Authors and SEO
Google uses over 200 criteria in its search algorithm and each criterion is given a weighting. At the current time, Google Authorship is only given a very minor rating. However, used wisely, it can have a huge impact on an author’s click through rate which does raises a site’s rating. This makes it an extremely useful tool for SEO.
How does Google Authorship Improve an Author’s Click Through Rate?
Google Authorship creates a clear link between author and content. Searchers will be shown not only the usual snippet of information about the page in question, but also the name and photograph of the author of the information.
They can look at the author’s biography and other content and see how many people are in their Google+ circle relative to the amount of content they have created. This is an excellent tool for establishing credibility with a searcher and thereby persuading them that it is worth their time to read the content.
How to Set up Google+ for Google Authorship
Create a Google+ Account (if necessary) and sign in. When prompted, add a passport acceptable photo and click through until the prompts end and there is the option to continue to Google+.
- Choose the profile option (under home) and then ‘edit profile’
- Click +1’s and then mark ‘show this tab on your profile’ and save
- Next, click on ‘about’ and scroll down to the bottom where it says ‘other profiles’
- Choose ‘Manage Connected Accounts’ and then ‘Connect an Account’
Add all other relevant profiles (e.g. Facebook and LinkedIn). This is all that is required for Google Authorship, however adding more information can increase credibility.
How to Link Content to Google+
There are various methods for linking content to Google+ though some are only available to people who can access the source data on web pages. There is, however, a method which can be used by anyone provided that the web page with the content contains the phrase ‘By John Doe’. John Doe is the author’s name exactly as it appears in their Google+ profile and the email address used in the content belongs to the same domain as the web site itself. For example, if the content is hosted on mycontent.com, then the email address should be firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Google Authorship homepage allows authors to verify their external email address with Google by having an email sent to the address with a link to click. Once this has been done, Google will automatically populate the author’s ‘Contributes to’ section with the relevant domain.
Google Authorship and WordPress
Unfortunately, using Google Authorship with WordPress presents additional challenges which Google itself acknowledges. There are various plug-ins which address the matter, however at current time there are still issues with them. Fortunately, many WordPress themes allow authors to create condensed biographies to be displayed at the bottom of posts. This can be used to link content to Google+. From the dashboard, navigate to Users>Your Profile>About Yourself>Biographical Info. Write a short biography and end it with the tag Google+ where 123456789123456789123 is the relevant ID number.
Once this is done, it is wise to check that everything is working as it should and Google’s Webmaster Tools site provides a tool to do just that.
About The Author:
Amy Harris is a writer for Expert Market which offers a free service to businesses, providing a sourcing tool for finding office equipment and business services. She enjoys helping businesses with their online marketing strategy.