," my Squidoo and Hubpages profiles show up, highlighted with my author photo (Squidoo) or links to my best articles (Hubpages), but Wizzley's noindex tag prevents Google from displaying my Wizzley profile.
  • Google may crawl content faster by checking author profiles for new content. 
  • You build up an "author reputation" if you write quality content. If Google is not doing it already, sooner or later it's going to start using "AuthorRank" in the same way that it evaluates whole domains with Panda. We don't want to be left out in the cold if/when Google starts giving a rankings boost to people who are known to write good content or who are known to write quality content on a particular topic/niche. (In fact, I suspect the Google algorithm has already started doing this; Matt Cutts has dropped a number of hints about author reputation, and Google has filed patents pointing in this direction). 

I hesitate to nitpick when I'm still just getting my toes wet in Wizzley, but between this and the noindex tags on category pages, I'm beginning to understand Katinka's SEO concerns about Wizzley.  That post caught my attention over a year ago. I resolved to investigate her claims before I published anything on Wizzley. Then... I got distracted, got busy, and forgot about it. Now my memory has been jogged, and I fear that I agree with her. 

If it were my own site, I'd shoot the noindex tag dead, dead, dead and send it on a one-way trip to a black hole-- at least on categories and author profiles. But maybe you guys have some valid reason for doing all this, and I'm just clueless. :) 

Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 10/22/2012

Well, I would be concerned except my traffic did continue to grow during the last Google Panda and Penguin updates, while it was decimated at HubPages. I'm sure things aren't perfect at Wizzley, but my trend is going in the right direction. That's more than can be said for some of my own sites. So I'm cutting them some slack right now.

nightowl
Admin
Posts: 519
Message
on 10/22/2012

Ellen, authors with 5+ approved articles ("trusted authors") do not have this restriction.

Unfortunately, there are many folks who set up an account without any intentions of contributing anything of value to our community. In many such cases, the information on their profile page does not exactly reflect on Wizzley in a positive way, e. g. their "homepage" links to sites of questionable reputation. At this time, the team is too small to police everything manually, and limiting exposure to the authors we consider trustworthy seemed the way to go until we find a better means.

Incidentally, this should have no effect on the authorship recognition. If you test pages with the "structured data testing tool", and everything was set up correctly, you will find that Google does attribute individual articles to the respective author, regardless of whether or not they are deemed "trusted" by us.

Generally, the team appreciates any constructive criticism that will help build a better site. With regards to Google and SEO best practices, we don't always find a consensus. There are a lot of opinions, speculations and "educated guesses", but very little factual information to go on. 

 


SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
Digby_Adams
Posts: 698
Message
on 10/22/2012

Anne that was a  very interesting and useful explanation. I agree best SEO practices are about as clear as mud most days. That's why the only things I'm watching is Search Engine placement and traffic - those are continuing to improve on Wizzley for me.

nightowl
Admin
Posts: 519
Message
on 10/22/2012

Thank you, Digby, this is good to hear. Smile


SEO Praxis: Specializing in WordPress Hosting and Small Business Web Design.
Jerrico_Usher
Posts: 1210
Message
on 10/22/2012

I commend you both for your information here- Ellen brought up a very good point that I enjoyed reading :) and nightowl as always kicks butt where answering succinctly but potently...


Jerrico Usher - The Grass May Be Greener On The Other Side But I Installed A Mirror Over There! :-) - Join Our Wizzler Chat Room created by the people for the people to the people
onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/22/2012

I've also been considering the site structure at Wizzley, and I'm about six days late with providing staff with some literature and/or video...

It isn't the 'noindex' tags which are the issue, I personally believe that noindexing non-revenue making pages is the right thing to do. 

It's actually the 'nofollow' that concerns me. I don't see the sense in nofollowing category pages (but I do need to back that up with decent evidence, I'm a bit short on time, hopefully next couple of days). 

Google bots will still crawl your pages if they are noindex, I just can't see the sense in nofollow for any internal pages, with the possible exception of forum posts if they are to remain noindexed (particularly those in non-important forums, like the chatterbox). 

As for indexing profile pages, I think that the sheer number of search results for hubpages.com is a big part of their problem. Probably not a big problem with Wizzley right now, but hubpages have 120,000 indexed subdomains..... that's crazy. 

I have to echo Digby Adams though, my Wizzley traffic is growing steadily in the right direction. Slow but sure growth, my traffic is FAR from spectacular, but Rome wasn't built in a day and any staff member is welcome to look at my traffic graph.... it's only going up. 

Jerrico_Usher
Posts: 1210
Message
on 10/22/2012

My stats are rising like a blob in my lava lamp, slow but then fast... My stats are steadily rising and just about every page has module clicks, not sales, that's later, but the fact that they are clicking and showing up this early in my pages life cycle, is amazing (compared to my same first year at HP when itwas a year old too)... Wizzley is kicking butt. You don't have to see massive success to predict future success- based on Wizzley's age and author/page base, it's amazing we're doing this well... They/We're all doing something right !


Jerrico Usher - The Grass May Be Greener On The Other Side But I Installed A Mirror Over There! :-) - Join Our Wizzler Chat Room created by the people for the people to the people
Simon
Admin
Posts: 620
Message
on 10/23/2012

We do have noindex/follow on our category - so everything just as you recommend it ryank :) If that's not the what you see, then it's a bug - but I couldn't spot a noindex,nofollow page.


An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
Niels Bohr (1885-1962)
onetimeuser
Posts: 378
Message
on 10/23/2012

 

Simon: 10/23/2012 - 02:58 AM

We do have noindex/follow on our category - so everything just as you recommend it ryank :) If that's not the what you see, then it's a bug - but I couldn't spot a noindex,nofollow page.

Oh I see, I didn't actually check to see if it were noindex, in my last mention of this I thought that you had acknowledged that it was noindex. 

Noindex + follow for category pages is precisely what I considered to be generally accepted best practice so all good :) 

Thom
Posts: 21
Message
on 12/23/2012

 

nightowl: 10/22/2012 - 02:35 PM

Incidentally, this should have no effect on the authorship recognition. If you test pages with the "structured data testing tool", and everything was set up correctly, you will find that Google does attribute individual articles to the respective author, regardless of whether or not they are deemed "trusted" by us. 


I see where an individual page is marked up correctly and shows authorship.  Shouldn't the Author page validate the same way?  Mine doesn't right now.


Visit me on Hubpages. Learn more ways to Make Money Online.
cazort
Posts: 98
Message
on 01/17/2013

I don't necessarily buy into the reasoning in Katinka's post, that you get no benefits from the links on the category pages.  These pages are noindexed, but they are dofollowed, not nofollowed.

I have a lot of noindex, dofollow pages on my sites--and I use them for sites exactly like the category pages--navigational pages which don't have much text content and don't make particularly good landing pages.

If Katinka's reasoning were true, that you get no benefits from links on noindex pages, then I think Wizzley pages would not perform as well as they do in the absence of off-site promotion.  Wizzley's on-site organization is natural and is done in such a way that is easy for search engines to follow--and there are no "nofollow" attributes on the key navigational links, and I think that's what matters.


Alex Zorach, editor of RateTea and co-founder of Why This Way
Deomar_Pandan
Posts: 17
Message
on 02/01/2013

Am I wrong in thinking that a no-index tag on an author's page entails no-index tags on all articles under that author's page, even if they were approved?

So I would have to spin at least 4 articles in the coming days just to get published and approved articles indexed by Google. Aw, doesn't feel very nice.

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