I wrote about Google Authorship before, but many small businesses are still unaware of Google Authorship, why it is important and how to implement it. They are writing great, authoritative content but without Google Authorship, they are missing out on the opportunity to gain a huge advantage over their competition.
With all the changes in the search engine optimization arena recently, it is extremely important for small business owners to focus on a solid content marketing strategy that builds authority in your area of expertise.
Once you have that great content, getting it found in the search engines is a challenge. Google is continuously changing its search algorithms in order to discover the best content from the original author and providing those more relevant search results to those looking for that information. To gain more visibility and better search engine rankings, you need to implement Google Authorship and make it easy for searchers to focus on your content in the search results pages.
Why is Google Authorship Important?
Google is adamant about delivering the best content in its search results pages. Google Authorship is another signal that indicates whether the content is of high quality and from the original author. When Google Authorship is implemented, it helps them improve search quality by rewarding good, trustworthy content with higher page rank.
Google Authorship ties a Google+ account to content to better identify the original author. Once Authorship is setup and linked to your content, information is added to its search result including your profile picture, a link to your Google+ profile and the number of Google+ circles you are in. This additional information:
- Creates more visibility and higher click-through rates because people are naturally drawn to the image of the author.
- Validates you as an authority and thought leader in your area of expertise.
- Creates a powerful first impression that establishes trust and credibility in your content.
- Reduces plagiarism as search engines will be able to link the original author to the content.
- Improves search engine rankings of your content over that which is not linked to a Google+ profile.
In the following screenshot, content was attributed to me via Authorship even though it is from a website other than my own.
Implementing Google Authorship
The first step in making sure your content is recognized as yours regardless of what website you are writing for is to link your content to your Google+ profile:
- Fill out your profile completely and indicate websites where you contribute content in the section called “Links”.
- Upload a high quality profile photo that shows your face
- Make sure your name used on your content is the same as your Google+ profile
- Include a byline containing your name on each page of your content
- Go to plus.google.com/authorship to verify your email address if it is not on the same domain as your content (needed for guest bloggers)
Setting up Google Publisher
In addition to setting up authorship, small businesses gain another advantage by ensuring your brand is associated with your content as well. Implementing the Google Publisher markup links your Google+ Business page to your content on your own website. You can only link one Google+ Page with one website.
To set up your publisher status is simple.
- Set up a Google+ Page for your business and link it to your website. You will find that section in the About section.
- To link your site to your page, you need to add the rel=”publisher” markup to any link on your website that points to your Google+ page.
WordPress SEO makes implementing Google+ Authorship and Publisher easy. When you install the plugin, it adds a Google+ field in the user profile for your personal profile. Then through the social area in the settings, you can add your Google+ Page link for it to implement publisher on your website. This plugin adds all the right markup to the head of your website. When you are done, you can verify that everything is set up properly with the Google Structured Data Testing Tool.
Can Google Authorship help your small business?
The competitive advantage authorship can provide for your business is huge. If you are currently publishing content, associating that content with your Google+ profile will increase your authority and add legitimacy to your writing. Increased visibility and influence will boost traffic to your website. Google is on a mission to deliver quality content from verified authors and you can use that to your advantage.