Everyone is talking about author rank and how it will change the world for online writer. And they are right. There is a tremendous upside to having that kind of influence. But there is also a possible fallout.
Desperate to find a job, a recent graduate finally finds employment as a copywriter. In her naivete she starts writing for a content mill making $8 per article. Every day she churns out dozens of 500 word posts on subjects she knows nothing about. The quality of her work suffers and she can still barely pay the bills.
But wait what’s this! She can make more money per post if she just joins Google+ and adds authorship mark up.
Unwittingly she has shackled herself to a slew of extremely low quality content and the company she works for has knowingly sacrificed the future of an employee in the name of a possible rankings boost.
What are her options now? Suddenly she is in the same situation as all of the business that were duped by black hat SEOs. She will either have to start over or work 5 times as hard to erase her authorship history.
Now, lets all be honest here. There are unethical employers out there who will do this. We are only a step or two away from business forcing employees to use author markup to boost rankings.
A Line In The Sand
I won’t lie, this thought scares me. Not only for myself, still trying to make my way in the world of online writing. But for all those who come after me.
Someone will have to take a stand. Like Facebook recently did when it learned that employers were asking their employees for passwords.
Maybe Google will come out with a disavow authorship tool. Maybe it will come down to a court battle. Who knows? Whatever it is, I hope it happens before too many young careers are damaged.
What are your thoughts?
Is authorship a two edged sword? Will the online writer’s salvation also be their demise?
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