As content marketing has grown in significance, Google has made it easier for content creators to claim ownership of their work through Google Authorship. Claiming authorship will link your content to your Google+ profile and will enhance search listings with your headshot and byline.
The change is mostly positive, and many authors have reported increased click-through rates from search engine results pages. Authorship encourages the creation of great content, so if your strategy has been to push out bad content with links back to your website, it?s probably time to reconsider your strategy.
On the flipside, Google Authorship allows you to take ownership of your content, and thus your online identity and authority. Others will be able to connect content you create to your Google+ profile and it may open doors to guest blogging opportunities and can help grow your network in Google+.
In order for your photo and byline to appear next to your content in Google search, there are a few simple steps to take before you can get started. First, you must have a profile photo on your Google+ account, and your byline with your name must appear on the content you create. Additionally, your byline must match your name on Google+.
Next, you will need to connect your Google+ account with your content. If you have an email address on the same domain in which your content is posted, you just enter this email on the Google instruction page for Authorship. If you don?t have a company email or are a guest blogger, you will need to include a link to your Google+ profile in your content with the ?rel=author tag at the end. You?ll also need to update your Google+ profile to link to the sites where you are a contributor.
It?s a good idea to add your authorship link to your author bio, that way it will appear on all your content and you won?t forget to include it. If you are supplying guest posts, this is one of the easiest ways to claim authorship of your content, even existing content.
Links that appear in Google search as an author post have been shown to increase click-through rates. Additionally, searchers are able to visit your Google+ profile and see other content you?ve written. Claiming authorship will increase your visibility and credibility as an online content creator.
Google also allows you to track limited analytics of your authored content?event content on external websites. The analytics tool is available through Google?s Webmaster Tools. Here you can see valuable position, click and impression data for your linked content than can help you determine which content is working and where it is performing the best.
For content marketers, being able to view all these stats in one place without a custom filter can be helpful in determining which content is being searched for and how often. You can then use this data to adjust your content schedule as necessary.
With Google Authorship, it has long been rumored that Google plans to create a measurement of authority called Author Rank or Agent Rank andthey plan to use this data to influence search results, ranking those with more authority higher than others. This seems to be highly probably, but at this point we can only speculate how Google?s algorithm will determine the authority of content producers.
For content marketers, this should be an indication that it?s time to claim authorship of your content, grow your Google+ network and share content across social media to grow traffic on your content. Establish yourself as an authority, contribute guest posts on relevant websites and produce content on a frequent basis. Continue to publish good content, and publish often.