Tuesday, October 15

Google Customer Service Fail - Taglines vs Author Bio

Taglines vs Author Bio
8 posts by 2 authors


Crawling, indexing & ranking

me (Brian Penny change

9:22 AM (1 hour ago)

I want to clarify the difference between an Author Bio and a Tagline to ensure I'm doing more good than harm to my site. I'm a bank whistleblower who was blacklisted from the banking industry a few years back for blowing the whistle on Bank of America. In order to protect myself and document my experiences, I started a blog. This blog got me invited to contribute to the Huffington Post. I then leveraged this into a blogging career, regularly writing for MainStreet, LifeHack, HardcoreDroid, and several healthy living sites. On some of these sites (HardcoreDroid, LifeHack, etc) I'm given an Author Bio page, while on others (Huffington Post, MainStreet, etc), I'm allowed to insert a tagline within the content of my blog piece (normally at the end).

Since my individual performance with each of these blogs is dependent on traffic, I cross-promote, loading both my Author Bio and Taglines with links to each publication, as well as my blog. I understand that the SEO strength of my Author Bio is weakened, but I need clarification on whether the same links are affected the same way when I insert them as a Tagline attached to the piece, rather than a static Author Bio for that particular blog.

I'd also like to know whether I'm better off only linking back to my blog, how many links are ideal in both the Tagline and Author Bio, and the difference between using the same Author Bio and Tagline across all sites and varying the text in each one. 

Brian Penny
@Versability on Twitter

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AshleyTop Contributor 

9:31 AM (1 hour ago)

No need for a signature and self-promotion on the forum, k Brian? It comes off the wrong way. 

A tagline is G+ specific, yeah? And a bio is something entirely different. 

I also think you're totally overthinking SEO value. I'd be focusing on what makes sense for my brands and for my users. I also think that these links likely should be nofollowed, anyway. Sure. They're great links - but they aren't natural. Others should add non-influenced editorial votes for you - those are the natural links that should affect ranking. 


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me (Brian Penny change

9:45 AM (1 hour ago)

:) I get a bit overzealous with the self-promotion, but I do it with the intent of showing I'm not some SEO shark trying to make any money. The only reason SEO is important to me is because I started blogging in the first place to preserve very important information that I'm still waiting on the world to catch up to. At the end of the day, the only search term I'm interested in affecting is the one I invented: "force-placed insurance"

When I first tried explaining housing fraud and solution to the housing crisis, nobody knew what force-placed insurance was, so I taught them (them being every government regulator and financial media outlet you can think of) slowly and meticulously...I'm one man trying to preserve fraud committed by every major bank in the United States, and I've been playing chess with their corporate Enterprise Risk Management teams long enough to assure you they're much more focused on SEO than I am (it took me over a month to get some of their Wikipedia pages fixed), and they're very much trying to erase any trace of the fraud I uncovered. I don't like SEO, but I have no choice but to focus on it, because they are.

I have to walk a very fine line in order to accomplish this, so what may seem like silly questions to you mean the world to me.

AshleyTop Contributor 

10:12 AM (38 minutes ago)

:) I get a bit overzealous with the self-promotion, but I do it with the intent of showing I'm not some SEO shark trying to make any money. 
Funny thing is, it has the exact opposite effect. People only link drop here if they are promoting/link building. 

Honestly, if you care about the blog and getting the message out - I'd spend a lot more time focusing on the user experience. Your blog has far too many thin pages crammed with ads for users to get a lot of value. 


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me (Brian Penny change

10:18 AM (32 minutes ago)

So rather than answering any of my questions, you'd rather argue the philosophy behind my intent? Perhaps you misunderstood my post...

I wasn't saying "hey, what's a good SEO tactic," or "please someone give me a critique of my writing ability."

I asked a simple and specific question, to which I'd like a factual answer, not an opinion. If you don't know, you don't have to comment.

me (Brian Penny change

10:23 AM (27 minutes ago)

Maybe it would help if I draw a picture to simplify things...

Contain the exact same author bio text. One is on an Author Bio page, while the other is within the tagline of my content. What is the difference? How are they both handled by search bots? And should the text in both be the same or different?

That's all I'm asking...

me (Brian Penny change

10:26 AM (24 minutes ago)

and for the record, I posted my URL on here because when you click the giant red "Post a Question" button, it auto-fills the text form with "My URL is" so I thought I was following protocol. If you don't want URLs posted here, don't ask for it automatically when I'm trying to post.

Sorry I'm not a Google forums expert, but a little compassion and customer service would be appreciated, rather than snarky remarks.

AshleyTop Contributor 

10:33 AM (17 minutes ago)

I did answer the question - for SEO, it should NOT matter. These aren't natural links (arguable, I'm sure). 

But the link is the same. Now, I'm sure that you could dice into semantic citations if you'd like, but at the end of the day you're absolutely splitting hairs on the smallest thing when your actual website needs real work. 

You said SEO meant the world to you - I'm doing my best to get you to focus on the right things. 

Also, when posting here the URL in question is helpful. A loaded signature is not. There's a difference. I understand your confusion - but thought I'd gently help correct because normally the regulars here do not take kindly to folks trying to self promote here. And in reality, you did not have a question about your URL - just the huffpo links. So it was just self-promotion.

Now, if you want help on your actual site and some good free advice - let me know. Otherwise, the answer is: Google's opaque and we don't know and this tiny issue does not matter. 


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me (Brian Penny change

10:49 AM (1 minute ago)

Thanks, Ashley.

I'll be sure to begin a post titled "Free Generalized SEO Advice Wanted" when I want to take you up on your offer.

Until then, I'm going to monitor this post for a knowledgeable expert who answers my question rather than saying it doesn't matter. If it didn't matter, I wouldn't be asking.


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