The power of Google Authorship

These days, the majority of people have gmail accounts. More and more businesses are switching to gmail as their primary email platforms, too. In doing so, you’ll receive the obligatory Google+ account; you’ll be prompted to update and soon afterwards, you’ll start to receive emails telling you that you’ve been added to another person’s ‘circle’.

So how can you best utilise a Google+ account in a publishing context?

As content marketers, we know the importance Google can play in ensuring your content is seen by relevant customers. If anything, Google has been working in the favour of content marketing, with its panda algorithm updates and other releases, rewarding you for creating relevant and engaging content. Google Authorship helps Google find out more about your area of expertise, allowing it to boost the click-through rate (CTR) of your content. Therefore—put simply—Google Authorship can help more people to find your content in Google searches  and view it in full.

What happens is that, potentially, your profile information (image, name, number of circles you are in) appears in Google search results along with your content. The user sees this, puts greater trust in this piece of content thanks to  the use of a visual and the number of circles you share, and is therefore more likely to click through to your content. Why only ‘potentially’? Google has been making changes to the appearance of Authorship in search; conjecture has it that the level of Authorship to be shown will be linked with the authority of the site within which the content is placed, and not with that of the individual author.

While Google is figuring out the right balance for Authorship displayed in search, there’s time for you to ensure you’re good to go either way. Your Google+ account needs to be optimised.

This covers the basics:

  • Add a good profile headshot, clear and tagged as you.
  • Make sure you populate as much of your profile as relevant, especially the contributor-to section. Then all your Google+ content will be linked to your Google+ account.
  • If you are publishing content to a website on which you have no control over the site, there are ways to ensure your content is linked to your Google+ account, best described by Google.

Ongoing, you should ensure that you’re adding links to your content manually within your Google+ account, in the links section. If you’re not sure that you’ve set up Authorship correctly, you can always check how your content appears in a search using Google’s structured data testing tool.

Hopefully, I have practiced what I preach and this has all worked for me…