Are you in charge of your company’s content marketing, social media and blogging strategy? Have you ever wondered about new ways to drive user engagement through Google’s search engine results pages?
As a marketing or business professional in general, you want to create credibility within your industry through quality content on your website and blog. One easy way to leverage your content to increase organic search traffic is a method called Google Authorship.
What Exactly is Google Authorship?
Previously, Google had no way to track the content that it indexed. Through indexing, Google can track credibility for sites, but not for who wrote the content. This pretty much meant that a person with credibility was on the same playing field as one without.
Setting up your Google Authorship allows the search engine giant the ability to track the credibility and trustworthiness of you as an author, along with the site or blog you are connected to. In other words, the direct impact of Google Authorship to you as a web content author is that your content will potentially rank higher in Google than comparable content based on a variety of factors, including your “Google Authorship” credibility.
Adding Google Authorship to Your Website
It’s not that hard but it requires you to do the following:
Step 1. If you haven’t already, create a Google+ profile. According to Google, you need to make sure you have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot and you also need to ensure that a byline containing your name (I.e.: “By Chris Raulf”) appears on each page of your content. The byline name needs to match the name on your Google+ profile.
Step 2: Now you need to verify that you have an email address on the same domain as your content. Here’s the link to where you can verify your email address: https://plus.google.com/authorship. If you don’t have an email address that matches your website’s URL then follow the instructions here.
Quick bonus tip: If your company is new to Google+, here’s some help on how to create a Google+ Company Page.
Step 3: Now link your content to your Google+ profile. You can find this under “Links” in the “About” section.
Step 4: Now whenever you create a new piece of content that you’d like to associate with your Google Authorship, you need to add the rel=”author” tag to that particular page. It may sound technical but you really don’t have to be a coding genius to add this tag to your content. Simply copy and paste the following code into your content line and add your Google+ profile url:
Be sure to swap out the profile ID highlighted in red with your Google+ author ID.
PS: Many content management systems (CMS) allow you to install Google Authorship Plugins. I have WordPress site and can now simply assign the applicable author to each new webpage or blog post:
Step 5: When done, check Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see if Google Authorship is working:
Google Authorship Drops Photos and Circle Count
Google’s own John Mueller has recently announced the dropping of photos and circle count to Google Authorship. Why did Google make this move? The search engine giant said, ”click-through behavior on this new less-cluttered design is similar to the previous one.”
Very Important: Make Sure to Adjust the Character Count of the Description Tag Content
As you can see from the above picture, Google Authorship added the following before the content of the description tag in the Snippet: “by Chris Raulf – Apr 16, 2014 – ”. This means that I need to adjust the length of my description tag (160 characters minus the 32 characters that are taken up by my name, date, spaces and hyphens) so that I’m still in full control of what my Snippet will look like in Google’s search results page.
It’s pretty clear: Take advantage of Google Authorship and earn the credibility you deserve to achieve higher rankings for the awesome content you’re publishing.
I frequently host complimentary SEO training webinars, teach digital marketing classes and workshops, speak at conferences and I’m also available for onsite and online (screen sharing) one-on-one consulting sessions. Learn more about upcoming events and feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.
About the Author
Chris Raulf is founder of Boulder SEO Marketing, a boutique SEO training and consulting agency located in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Chris and his team assist local, national as well as international clients with all of their SEO, social media and content marketing needs.
Chris has 15+ years of digital marketing expertise under his belt and The Online Marketing Institute recently added him to their “Top 40+ Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014” list.