Last Updated on October 29, 2020
The What, Why & How
Google Authorship was launched a few months back. It’s a way that a search engine can distinguish (and reward) individuals who contribute online content. Have you noticed pictures of people when doing a search? Those intrepid folks have linked authorship to their Google Plus profile.
About a year ago my business partner Massimo, predicted that Google Plus would dramatically change search. Pundits pooh-poohed this social media platform, citing that adoption has been excruciatingly slow. Critics say that most conversations and hangouts are just a geek-fest. While that may have been true, businesses and authors who want to raise visibility are jumping on the G+ bandwagon. And Google Authorship is getting their name in lights. OK, not lights exactly… but their head shots are proliferating on the web.
What Is Google Authorship?
If you are publishing online content, like on a blog, then you are an author. You’re getting credit on your website. Google Authorship just expands that credit by linking it to Google Plus. As you expand your circle of influence via G+, your content will be served up to your network. They’ll begin to see your content accompanied with a thumbnail of your head-shot (or other photo) on Search Engine Results Pages.
Why It’s a Big Deal
Let’s use an example. Imagine you want more information about SEO writing for your WordPress website. You and I are also connected via Google Plus. You’ve +1 articles I’ve written in the past. Now, you’re interested in an SEO writing template and how to improve optimization of your blog articles. In Google you search for “SEO writing.” Because I write about this subject a lot and we’re connected via Google Plus and you’ve +1’d some of my articles and I’ve signed up for Google Authorship, there’s a pretty good chance I show up in your search results.
Humans are naturally social creatures. We gravitate toward pictures, especially of other people. We react positively (usually) to pictures of people we know. Perhaps you’ve read one of my previous posts. Perhaps you remember me from a networking event. Perhaps we had an online conversation. Since my picture is next to a link about SEO writing, hopefully you’ll click on it.
Now imagine if your Google Plus circles are widespread and you’ve signed up for Google Authorship. Now your content has the chance of bubbling up to the top of search queries for those in your G+ circles. They can now engage with you and your content. That’s why it’s a big deal. And, we anticipate that it will get even bigger. For those who love metrics, Google Authorship has analytics where you can dig into clicks and impressions to your heart’s content.
How to Activate
You’ll first need a Google Plus account and completed profile. We recommend that you load a high quality photo or headshot. Once you have the G+ profile in place, follow the email verification process outlined in Google Inside Search.