In a move that may shift the balance of power a bit, Google has begun indexing the attribution of content to content authors, rather than just websites.
Essentially, links can now contain the code rel="author" which Google will understand to mean that the linked name is the linking page's author.
This means that Google search results can show an author's content independently. Theoretically, authors could even be used as a way to rank different pages and sites.
One example cited by Google engineer Othar Hansson discussed The New York Times using the authorship markup tag to link every story by a particular reporter to his or her own bio page, which could then include links to other stories and information.
"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," wrote Hansson in the blog.
The Internet giant has reportedly already worked with several websites to set up the necessary HTML code, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNET, Entertainment Weekly, and The New Yorker. Further, the authorship tag has been added to content hosted on YouTube and Blogger.