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UPDATE JULY 2014: Google has now withdrawn authorship photos from SERPs. We still recommend implementing authorship as results will still have a byline and your content will rank better for your Google+ connections.
Two years ago, after attending a much smaller BrightonSEO, we wrote a post about the death of journalism. Now in 2012, at a much bigger BrightonSEO, James Carson believes it is rising from the grave to take back the internet from anonymous personas.
The importance of authorship on the internet was a hot topic on Friday. As well as James Carson’s excellent 20x20 presentation 'I Believe that Authors are The Future', it also came up in a number of the other talks and prompted some follow up discussion on Twitter and on blogs. Coincidently a blog post on authorship appeared on SEOmoz two days later.
The meat of James’ talk was that authorship will be important for SEO in the future as search engines look to find a suitable replacement for link ranking factors that have become skewed thanks to paid link building, link spam and the ongoing pursuit of SEOs to gain more and higher authority links to boost their rankings. Even social ranking factors aren’t that reliable due to paid followers and shares.