This is me… about the age I was the last time I was in St. Louis. Here, I’m rocking my soccer uniform – Go Cobras! – but in life, I never went anywhere unless I was wearing some sort of sports jersey. And if my wife would let him, my son would do the same…
Now here’s a little more recent picture…. Albeit one that’s a bit harder to see in this presentation. Thisis appearing amidst the search results on Google. (No sports jersey there – although, if I could…)This is what we’ll be talking about today. How to get your picture (and name and links) up here like mine…. And why it’s so important.
But first, let’s take a step back and talk a little more about the concept of Google Authorship… beyond just the pictures.For Google, it helps them find and identify content and get it noticed. (After all, G has a vested interest in making sure the best content is the most visible.)For writers, it’s about getting noticed… but it’s also about connecting your identity to your content. (If someone steals your stuff or syndicates your stuff, your original story is likely to stand out more if there’s an image next to it –- even if your other stuff ranks better.)
And when it works, it can be great. Clickthroughs can spike – just because of an image.Your name is out there to be seen.And though it doesn’t officially have this impact now… there’s rampant speculation that authorship will eventually have a direct impact on rankings.
It would do that through Author Rank, which is exactly as it sounds – a way for Google to quantify which authors are the best and most respected and give them preferential treatment in rankings. And it wouldn’t just benefit writers. In the same way that you would be viewed more favorably for working with high-quality publications, websites would also benefit from working with high-quality writers.Of course, this is all speculation now… However, it’s highly unlikely that Google would’ve put so much weight behind this program if they weren’t serious about it…
So enough with the theory… Here’s the question you’re asking….“How does it work, dude?”Let’s get started…
It all revolves around a G+ profile. If you don’t have one, none of this works. (And even if you hate Google Plus or resent that Google is making you use yet another social media tool to make this happen, the fact is that you don’t have a choice.)And here’s what you need your Google Plus profile to include…It’s pretty straightforward…. And if you already have a Gmail account, you’ve already got a G+ profile. You just need to perfect it. Here’s what you need to do… [WALK THROUGH LIST]
So once you’ve gotten your Google Plus profile, you’ve got options. What you choose depends on the type of site you have (single author, multiple authors), the level of your HTML savvy (“I love coding!” “Gasp, I hate coding! Send it to Hell!”) and what site structure you have… among other things.The good news is that Google has made it WAY easier than it was when I first talked about this back at FINCON 1, lo those many years ago back at the Schaumburg, Illinois, Marriott.
The basic concept is this…It’s connecting an article on a website… to a Google Plus profile… back to the website that the article came from.There are plenty of variations on this theme – including some that we’ll touch on later -- and it can be a little tricky at points, but that’s the basic idea in a nutshell.
So let’s actually get to the nitty-gritty… Here’s the easiest option… Email.If you’ve got all of the things on this list, go to plus.google.com/authorship… enter your email address and BOOM! It may take a while for your face to begin appearing, but it will appear. And your email address will appear on your G+ profile with a checkmark next to it… to show that you’re legit.Easy, right? Well, what if you’re a bigger site?
Well, chances are you’re probably using Wordpress for your site. The good news is that demand for authorship help has been such that there are many WP widgets out there that will help you implement authorship. The above two are the ones that I’ve heard recommended the most. And I use Yoast on my own website that I’m building for a side project I’m working on. I won’t walk through these here… in interest of time… but I do have links to documentation available on the FINCON website… PLUS recommendations for those of you who use something other than WP.
If you’re not down with WP and such, you can also code it yourself.Again, it’s just about linking from the article to your G+ profile and then back to the site. And the easiest way to do it is in your byline. Just drop this code into the article. So why are there two ways up here? Well, authorship can be a little wonky. There have been plenty of stories of one method working on one site, while the other works on a different site. My suggestion: Use the first one, and if it still doesn’t appear to work, try the other.
But say you don’t want to send people off your site to your G+ profile from every article. There’s help for you, too…See the above… you can send people from an article… to an author page on your site… and from there to your Google Plus profile.Keeps people on your site longer… and gets you where you want to go with Google Authorship.However, since there’s an extra step… the coding gets a little bit trickier.
In the byline… you link to your author page and include rel=author… then from the author page, you link to your G+ profile… using rel=me…You place the rel=me code in exactly the same way as the rel=author… and you’ve completed the loop.But this then begs the question: How do I know if I did it right?Google’s thought of that, too…
Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets… and you don’t have to be logged in to Webmaster Tools to check your work. (However, it can be an incredibly helpful tool with authorship… as we’ll talk about shortly.)Simply plug in the URL of one of your pages and Google will scan the page and see if authorship markup has been applied correctly. (It’ll even give you a sneak preview picture of how it would look.)And if its not in properly, it’ll tell you that as well… giving you the chance to fix the problem immediately.
Finally, once it works… Google lets you keep track of the results. Go to Webmaster Tools (www.google.com/webmasters/tools) and click on Labs … and then Author Stats… Up pops something that will look familiar to anyone who uses Google Analytics or any other similar tool.Offers Impressions… Clicks… CTR… And average ranking. And while it’s not a perfect tool… it can at a minimum show you what is working and what isn’t…
That’s it in a nutshell, folks.
Why Your Smiling Face Is One
Of Your Best SEO Tools
Editor In Chief, InvestingAnswers.com
What Is Authorship?
For Google: A way to identify – through code
and social media -- the best content from
the best writers and make sure it gets
For writers: A way – through code and social
media -- to connect your identity to your
content on the Internet and get noticed.
When It Works
• Higher clickthroughs
• Greater name exposure
• More page views
• And – someday, maybe – higher
• A profile with a headshot
• An email address with the domain of the site
• Content on that site with your byline that
matches your G+ name
• Works best for single-author sites
• SEO by Yoast
• All in One SEO Pack
By HTML… Option 1
50779507370” rel=“author”>Matt Schulz</A>