Rel = author - An Important Ranking Signal for Google

Matt Cutts has revealed in a video that rel="author" is an important ranking signal for Google right now and also for future. Google Authorship is a great way to stop web spamming and identify genuine authors who actually wrote the content. The individual pieces of content gets ranked based on the author rank and the page rank/domainauthority of the website where content gets shared. Hence, implementing rel="author" gives you dual benefit for ranking your content both on your website and some other website where you are an author.
Here are some of the important points discussed in the video -

1- Revealing your identity helps Google to stop anonymous spam and makes web a more cleaner place.
2- Individual reputation of the authors (a.ka. author rank) helps Google to identify the authority, importance and genuineness of the shared content.
3- Web Spam is greatly reduced as people are less likely to spam using their individual author identities.
4- It becomes difficult for the spammers to hide in some anonymous corner of the web.
5- People get a chance to rank on the basis of authorship and their content instead of just their own websites.
6- Still the rel="author" is in the process of improvement so keeps your eyes focussed on this major ranking signal for Google.
7- rel="author" supports the Google philosophy of "moving away from strings towards things" (Remember- Knowledge Graph?)
8- rel="author" goes a long way in helping to improve the search experience.

Now, it's time to have a look at the video about Google authorship being an important ranking signal for Google-

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