The Easy Way to Get Google Authorship and Why You Need It…
As part of its ongoing attempts to out-Facebook Facebook, Google has pioneered an interesting method of connecting published content with the author’s social media profile. Google Authorship effectively links articles and blogs with a Google+ account, creating a hyperlink under the writer’s name that whisks you straight to their profile page.
In search results, the appearance of a link to an author’s profile can now be accompanied with a passport photo-style image of the writer, like the one pictured below of Midphase writer Sarah Holt. This is collectively known as a rich snippet. It’s important because it stands out amid the usual text-and-hyperlink results on results pages, adding a new dimension to the historic obsession with ranking results. Authorship ensures that a piece of work is confirmed as a reputable and quality item. The author’s credibility and authority are bolstered, as are the websites he or she writes for.
Why does any of this matter? It matters because many people are trying to forge an identity as bloggers and online writers in an already overcrowded market. Since Google is the world’s leading search engine, these rich snippets lend extra weight to search results. Also, blogging is often an itinerant process with content scattered across many sites. Authorship helps to interconnect all this content into a spider’s web of easily-accessible links, as well as allowing people who enjoy reading your work (or commissioning editors wanting to offer you a lucrative journalism contract) to access everything you’ve written with a few mouse-clicks.
Another important factor behind Authorship’s rapid rise to public prominence is the popularity of WordPress – the world’s leading blogging mechanism. WordPress tools make it very easy to automatically tag uploaded content as yours, and Google Authorship helps to authenticate and increase the profile of every entry. It’s also easier to gain followers on Google+ itself once Authorship has been established, which is potentially a useful way of attracting new readers and clients.
To add Google Authorship to your life, you firstly need a Google+ profile. Although it’s not as intuitive as setting up a Facebook or Twitter account, this is a simple enough process. Having established an account, go to the About page of your profile and add links to published content on the Contributor To list. It’s important that the published content has your name displayed on it, to prevent unscrupulous individuals passing off third party content as their own. It’s also recommended that the published content links back to your Google+ account, creating a virtuous circle of ownership.
Of course, it hardly needs stating that other Internet search engines don’t display Google Authorship details in their results. If you’re a devotee of Bing or Yahoo, your results will continue to appear as they did before. However, Google reckon that Authorship is going to be a big deal, and there are persistent rumours that Authorship may help to positively influence ranking results in future. What’s beyond dispute is that anyone with even a passing interest in promoting themselves (or maximising their social media presence) should be investigating Google Authorship. Why not start by Googling it?