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    Using “Admin” or “Author” is Inadvisable When Crediting Articles, So Says Google

    Using Admin or Author is Inadvisable When Crediting Articles 11, Nov 2021
    Craig Upton
    SEO

    Google’s John Mueller has shone light on a quite contentious debate regarding author names on articles. In a recent video hangout, Mr Mueller was questioned on whether it is OK to enter the author’s name as “admin” or “author”.

    A common approach adopted by countless websites and publishers, prompting ongoing debate as it its appropriateness or influence in SEO stakes.

    While he did not delve too deeply into the possible effects of using such handles, Mr Mueller advised against doing so.  Just before the 39-minute mark in the video which you will find embedded below, Mueller was presented with the following question from a website owner:

    “I run a theatre news reviews and ticket website; some of the content that’s posted is generic from the show’s producers. Is it okay to post this on the website with admin as the author or is it always best to have a person as the author?”

    In response, he said that irrespective of business type, opting for something so generic is probably not a good idea.

    “I think having admin as an author seems kind of, I don’t know, too generic with regards to any business. Where maybe you’re better off just saying well there is no author for this specific piece of information, or it’s just written by our website. But essentially that’s more up to you.”

    Slightly more ambiguous than his usual responses, but a fairly straightforward point, nonetheless. It is ultimately up to you and there may be no harm in sticking with “admin” or “author”, but it is not something this particular Google guru would do.

    The common-sense thing to do would be to follow his example; here is an unabridged transcription of what John had to say on this contentious issue:

    “I think this this kind of comes from everything around the quality rater guides and information that we’ve published around EAT, which is expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthy. And this basically applies to sites that are really critical. And essentially sites where you’re giving medical information or where you’re giving financial information, then for those kinds of really critical situations you want to make sure as a user that this is actually written by someone who’s trustworthy or who’s an authority on this topic.”

    “But when it comes to theatre news for example or SEO news or anything kind of random on the web, that’s not necessarily something where the trustworthiness of the author is a big issue. So that’s something where I would say it’s the less critical how you frame this.”

    “I think having admin as an author seems kind of, I don’t know, too generic with regards to any business. Where maybe you’re better off just saying well there is no author for this specific piece of information, or it’s just written by our website. But essentially that’s more up to you.”

    “The one place where author. I think the author name does come into play is some types of structured data also have kind of information for the author. And in that case, it might be something that is shown in the rich results on a page. So from that point of view, you might want to make sure that at least there’s a reasonable name there or you explicitly don’t use that kind of structured data. But otherwise for I think a generic news and reviews and tickets website, you wouldn’t necessarily worry about the name of the author that you specify there.”

    <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/rTcLkRkfkPs” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

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