With the release of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm, the use of author attribution to establish credibility is all the rage in the SEO world. As Google looks for better ways to index, categorize and appropriately serve up the right content to the right searchers, attribution becomes all the more important. A little program known as Google Authorship can go a long way in making your brand a force to be reckoned with.
Why Authorship Matters
Before going through the nuts and bolts of Authorship tag implementation, it’s important to understand why Author markup is beneficial. By linking your content to your online identity, it boosts authority and helps you to rank highly in the SERPs. Authorship allows you to leverage Rich Snippets to stand out in the results. Furthermore, it significantly boosts click-through rates and increases traffic to your broader content offerings.
Claiming Your Google+ Profile
Implementing Authorship tags is actually quite simple and doesn’t take much manual configuration for the most part. The most important part of the equation is establishing a Google+ profile. If you’ve already got one, you can skip this step. Otherwise, sign up for a Google+ profile under your own name. Be sure to verify your Google+ account so that Google knows that you’re the real you.
Linking Profiles to Google+
Next up, you’ll need to flesh out your online author identity by linking to the profile pages of sites where you publish content from within Google+. This means links to your “About Me” pages or author profiles on sites where you regularly put up content under your own name. Then, you’ll need to actually incorporate the
rel=author tags that point back towards your Google+ profile within site content. Link back to your Google+ page using a URL like “plus.google.com/my_user_id?rel=author” within backlinks to ensure proper author attribution.
Make Sure It’s Working Right
It’s important to ensure that your content is actually being attributed to your Google+ profile in the organic SERPs. Go to the Google Structured Data Testing Tool and enter the link to a piece of content that you’ve published to ensure that you’re getting proper attribution. WordPress users can easily set up Authorship tags on every post written thanks to tools like the Yoast plugin.
Polish Up Your Authorship
Solidifying your author identity through Google+ and linking your content to it is a good start. Beyond that, there are a few things that you can do to improve your odds of success. First off, make your Google+ profile as professional as possible by using high-quality photos and standardized bylines. Also, flesh out your biography section and keep it consistent between contributor, Google+ and main website profiles.
Network and Profit
By now, you should have a pretty good idea of how Authorship works, why it matters and how to use it. While Authorship can work wonders and has been proven to improve CTRs and SERPs rankings, it’s still important to promote content actively via social media networks like Google+. Regardless, Google Authorship is an incredibly easy way to help your content along on the path to SERPs domination.