What You Need to Know About Google Authorship

Many of us thought that Google+ was a social media network created to compete with Facebook. The surprise is that Google+ is making its mark in the social media realm as a system that aims to protect authors' work and at the same time, build the authors' credibility on the web through Authorship.

Google is now displaying author information in search results to help users find great content relevant to their searches. Its algorithms are dedicated to finding the best content on the web created by niche and industry authorities. What does this mean for your business? Authorship is another tool you can use to drive traffic to your website and increase page ranking in search results.

The Wall Street Journal recently published excerpts from "The New Digital Age", a new book written by Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt. The book, to be released in April, includes this quote:

"Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance".

A content marketing plan and search engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever. Websites must deliver compelling content in different forms (blog posts, infographics, and more) that are formatted for search crawlers to achieve page ranking.

In a recent survey by CopyPress, 65% of the marketers surveyed answered that authorship
"was indeed part of their Content Marketing strategy for the year."

Why Google Started Authorship

Authorship was started by Google to help eliminate spam and duplicate content. It assures that search users will receive quality content instead of spam.

Google's search algorithm Penguin targets social media; identifying the author through Google+ and other social networks linked with his or her content helps achieve relevant search results.

How to Use Google Authorship—Create a Google+ Profile

By creating a Google+ Profile and linking it to your blog posts and articles, your content will get displayed in the search engine results pages along with your author bio photo, which can increase the click through rate of your listing by as much as 150%, according to Google.

Want to showcase your authority in a specific niche or industry? Here's how:

  1. Create a Google+ Profile with a good quality headshot as your profile photo.

  2. Make sure that a byline containing your name appears on your content ("By Jane Doe"). Your byline and Google+ Profile name need to match.

  3. Create quality content with organic keywords and links.

  4. Link content you publish on a specific domain or blog site to your Google+ profile.

  5. If you want to control the display of authorship for your Google+ profile, edit your profile (using http://plus.google.com/me/about/edit), and make sure the Profile discovery option Help others discover my profile in search results is checked.

  6. Verify that you have an email address on the same domain as your content. If you don't have an email address on the same domain, use this method to link your content to your Google+ profile

The search result will show:

  • A photo of the author
  • A link to the author's Google+ Profile
  • The number of Google+ Circles the author is in
  • A link to more search results for the author

Google Authorship is easy to set up. It doesn't matter if your website is HTML coded or powered by a content management system such as WordPress.

Google doesn't guarantee the display of author information in Google Web Search or Google News results, but if you follow these steps, you will achieve Author Rank.

Author Rank and How It Works

The most important feature of Google+ is its authorship system. An author can build rank and trust (called Author Rank) based on the content they write on the web.

Google ranks authors and their content by the frequency it is linked to and shared. For example, if your content is frequently +1'ed and shared, it tells search crawlers that the content you create is relevant and of high quality.

The more quality content you publish online, the higher you will rank and be considered an authority in your subject area.

Here is how it works:

  • The more social activity you and your content receives, the more of an authority you become
  • The metrics are tied with the author who produces the content—not simply the website displaying the content
  • Google tends to rank this content much higher than that without authorship markup
  • Authorship helps authors protect their content

There are many factors that contribute to your Author Rank:

  • Use of Google+
  • The number of Google+ Circles and your activity
  • Your activity on other social platforms
  • Connections to other authors
  • Inbound links
  • PageRank of your individual articles

How Businesses Can Use Google Authorship

As a business owner with a website, you know better than anyone the importance of SEO and search engine page ranking. Here are two tips to effectively using Google Authorship:

  1. Instead of hunting for an author to develop your content, designate a person within your organization to create great content and send it to leading online publications. You will reach a broader audience and increase brand awareness. The publication sites link to your author and website. You link to the article on their site. It's a win-win.

  2. A face and name attached to content builds trust and confidence, which increases engagement between authors and readers, and produces a higher click through rate.

Search results that have pictures are eye-catching and are more likely to be clicked, but a nice picture isn't enough. You need to have quality content that's user-friendly and formatted for search crawlers. If you need help developing an arsenal of organic keywords and a content plan, your search engine optimization company can help you make the most of Google Authorship to drive more traffic to your site.

About SEO Advantage®

Led by Stone Reuning, SEO Advantage®, Inc. is an online marketing and search engine optimization firm that helps businesses turn their web presence into a powerful revenue generation medium. Our clients enjoy dominance on Google, Yahoo and Bing through a suite of unique pay-for-performance search engine optimization and online marketing services implemented by a multidisciplinary team of SEO engineers, copywriters and web designers. You'll find us referenced in books such as "Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale" and the BusinessWeek bestseller "The New Rules of Marketing & PR," as well as the popular ebook "The Small Business Blogging Blueprint." Find out more today by calling us at 1-800-366-1639 or email us here.

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