Yesterday Google launched a new Authorship home page and Author stats within Google Webmaster Tools. The continuing emphasis on Authorship is a clear signal of the importance of this feature within Google.
Before reading up on Author stats, take a moment to learn how easy it is to implement Google authorship on your site or blog.
Author stats is available directly from the home page of Google Webmaster Tools under Labs.
Click on Author stats and you'll see statistics for pages for which you are the verified author.
I'm showing you page 2 of my own Author stats in part because it makes it easier to demonstrate that Google is assigning authorship to Google+ posts. Not only that, but they're showing you that these Google+ posts are being presented in search, gathering both impressions and clicks.
I vaguely knew this was happening but it makes it a lot more real when you see the numbers and real impact.
Stats by Profile not by Site
A bit giddy with this new source of information, I wanted to see what this looked like for one of my clients who has multiple authors.
There again is the Author stats link under Labs. But when I clicked on it, I got the same pages from my own personal site. I followed up with Javier Tordable, Google Software Engineer, who confirmed that Author stats are by profile and are not aggregated by site.
The Author Stats feature is independent of the site (that is the reason it appears in Home, before selecting a site). It also appears in the Labs menu for a site, but that's only for ease of use, rather than because it depends on the site.
That makes sense though I am putting in a request now for an aggregated view of all authors by site. That would make it easier to see the impact and more compelling for sites to implement authorship.
Specific Author Statistics
The statistics shown under Author stats are Impressions, Clicks, CTR and Average Position with the percentage change for each in that given timeframe. These are nice basic numbers.
However, it's clear based on the average position number (very high) that a wide variety of terms and platforms (specifically image search) are being included here. While you can filter by platform you still don't have the ability to see the average position by query term.
In addition, the big metric everyone is looking for is the impact an Author result has on CTR, similar to what Google attempts to do with the +1 Metrics search impact report.
My posts haven't reached a statistical level of significance but I appreciate what Google is trying to provide here. I'm not sure Author stats search impact would work the same way since that would mean Authorship would need to be turned off for a substantial set of users. I can think of a few ways they might quantify the impact but it may expose too much data to users.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great start and Google seems committed to improving Author stats.
This is an experimental feature so we’re continuing to iterate and improve, but we wanted to get early feedback from you. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you run into any issues or have feedback.
I'm happy to see these Author stats and look forward to future improvements.
Author stats are now available in Google Webmaster Tools, showing statistics for pages for which you are the verified author. The continuing emphasis on Authorship shows the importance Google places on the feature and how Authorship might be used to improve search quality.