John Mueller of Google answers the question of whether authors’ archives make a difference in their EAT scores. John first noted that there is no such thing as an EAT score, then provided advice that indirectly provided insights into how Google renders author archive pages.
Author archive pages
Author archive pages are pages that list articles published by individual writers for this site. Pages can be useful for listing authors’ accomplishments and credentials.
It is also helpful for readers to find more articles by their favorite author.
Mueller Google discusses author archive pages and eats
Is it acceptable that there is no index to the author’s archive?
The person asking the question noticed that they had a structured data markup error and were considering preventing Google from indexing their author pages in order to prevent this error from showing up in Google Search Console.
The way to prevent Google from indexing a web page is to use something called a meta no-index tag. The no-index tag is an HTML element that tells search engines not to include a web page in their index.
However, the person asking the question was concerned that their ranking might be affected.
There is a notion in the SEO community that author archive pages may be a ranking factor.
There is a way to understand web pages in terms of experience, credibility, and trustworthiness (EAT) and believe that the qualities of that web page are a ranking factor.
They are not actual ranking factors, they are just adjectives for the type of web pages Google wants to rank for.
Because of this, the person asking the question was concerned about the negative ranking effect of preventing Google from indexing those pages.
the person asked:
Are they important to EAT?
Will my EAT score go down if I don’t index author archive pages? “
No EAT result
John Mueller of Google disproved the myth that there is an EAT score.
John Mueller explained on EAT:
“So we don’t have an EAT score.
So from this point of view, you don’t have to worry about that.”
Not indexing pages will remove Search Console errors
Mueller then advised that by not indexing these pages, the structured data notification messages in the search console would disappear, and somehow solved the problem.
John Mueller advised:
“And if you do not want these pages to be indexed, then when these pages are not indexed, you will also remove this notice.”
Author pages without indexing are generally good
Mueller, who is still on the topic of resolving structured data misconfiguration issues, said that if those pages aren’t critical, don’t rank up, and aren’t important to the publisher, then it’s okay to remove them.
My guess is that the structured data you use on these pages isn’t important to your site, and it’s not something we show directly in search results anyway.
So from that point of view, you’re probably fine with removing structured data from those pages, and not indexing those pages if they aren’t important to your site.
All of this will be fine.”
When author pages are not indexed
In general, if author pages were such important ranking factors, Mueller would likely urge caution about removing such author pages. But he does not urge caution, he said he was fine.
But then he explores situations where it may not be acceptable to remove these author pages.
Mueller offered his thoughts:
“I think I would see this a little bit differently if I knew that this is a site that really puts a lot of emphasis on authority and kind of knowledge and the name of the authors, where if people are actively searching for the name of the author, your collection of content by that author might actually be useful in the search results.
So for these types of sites, I think it would be beneficial to keep them indexed.
But then you probably actually want to keep those indexed, because they’re getting traffic from search.
So if you’re not seeing any traffic at all for those author pages and they’re just random people writing for your blog or something, it’s probably not a good idea to index them. “
Author pages are not relevant to the ranking?
The interesting thing about Mueller’s answer is that the main consideration of whether or not there is no indicator has nothing to do with whether the site is on a sensitive topic that might affect people’s finances (banking, credit, mortgage) or their health.
Another interesting point is that Mueller also made no mention of any ranking considerations regarding author archive web pages.
An important consideration, according to John Mueller, was whether the web page was getting traffic and was so important to readers that they actually searched for that author’s name.
The decision to refrain from not indexing author pages depends on whether those pages are important to site visitors.
At no point in Mueller’s answer does it mention any order or eating considerations when answering whether the author page should not be indexed.
More importantly, Mueller emphasized, once again, that there is no such thing as an EAT score.
Will an author archive without indexing affect EAT?
Watch John Mueller discuss the author’s archives and eat at 48:01