Google Authorship: Branding and Building an Image Online
Google Authorship has become a hot topic among bloggers and SEO experts recently. Is it actually influencing search engine results? And if so, how do we make the most of it and ensure we are fully benefiting from its existence?
I wanted to take a quick look at what Google Authorship is doing to search results and for authors, while also explaining the quick and easy way to add it to a WordPress site. There are so many sets of directions out there so I compiled the most helpful and direct way I could.
What is Google Authorship?
You may have noticed thumbnail sized photos next to some Google search results. These are showing up because of Google’s authorship markup.
His picture shows up next to the article and adds a personal touch. Surveys show searchers would rather read an article written by someone who is savvy enough to make this magic happen, than those without a picture. Also, it helps that Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, when asked about authorship and how it relates to page rank, stated, “Reputation will matter more and more as we move forward. Over time, we (Google) will be caring more about identity and social.”
According to the Search Engine Journal, Matt Cutts is hinting heavily towards setting up authorship on sites. Let’s get to making a name for ourselves out there on the web!
Setting Up Google Authorship:
1. Go get yourself a Google+ page and set it up right this second! Make sure you add an appropriate and clear picture of yourself that you don’t mind pairing with every article you write.
2. Once you get your page set up go to the “About” tab and scroll down to the “Links” section. Click Edit and fill in the “Contributor to” sections:
Label: Anything you’d like, although it’s safe to just put the name of your site
3. Then fill out the “Other Profiles” section.
Label: Again, whatever you’d like
(change to yours and make sure it matches your WordPress username)
*if you have a .net, .org, etc. website, be sure that you change the URL accordingly
** If you contribute to multiple sites, blogs, etc. make sure to add them all! Create as much authority as you possibly can.
4. In your profile, click the +1 tab and check “Show this tab on your profile”
5. Copy your Google+ profile URL up until the last number like this:
6. This is where we go back to WordPress. Go to your user account and insert the Google+ URL in the appropriate box and then go down to your Bio and insert the following:
“Connect with Amy on <a href=”https://plus.google.com/u/0/103699738427754843910?rel=author”>Google+</a>”
Switch out my Google+ URL for your own!
7. Now go to https://plus.google.com/authorship and give your email address. You’ll have to verify an email, don’t forget this step!
8. Here’s where we check if you did it right: Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets and test a URL from an article you wrote. If your face shows up, CONGRATS-you did it right!
Finally, let’s talk about what this gets you…
Benefits of Google+ Authorship
- A higher click through rate: Someone searching is more likely to click on your post because your picture shows up next to it.
- Higher page rank: Google keeps hinting at social connections. Tying everything you do online together and creating a web of authority, will only boost your ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Authority: Setting this up shows Google that you are who you really say you are, kind of like an online ID.
- Indexed quicker: Google recognizes the connection between authorship and a new domain quickly and will therefore index you sooner. Don’t believe me? (Google Authorship and the Fast Track to Better Rankings: A Case Study)
- Be better: Your competitors may show up on page one but do they have a photo and author credit next to their articles? Take over the search results by posting authority rich content that links back to your site.
- Consistency is key: If you continually post articles with Google+ Authorship markup, you are building up an online reputation and attributing all of your hard work to one place-you!
Ultimately, it’s a great idea to set up Google+ Authorship. It is becoming more and more important for content writers to tie in social accounts and create a portfolio of sorts online. Google will continue to recognize these efforts and award those correctly set up higher page rank and visibility among search results.