Use Google Authorship to Improve SEO and Drive Traffic

by Pam Dyer

Use Google Authorship to Improve SEO and Drive Traffic

Don’t miss a huge branding opportunity: Link your Google+ profile to the content you create

Google Authorship improves SEO and branding, increases traffic Google is looking to put user identity at the forefront of a number of its products, including search. They are trying new ways to authenticate quality links. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt discusses this in his upcoming book, “The New Digital Age”, writing that profile verification will be directly linked to search engine rankings:

“Within search results, information tied to verified online
profiles will be ranked higher than content without such
verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking
on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining
anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”

As you know from reading this blog, creating a brand is incredibly valuable for building and strengthening relationships via social media and otherwise. People have more trust in recommendations from their circle of “friends”, including companies they follow on social networks. Google Authorship has made it easier for authors and businesses to get their brands in front of prospective customers and improve ranking — they can now represent themselves alongside their content within Google’s search engine results pages (SERP). Establishing a direct link between you and your articles or posts enables Google to display your picture next to the titles and descriptions of your site’s content so you stand out from the crowd.

Google Authorship improves SEO, branding, and search traffic

How to implement Google Authorship

Set up a Google+ account

Go to https://plus.google.com and create one. If you have a Gmail account, you can use that profile to get started. Make sure the domain of the email address you use is the same as the domain of the site for which you’re creating content — this will help Google connect your Google+ account to that domain.

Google has made it easier to edit all your personal details with a new card-like format for profile information under the “About” tab on your Google+ profile.

Each of these cards now has its own prominently-displayed “Edit” button, so you can easily control who sees what for categories like Work, People, and Places. View your profile as “Yourself” or you won’t see the Edit buttons under each section.

Make sure your Google+ profile name matches the byline on the blog posts you want to associate by doing one of two things:

  1. Change your byline on the site you contribute to so it matches your Google+ name, or
  2. Change your name in Google to match your byline:
    • Go to https://plus.google.com
    • Click “Profile” (in the left column)
    • Click on your name in the header
    • Change your name
    • Click “Save”

 Upload a Google+ profile photo

  • Go to https://plus.google.com
  • Click “Profile” (in the left column)
  • Click on your avatar/photo
  • Upload a clearly visible headshot

Make your Google+ profile visible in search

  • Go to https://plus.google.com
  • Click “Profile” (in the left column)
  • Click the gear icon for Settings to the right of your tabs
  • Scroll down to the “Profile” section and make sure the box next to “Help others discover my profile in search results” is checked

Add the blog to which you contribute to your Google+ page

  • Go to https://plus.google.com
  • Click “Profile” (in the left column)
  • Click the “About” tab
  • Click “Edit” at the bottom of any of the sections
  • Click the “Links” icon, second from the right at the top of the module
  • Under “Contributor to”, add any sites for which you create content
  • Click “Save”

How to associate your site with Google+

If you have an email address with the same domain as the site you want to associate with Google+:

Is your blog running WordPress?

If so, there are a variety of plugins that will create Google Author tags, including:

Test to make sure Google Authorship is set up correctly

It can take from a few minutes to several weeks for Google to show your picture along with search results, so use Google’s Rich Snipit Testing tool to make sure everything is as it should be.

  • Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
  • Enter the URL of one of your blog posts that you believe should be associated
  • Click “Preview”
  • If the results page returns green text that says Email verification has successfully established authorship for this webpage, you’re all set and you should begin to see this in search results:

Google Author tag in search results

 

 Share on Google+

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