You may remember, less than a year ago Google, in an attempt to match the authors with their own content, introduced the implementation of their Rel-Author tag. This perked up the ears of many SEOs with regards to the prospect of the tag having an effect on rankings. Google even flat out said:
We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.
So it’s quite fitting that Marcus Tober at SearchMetrics.com did a study finding that approximately 17% of the SERPs (up to page 10 ) were supporting the Rel-Author Tag.
..I analyzed the author integrations in the SERPs for a million keywords in google.com. For nearly 170,554 keywords, I found a minimum of 1 author integration in the SERPs and a total of 15,274 unique authors.
Apparently, only 3.07 percent with the tag of the million keywords tested wound up on page one. At first glance, this number seems kind of low. However, we don’t have any data on the total number of rel-author tags existing out there. I would imagine that number would be a drop in the bucket compared to the content on the web without the tag. For all we know, some niches may only have a couple of results that have a rel-author tag to begin with, and those might be the ones that are winding up on page one. Or maybe not. We would need that particular data to know.
Regardless, I think this study shows that the rel-author tag search results are something for SEOs to continue to keep their eye on.