Google (GOOG) announced that it will support authorship HTML tags, a way to associate Web content with the individuals who create it. The company has already worked with The New York Times, The Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, and our sister site CNET to implement the tags. Google also added it to Blogger and YouTube, which will automatically include the data going forward.
Although this may seem like HTML geekery, Google’s step has serious business repercussions, particularly as other companies include the tags. Suddenly, search engines could know when one person created a set of works, no matter where they appeared on the Web. That takes on some interesting meaning when Google might incorporate the result into page relevance and ranking. Such a change could significantly change the balance of power between those who create and those who publish.