Google has quietly rolled out a new bonus for verified Google+ authors whose content engages readers. A new article by AJ Kohn describes what he calls the “authorship bounce”: if you click through a search engine result from an author verified with Google+ and remain on the page for a certain amount of time, if you go back in your browser Google will show you additional search results from that author.
For example, if I do a search for “vertical measures analytics” my Google+ author-verified post comes up as such:
If I click through and immediately go back in my browser, I get the same search results. But if I click through, wait a few minutes, and then go back I see my original search result with additional author-related links:
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Because the user spent a certain amount of time on the site, Google assumes that the content was valuable and so presents other results from the now-relevant author. The amount of time required to trigger the new results seems to be at least a few minutes. Similar results were seen for established Google+ publishers. Results seem to vary a bit: for example, authors who are verified but not established enough to show as a rich snippet do not seem to enjoy this perk.
What is evident is that Google is measuring users’ time on site as a gauge of the quality of an author’s or publisher’s content. How this will affect AuthorRank remains to be seen, but it clearly bolsters the value of Google+ authorship, particularly for content that is deemed engaging. It’s a nice counterpoint to bounce rate, providing value to content that gives the user what they search for but does not necessarily draw them further into the site.
Have you seen this new search result feature? How do you think it will affect AuthorRank and content going forward?