If you've been focused on keeping your brand relevant within Google, you've probably heard that the key to SEO success is having compelling content on your website. If you listened, congratulations! Those countless hours spent posting perfected prose to your site will now pay off two-fold with Google Authorship.
What is Google Authorship? It's a type of markup created by Google in which authors can link content they've created back to their Google+ profile. Once an article is linked, information is added to its search result including the author's picture, a link to the author's Google+ profile, the number of 'circles'? they're in, and a link to the rest of their work. While writers are the most obvious to benefit from Google authorship, there are also countless benefits for brands that take advantage of this markup. Here's a look at the top 8:
Distinguished Search Results
Google Authorship visually enhances search results with additions such as the author's profile picture. These additions allow the search result to stand out on the page, typically resulting in a higher click-through rate to your website and an overall increase in traffic.
Personalization and Trust
By adding specific faces and names to search results, searchers gain a sense of trust in the content before they even click on it. After all, who would want to link their picture to spammy content? Additionally, companies shouldn't worry about 'losing author rank,'? once a writer decides to move on. By keeping the link from the author to the content on your page, that author's authority remains connected to the content. As the author's authority grows, so does the authority associated with that content. This may even result in increased rankings over time. It's a win/win for brands and their writers.
Expanded Social Following
A link to the author's Google+ profile located directly on the search result eases searchers ability to find out more about the author and their company. Searchers also have the ability to +1 the author or company, indicating to Google that you are an authoritative source.
Some would argue that without implementing Google Authorship, the content you post to the web doesn't belong to you, at least not yet. Instead, it's left susceptible to duplication and pirating. Once you've claimed your content, Google has more power to both determine the author as well as penalize the content thief. In addition, claiming yourself as the author gives your website more authority over other sites that are merely duplicating your work, resulting in higher search rankings.
Search Friendly Link Building
As Google continues to tighten the reins of acceptable back links, Google Authorship may present a new search friendly means of link building. Instead of gaining links from various domains, your site can gain links from real people. Google may place more trust in a link from an actual person as there is less likelihood of that person linking their name to spam. As these people continue to build their own authority through Google+, it's predicted the weight of their links will also increase.
By linking all of your content together under Google+, searchers can easily navigate through your work or the work of several authors connected to your brand. Should they decide to follow you or your brand, your content will begin reaching more readers and ranking higher, resulting in more exposure.
Added Insight and Analytics
In November 2012, Google launched Authorship Analytics. The analytics tool provides authors with the ability to see how often their content comes up in search results, its number of impressions, and how often it's clicked on. This added insight provides authors and their companies with a better idea of which topics work best for their brand.
Improved Search Rankings
By establishing your brand as a personable, authoritative, thought leader, search rankings for your site are all but guaranteed to improve. Additionally, individual Google+ posts have started to rank within Google search results, giving you yet another opportunity to share your content and climb the ranking ladder.
As for the future of Google Authorship, Google's former CEO, Eric Schmidt, has stated that content tied to Google+ profiles will begin ranking higher than content that remains untied. It seems clear that while the benefits of implementing Google Authorship for your brand are plentiful now there is only more to come. To get started implementing Google Authorship, check out Google Webmaster Tools or KissMetrics super simple instructions.
Since we like to practice what we preach, we implemented Google Authorship with this Google post.