Lily Ray shared on Twitter some examples of Google making up artificial author names to attach to some of its search results snippets. She showed some named such as ALP Dull, R Wine, W Wine, and other names that are being pulled from the content somewhere but are not real names.
Here are some of the examples she shared on Twitter:
I’m working on a health/medical content site that lists its authors’ names, but doesn’t use any structured data.
As a result, Google is *creating artificial author names* based on <h> tags on the page and displaying them in the SERP and Google Scholar.
Example mockup below: pic.twitter.com/6G7AyFStsf
— Lily Ray 😏 (@lilyraynyc) May 5, 2021
She also shared this next screen shot in a new tweet:
She said that she is working on a health/medical content site that lists its authors’ names, but doesn’t use any structured data. She noticed that for some of the snippets “Google is creating artificial author names based on header tags on the page and displaying them in the SERP and Google Scholar.”
I asked Lily what is going on and she sent me this quote:
This is a health/medical website with expert content, and its pages are often cited in Google Scholar.
Despite the names of the authors and the medical reviewers being listed on the page, Google is often displaying the wrong author name in the SERP snippet and/or on Google Scholar.
Google appears to be having trouble identifying the author of the content. This may be due to the fact that the author names are placed in an unconventional part of the page template on this website, and/or because the article pages lack structured data entirely. There is no “author” Schema attribute for Google to draw from.
This does not seem to happen too frequently but we do know Google no longer uses authorship for understanding who wrote a piece of content, instead they use other methods to figure out the author of a page and sometimes, those methods, those algorithms, can be wrong – like in the case above.
How do you fix it? I assume Lily will try to move the name somewhere else on the page, change some labels or something else. I cannot share the specific URLs but this is just weird.
Forum discussion at Twitter.