Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Jim Munro on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, August 7, 2013).

Thinking aloud about author and publisher mark-ups.

 

Masatake Wasa originally shared:
Thinking aloud about author and publisher mark-ups

I mark up most of the pages on my site with the author and publisher mark-ups, however there are occasions in which I believe the use of the author mark-up is inappropriate.

Consider the following. Mostly as a hobby, but also as a kind of portfolio of my translation skills, and combining translation with my interest in early modern history, I have started to translate old out-of-copyright materials from English into Japanese, showing the original text on the left of the screen, and my rendition in Japanese on the right, taking inspiration from the Loeb Classical Library and Reclam bilingual books.

Here my role is not that of an author, but of a translator, perhaps an editor by stretching the definition. I still have the publisher mark-up on these pages, but I`m not entirely sure if that is appropriate either.

 

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OUR ANSWERS

Answers from the Dumb SEO Questions Panelists.

  • Tim Capper: I can see the dilema: However this material may not have been translated without your assistance. Also what you are doing is currently unique and has not been done, so you as the aurthor / creator should be referenced. How about rel=translator
YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Rand Wilson: i'd love to take a stab at that one if i can get on in time
  • Jim Munro: OK - I will rely on Masatake to remind me to locate it later in the run list.
  • Tim Capper: I can see the dilema:

     ;However this material may not have been translated without your assistance.

    Also what you are doing is currently unique and has not been done, so you as the aurthor / creator should be referenced.

    How about rel=translator.
  • Masatake Wasa: It'd be nice to have a rel=translator!

    I think being an author means not only being the person who has expressed something, but also who came up with the idea behind that something. So not only is an author the expresser (if such a word exists), but also the originator, of the contents. Perhaps I'm a bit odd in thinking this way.

    In translation, the expression changes, but the idea or the plot originated and remains with the author / originator. If I were to translate Shakespeare's Hamlet, I don't become its author: Shakespeare remains the author, and people looking for Hamlet will look for Shakespeare as the author of the work in the bookshops, even when it's been translated.

    I have a similar view with regard to reviews: proper reviews and critiques can be self-standing pieces of work, but in most cases, they are direct derivatives or responses to something (be it a piece of literary work, a film, a theatre production, etc), rather than something original.
  • Jim Munro: I think we should be careful not to interpret the term author, at least not by our gauge and understanding of what the term means but rather by what Google has decided it means in this context.
  • Masatake Wasa: Absolutely, and the question is what does author mean to Google?

    The problem is that if it becomes too diffuse, then it becomes meaningless: people will claim authorship over all sorts of things that they shouldn't.

    I maintain that authoring something is distinct from translating something, and I think it would be wrong for Google to treat the two as the same thing, as it would cause confusion.
  • Jim Munro: In our world an author is the writer of a book, White Paper or thesis.

    I think it seems possible that Google would be using the term "author" to create a graded, segmented profile of every person who strings two words together for any reason in any language.
  • W.E. Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 02:31:19 into the YouTube video: 

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on G+, Wednesday, August 7, 2013).

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