A war of words has erupted in the SEO world over whether or not Google authorship does actually benefit search rankings.
The search giant rolled out Google+ to a generally muted response, with many seeing it as something of a ghost town foisted upon the public in a bid to topple Facebook.
Now, after Google announced that membership to its social network may be compulsory in order to unlock certain features and that having an account would benefit SEO, it has seen much more of an uptake,searchenginepeople.com notes.
Not everyone is convinced, however, that Google+ is indeed as beneficial to SEO as the search engine would have people believe.
Google’s Eric Schmidt, of course, has toed the line and claimed that account holders will most certainly have a competitive advantage where search results are concerned.
His claim was countered, though, by author Shari Thurow, who argued that Google+ membership was not a prerequisite to high-ranking webpages. She went on to argue that authorship only benefits those who are good at self-promotion, not necessarily anyone best equipped to provide thought leadership – which, ironically enough, goes against the original aim of Google+.
In light of the claims and counter-claims, blogger James A Martin set out to discover which was more accurate. Eventually, he began to side with Thurow, albeit after acknowledging the potential benefits that Google+ could offer.
He told cio.com that, when in doubt, it’s always best to stick with the SEO basics. Echoing Thurow’s stance that additions like Google+ will come and go, but that age-old SEO techniques which have been tried and tested should always provide the most solid results.