July 30, 2012
What is Google Authorship?
The Importance of Google Authorship – Creating a Name for Yourself!
Google Authorship is a solution Google came up with to connect a piece of content with the Google Plus profile of its’ author. The modern online landscape is virtually flooded with content due to the (fairly accurate) belief that as far as SEO is concerned, “content is king”. Many sites have multiple authors writing great web content, and you may find that you really enjoy one of the author’s work. Wouldn’t it be great if the author’s body of work and profile was easy to find in search engine results pages? You know… something like this:
That way you could easily spot a post by someone whose work you enjoy, right in the search engine results. Enter Google Authorship!
3 ways Google Authorship Benefits You
So, along with assisting the reader, what are the advantages of Google Authorship for authors?
1- SEO Benefits of Authorship
Authorship will probably never carry the same weight in Search Engine Optimization as a good link profile and overall domain authority, but most SEO thought leaders are predicting an increase in importance. What this means is that when an author is proven to have written quality content that has generated a good amount of traffic and social buzz, he or she will develop an “Author Ranking” that will lend a ranking boost to any content they create. This program is in its infancy still, and will probably undergo a rollercoaster ride of significant shifts over the next few months/years.
2- Name Awareness / Industry Authority
In every industry there are people who are recognized as thought-leaders or trend-setters. These people are known for their expertise and industry knowledge. For some reason (usually dedication and hard work!) they are ahead of the game, and most people can only hope to follow their lead. How do you go about becoming one of those people? Produce high quality content, and stay on the cutting edge; Be sure to get your name out there, building your personal authority by making sure you are referenced and credited whenever you have participated in or created anything. Google Authorship is a great way to build this accreditation right into the search results page.
3- Increased Connection / Engagement Between an Author and Their Audience
Recently, a growing portion of the SEO community has begun making an argument for replacing the adage “Content is King” with a new motto: “Connection is King”. This is of course referring to the growing importance of social media, comments and the like – creating a general online buzz between yourself and your target market. One way Google Authorship helps with this is by assigning each piece of content to a human author, giving a personal air, and making both the content and the author seem a little more personable. This encourages interaction and is more likely to promote sharing or comments from the reader.
How Do You Set Up Authorship on Your Site or Blog?
1- Do it yourself
There are several ways to go about the process of getting your site ready for authorship and they vary based on what CMS your site is built in, how many authors contribute, and whether or not there are any plugins that can take care of the process for you. If you use one of the more popular CMSs, (our clients use WordPress) a quick plugin search for “Google Authorship” will lead you down the right track. No matter which method you use, the end result is the same: An html snippet on your page linking to your Google+ profile which looks like this:
<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Link Text</a>
Replace [profile_url] with your Google plus profile URL. The anchor text is unimportant, you can change it or modify an existing link to your Google+ profile (maybe a +1 button), what matters is the rel=author tag.
2- Get Professional Help
Sound complicated? Maybe you should get your webmaster involved… They should have no trouble following these official instructions from Google. Or contact Thrive and we can help you get this setup on your web site.
Now sit back and enjoy your new-found notoriety!