Google dominates the market with their search engine, therefore it’s important to pay attention to Google’s algorithm updates in order to maintain a strong online presence. Google has recently implemented an Authorship Markup tool, which gives value to individual content creators based on the information they produce, rather than individual pages. It seems that businesses will now become secondary to the people behind them. Writers, bloggers and businesses looking to create an influential online presence are now being advised to set up Google Authorship. This means that content by verified authors will appear higher in search than content produced anonymously.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, has said, “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.”
Google Authorship works by connecting your content to a verified Google+ page, so Google can recognize who created the content. You will notice that when you search something in Google, a headshot may appear next to the results. If you see a headshot, that means the author of the content has set up Google Authorship, tying their Google+ account to their blog. Basically, when a person has set up Google Authorship they are recognized as a credible person, giving people the idea that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Because of Google Authorship, it’s a wise idea for businesses and organizations to become more personalized by recognizing the specific members of the team, rather than itself as a whole. Each employee contributing to the business’ content marketing efforts should set up Google Authorship.
It’s quite simple to set up Google Authorship. Here’s how:
1. Look over your Google+ page, making sure you have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot.
2. Make sure a byline containing your name appears on each page of your content (for example, “By Danielle Thibault”). Your byline will show up in results.
3. Verify you have an email address on the same domain as your content. If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, visit the support link.
4. Sign up for Google Authorship. You will receive a verification email to confirm.
5. Go to your Google+ page and under Links, click Edit. Add your sites at which you publish content to “Contributor To”.
Keep in mind, Google is following and ranking you as a person, not just your website now. It will track your authority in your industry by following the trail of you footprints you leave on the web. Keep your brand consistent as you post on your social media platforms, comment on other blogs and post on other people’s social media accounts. Your website will be ranked by the authority that the author has, which means that an author who has been well ranked by Google will help to raise the ranking of websites they are associated with.
inBLOOM’s 4 Tips for Building Google Author Rank
1. Post relevant content on Google+.
Keep your page active by frequently posting content that is highly relevant to your target audience and sharing quality content that people want to share. Google+ supports the use of hashtags, so include them in your posts. Google is very visual, so post high quality photos and videos whenever possible. Also, keep active on other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Youtube. Encourage people to connect with you on their as well on your Google+ page.
2. Interact with people in your Google+ Circles and Communities.
Add people to your circles and interact with them by commenting and sharing posts and using +1. The more people that add you to their circles, follow you on your other social media platforms, and click on your content, the more authority you will have as an author. Join Google+ Communities relevant to your area of business or expertise. You’ll be able to converse and engage with your target audience, while positioning yourself as a reliable source of information and knowledge in your industry.
3. Guest post.
Writing and publishing articles on credible websites and blogs will help you reach a broader audience and increase your brand awareness. Your quality content should share your experience, thoughts, and knowledge, and also be timely. Always keep the topic relevant and be sure not to include too many links. Guest posting is also great for building back links that are organic and reputable. Be sure to claim the authorship of your posts using Google+. The host site’s owner may use a website plugin that adds you as a site user and uses your Google+ profile link to form an authorship connection. If they don’t have the plugin you can still claim Google Authorship by including a link to your Google+ profile and then linking back to the hosting site in the “Contributes to” section of your Google+ account.
4. Keep updated.
Technology is always advancing, new social media platforms are always emerging and social etiquette changes frequently. Keep updated on the latest news and trends by reading and researching.
Dot Complicated, a new weekly newsletter and web community about wired living created by Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, is a great tool for keeping up with the latest on technology, social etiquette and online behavior. It deals with everything from how to talk to kids about Snapchat to five career faux pas that you don’t want to make with social media, and also features articles from credible contributors. Randi Zuckerberg speaks all about Dot Complicated in a video interview with Jimmy Nguyen.
Setting Up Google Authorship on WordPress? Here are the steps:
1. Install and activate the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.
2. Go to Users, click on your Username and add your Google+ profile URL to the Google+ field.
3. Check that Google Authorship is working with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool by entering your blog’s URL or a specific link to a post you have authored. It will then tell you whether or not Authorship has been verified.
4. Done! It may take a few days for the Google Authorship to start appearing on the search engine.