As a small business owner, you’ve been told that “content is king” and for the past few months you’ve been furiously producing unique and refreshing content for your website. You’ve been told that all this content will give your site improved SEO, produce more site traffic and get more customers.
You search for your key phrases to find your articles and you see this:
You see two different types of search engine results and your eyes are automatically drawn to the one with the photo next to it, and you click on that article. What makes Google do this?
What is Authorship you ask? According to Danny Sullivan’s article on Search Engine Land, Google Authorship is a “real program that Google has right now, which provides as the primary benefit, the ability to have an author’s picture appear next to their listings in search results, along with potentially more additional links to their stories“.
What it also does is tie your content to your online identity (in this instance, a Google+ profile page), so the more high quality articles you produce, the more you are helping Google’s search algorithm calculate your authority and trust on the subject. Which in turn will help drive more traffic to your articles and help turn you into the subject matter expert for your target demographics.
So why should small businesses care about authorship?
- The enhanced search engine result includes a profile picture, which according to Jakob Nielsen’s eye tracking studies, will naturally draw the user’s attention to it and produce a better clickthrough rate for your results.
- Having an established authorship with Google can sometimes “fast track” your articles in the search engines over an article with no author linked to it.
- Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt is quoted in his upcoming book as saying “Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.
- You will claim ownership of the content you produce, which will let Google identify you as the original source over any other website that might copy or reprint your materials.
- You will also be able to view and report stats in Google Analytics about your articles tied with Authorship.
Ok, I’m ready to start on my Google Authorship, what can I do?
- Claim your Google Plus page
- Go to plus.google.com/authorship, sign up with your email and click on the verification link it sends you.
- Add the necessary code for Authorship to your articles.