It’s no secret that Google gives priority to their associated brands and services (such as Google+ and YouTube) when it comes to search rankings. One of Google’s newer ventures, Authorship was established in 2011, as a feature of Google+.
Google Authorship puts a face on web content, providing a link to the author’s Google+ page. This ensures higher quality content, as now there’s a person and face associated with that content.
What is Google Authorship?
Ever noticed those pictures that sometimes pop up alongside the search results on Google? That’s Google Authorship at work. Google Authorship is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to claim authorship over content you create by linking it to your Google+ profile. In order to be a Google+ author, you must have a valid Google+ profile with your real name, a verified email address and a profile image.
It’s not an automatic process, however. Google decides when you’re ready to be a Google Author. The time it takes for your profile image and credit to start showing up alongside your content on search results varies, and is dependent on how often you post content, as well its quality. Some prolific authors have reported seeing their authorship profile picture show up in search rankings in as little as a couple months, though keep in mind the less often you post, the longer it will take.
How Do You Implement Google Authorship?
If you already have a Google+ account, make sure you have a headshot as your profile pic, and your name matches the byline on any content you create. Google Authorship is only available to individual authors, not companies. So businesses must choose a person to be the face of any content they create through authorship. It’s possible to have a single author, or multiple authors.
Once your Google+ is primed to go there are two ways to set up authorship:
1) List a verified email address on your Google+ profile from the domain you’re publishing content on. (For example, if your content is featured on abcdef.com, your email address should be firstname.lastname@example.org.) You must list yourself as a contributor to the site on your Google+ profile, and include a byline with your exact Google+ profile name in every article you write.
2) If you don’t have a domain address, you can still be listed as an author. This option requires a little coding effort. On your Google+ profile, list yourself as a contributor to the website your content is on, and include a link to your Google+ profile, including a rel=author tag. (Google explains the exact coding required here.)
Once you’re set up it may take a while for your authorship profile to show up on Google’s search engine rankings. Don’t panic. Continue to create content regularly, and eventually Google will reward your efforts.
Here is what an authorship profile looks like in search results
Why is Google Authorship Important for Search Engine Optimization?
Google Authorship increases the effectiveness of your current search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. All you have to do is link to your Google+ profile and continue to publish fresh content on your site to see a significant boost in your SEO rank. Here are a few reasons we recommend working on becoming a Google Author.
- Google gives priority to content with an established Google Author. Why? Google wants to provide high-quality results to searchers. Being a Google Author means you’re known for creating frequent, high-quality content, which is exactly what Google wants to provide. This means your content will appear higher in search results.
- It improves the visibility of your content. Google Authors have a profile picture and byline attached to their search results. This makes your search listing stand out above others. Most people are visual, and images draw attention that can boost your click-through rate.
- It establishes credibility. When it comes to the Internet, it’s hard to know what content is genuinely created by experts, and what is thrown out there by a random person with a keyboard. Google verifies Google Authors are experts with a reputation for high quality content related to their industry expertise. Therefore, being a Google Author automatically establishes a level of trust.
- It’s simple and free! Adding authorship to your site is really quite simple. It takes a few minutes of your time, and a little back-end code. In terms of things you can do to give your search marketing a boost, Google Authorship is one of the best (and easiest!) Who wouldn’t be on board with that?
Have you added Google Authorship to your content? Do you find it helps searchers find you and increases new leads to your business? Share your thoughts and concerns about Authorship in the comments below.
If you would like to discuss implementing Google Authorship on your company website for SEO purposes, contact Eden Advertising. We have years of experience with SEO and search marketing, and can help your brand set up Google Authorship correctly. Call us at 1-800-844-0106.