Making Authorship Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy
On Tuesday, June 7th 2011, Googleannounced their support of authorshipmarkup for content. Google said theexperiment was to help searchers “findcontent from great authors.”
WHAT IS REL=AUTHOR? Rel=Author is HTML markup in the code of a webpage that allows authors to associate their content with their Google+ profiles. With this association comes a rich snippet (for our purposes this will be your Google+ profile photo) that appears next to your result in Google’s SERPs (search engine results pages)..
1. Rel=Author is simple to implement2. Based off of existing patents, it’s likely that in the near future Google will be looking closely at established authors to help determine authority and relevance3. Having a snippet (your Google+ profile headshot) appear next to your result helps to engage searchers by adding a personal touch to how your content appears in the SERPS4. A snippet gives your content a certain amount of credibility when compared with posts on a results page lacking a snippet5. Having your content stand out leads to more clicks (higher CTR) which leads to more traffic and brand recognition6. All of these benefits can help to give your content more opportunity for social engagement.
HOW DOES REL=AUTHOR WORK? Google needs to discover (crawl) the two connecting signals (reciprocal links) you are sending from your Google+ profile to your content and vice versa.
In order for Google to detect your markup, place alink pointing back to your Google+ profile in eitheran author bio in your content or in the author pageon a website or blog. If you are not linking directlyto your Google+ profile in an author bio on yourpost but have a link pointing back to the authorpage instead, you will need a link pointing from yourauthor page to your Google+ profile using yourname as the anchor text in the link.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED1. Gmail account or a verified email address2. Google+ profile3. Content4. Rel=Author HTML code: <a href="https://plus.google.com/your Google+ profile ID #?rel=author">Your name here</a
USING THE VERIFIED EMAIL OPTION Google allows you to link to your content using a verified email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for content that’s posted on the same domain (SEO.com). By verifying your email that’s on the same domain as your content, your email will automatically show up in the work section of your Google+ profile and Google will add the domain to the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile. Google will put a small check mark next to your email in your Google+ profile once it’s successfully been verified. Having these in place will save you the time and effort of adding it for every new post on that specific domain.
WHEN CAN I EXPECT TO SEE MY SNIPPETAPPEAR IN THE SERPS? If your code is implemented correctly, but not showing up in the SERPS, Google states that it only shows authorship when it feels it will be useful (sorry Google didn’t define useful). Otherwise, how quickly your snippet appears depends on how often both your Google+ profile and the website or blog that’s hosting your content is crawled by Googlebot - allowing Google to make the connection between your content and Google+ profile. I’ve seen it vary from a couple of hours to a few days.
HOW TO VERIFY YOUR AUTHORSHIP MARKUPWILL DISPLAY CORRECTLY Google has provided us with a free resource called the Structured Data Testing Tool (aka Rich Snippets Testing Tool) which allows us to quickly check if Google can parse the markup and display it in the search engine results pages. Google will let you know immediately if Authorship is working for the page or if it cant find markup. You can access this tool from your Webmaster Tools account in “Other Resources”
AUTHORSHIP & WEBMASTER TOOLS Author Stats – Shows metrics for all posts made on your Google+ profile in addition to content for which you are the verified author. Rich Snippets Testing Tool, aka Structured Data Testing Tool.
REL = PUBLISHER Rel=Publisher offers a way for brands, businesses and organizations to connect their websites to their Google+ profiles. Rel=Publisher works by adding markup from your website’s home page to your Google+ page. Having this code implemented correctly allow a snippet from your business or organizations Google+ profile to show up for navigational queries (branded queries) in the right navigation of Google’s SERPs. Add this link to your sites home page:<a href="https://plus.google.com/[yourpageID]" rel="publisher">Find us onGoogle+</a>
REL=PUBLISHER CASE STUDY: STARBUCKS Here’s the source code from Starbucks’ home page as well the result for the query “Starbucks” in Google. In addition to extra “real-estate.” Starbucks will also get a snippet next to any content published on their Google+ profile in the SERPs.
AUTHORSHIP RESOURCES Google+ Authorship & Author Rank Community - https://plus.google.com/communities/10447442884 5467390263 Google Authorship support - http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.p y?hl=en&answer=1708844 Google+ for businesses, brands, organizations support - http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.p y?hl=en&answer=1408986 Structured Data Testing Tool – http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippe ts
BRIAN JENSEN Thanks for reading! Feel free to reach out with any questions or just to say hello on any my social profiles. Google+: https://plus.google.com/100938619 255397146926 Twitter: https://twitter.com/Brian_A_Jensen LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/brian- jensen/16/414/10a/