Google Authorship: How to be Seen on Google
If you publish content online, either through a blog, website or another content marketing strategy, you need to be aware of and intimately familiar with Google Authorship.
Did you ever notice that when you google a topic, you see a bunch of entries with pictures beside their content descriptions? Those are people who have embraced the wonderful feature called Google Authorship.
In a nutshell, Google Authorship is a way to associate content with its creators and allow search engine users to find and read content by credible authors. Basically it furthers Google’s mission to bring together great content with search users.
For businesses large and small, getting set up with Google Authorship should be a top priority. Websites that have done this get higher click-through rates due to the special treatment they get in search returns. As you can see in the picture above, on a page filled with search results, your eye is drawn to the head shots of the authors. Users tend to click on content with these photos over those without authors associated.
How do you Set-up Google Authorship?
It is quite easy. With all things Google, it comes back to Google+. You must first setup a Google+ profile page with a photo, preferably a head shot, as your profile picture. If you have done this already, you are a wise social media person. EVERYONE TRYING TO BE FOUND ONLINE NEEDS A GOOGLE+ PROFILE. Sorry, I dislike people who type in all caps but the emphasis here is necessary.
Second, you need to associate your profile to your content. It is relatively simple to do this. There are three ways. The simple way is to verify an email address from the website that you are posting to. For example, if I post my blog at denythebox.com, I have to verify an email address at the same domain, like email@example.com. A more complicated way, but one more desirable for webmasters, is to add the rel=author tag to the content. Finally, if you post your content using WordPress, there are some plug-ins, like Yoast’s SEO plugin, that will do this for you.
Once you are set up and Google verifies your ownership of the content, a link to the website will be added to the “Contributor To” section of your Google+ profile.
Last week, we spoke in depth about Content Marketing and were so bold in saying that in order to succeed in social media during 2014, you have to have a content marketing strategy as part of your overall social media strategy. If you are involved with Content Marketing, you have to start with Google Authorship. You will see greater results from Google Search and a significant jump in traffic to your content.