Google Authorship is an important feature of Google+ that allows authors to associate their content online with their byline and profile in the search results. It is Google’s attempt to incorporate Google+ into all aspects of the web, but also acting as another factor for determining the quality of content.
It’s important that authorship is set up for any writers creating content on behalf of your company, whether they are an employee or an outside contributor.
Authorship is a beneficial feature for authors and companies alike, since it’s a growing focus of Google.
Why is Authorship Beneficial?
The biggest value of authorship is Author Rank, a set of factors Google will take into consideration about an author to help searchers find content written by credible and knowledgeable sources across the web.
A writer wants his or her content to get visibility from the right audience, which is possible by ranking better in Google’s search results. Google is slowly moving toward putting more value on the profile of individual authors through their authorship of content.
The factors Google is likely to take into consideration currently and in the future are the amount of engagement writers have on Google+ profile, their average page rank, how often their content on Google+ is shared, their authority on non-Google social networks, comments per post, authority on websites that publish content, posting frequency, the number of people in their circles and other outside indications of authority.
By connecting your content to your Google+ profile in Google search, you’re able to add the credibility of your byline to that content and more likely gain traction from that article, eBook or other form of content.
When content is set up with authorship, the click-through rates are typically higher on this content since a greater likelihood exists that a user will recognize a particular writer and since there’s a photo of the writer, a link to his or her Google+ profile and the number of circles he or she are in. This adds more credibility and context to a piece of content for a person looking at many results in the search engines.
As a company, the authorship of the various writers of your content will help it gain more visibility and achieve more credibility, which is why it is in your organization’s best interest to work with contributors to set up their authorship.
How to Setup Google Authorship
Anyone can set up Google Authorship to begin claiming content; it just requires the execution of the following steps.
First, all the writers for your website need to set up a Google+ profile associated with their Gmail account. This is an easy process that Google will walk you through. Fill out your profile in its entirety, adding a bio, your current job, a photo of yourself and more.
At a minimum, your Google+ profile needs to be filled out, but it certainly helps to regularly use it by sharing content and interacting with others.
Whenever you’re creating content like an article, blog post, white paper or eBook, add a link to your Google+ profile in your bio in each piece of content or on your author page that lists all your content on that particular website.
Include a link to your profile on Google+ with the rel=author tag like this:
This tag will inform Google that you are the author of that content. This way of linking your content is particularly helpful if you’re a contributor to multiple websites.
Your bio should look similar to these examples when including a link to your Google+ profile.
Another even easier way of authenticating your content is by submitting your email here on the same domain as your content. For example, if you’re a writer at The Next Web, then you can submit email@example.com as the way to authenticate your content.
However, this doesn’t work if you’re contributing content to multiple websites at once which would requiring adding the links to your content on each individual article like discussed above.
The next step is to add links to where you’re contributing content to your Google+ profile under the contributor to section. To solidify your ownership of your content in Google search, add the link to your author pages on all the websites you contribute content to. Google Authorship basically requires two steps to verify that you’re the author of your content.
If you own a WordPress website, plugins are available that you can add to ensure Google Authorship is set up for your contributors. Using the Yoast SEO plugin or the All in One SEO plugin, you can easily establish Google Authorship for all the contributors of your blog content.
To make sure you correctly set up Google Authorship, use this tool from Google Webmaster Tools to ensure it is functioning properly for each writer for your company.
How to Measure the Impact of Authorship
Each author creating content on behalf of your organization is able to access insights about their Google Authorship. To access the analytics regarding your Google Authorship, visit the labs tab on your Google Webmaster Tools profile to access author stats.
The author stats section of Google Webmaster Tools allows authors to access important data about their efforts with Google Authorship. This includes the amount of pages that are verified under their Google Authorship with the number of impressions and most importantly, clicks on that content.
You’re able to clarify what date ranges to analyze, while breaking down what specific articles drove more impressions, clicks, CTR and their average position in the search results. This tool is still in beta, which means there is much more work to be done to make the tool actionable before the final version is released.
Have you set up Google Authorship for your website? What do you think is most beneficial about Google Authorship for your business? Share your thoughts below.