Google authorship mark-up: Tips to get started



Google Authorship mark-up allows authors to display more author information within search results pages (SERPs) and helps users to discover useful content.  Have look at the below screen shot, which shows how the use of Authorship mark-up will render a page within Google search results.

Benefits of using Google Authorship

Use of the author tags has several benefits for content creators and web marketers, some of which are fairly obvious.

  • Improve credibility of the author and the content:  Content presented in search results with the author name and photograph makes your posts look more trustworthy.  Between content posted by a nameless and faceless author and one whose name you can put a face to, it is obvious which content creates a better perception of being more authentic and reliable.
  • Improve click-throughs from SERPs:  having your photo in the search result makes the result stand out amongst others and gives it much more prominence, even if the result appears lower within Google search results. This can result in improved click-through rate (CTR) from search results.
  • Improved organic search rankings (probable):  Where it is yet to be proven conclusively that incorporating Google authorship mark-up will improve search results, several SEO experts report that they are seeing a gradually increasing percentage of queries return results that include links with authorship.  It doesn’t take a lot of investment in time to implement this, so why not include it into your SEO content strategy?


How to implement Authorship mark-up

a)  Listed below are the steps to get the Google Authorship (if you have an email address on the same domain as your content) -

1) Sign up for Google+ and create a Google+ profile. Create your profile here.

2) You should have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot.

3) Each page of your content that you want to appear with the author mark-up should have a byline containing your name (for example, “By Ajit Sharma”).

4) Your byline name must match the name on your Google+ profile.

5) Check that you have an email address (for example, sharma@xyz.com) on the same domain as your content (xyz.com).

6) Visit the Authorship page and submit your email address to Google. It doesn’t matter how many articles or posts you publish on this domain, you only need to do this process once. After this process, your email will appear in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.

7) Use the structured data testing tool to see what author data Google can extract from your page.

b) Listed below are the steps to get Google Authorship (If you don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content) -

1) Sign up for Google+ and create a Google+ profile.
2) You should have a profile photo with a recognizable headshot.
3) Each page of your content should have a byline containing your name (for example, “By Ajit Sharma”).
4) Your byline name must match the name on your Google+ profile.
5) You need to link your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:

<a href=”[profile_url]?rel=author”>Google</a>

Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202?

rel=author”>Google</a>

 

Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

6) Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
a) Edit the Contributor To section.
b) In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
c) If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
d) Click Save.

7) Use the structured data testing tool to see what author data Google can extract from your page.

Google Authorship is a powerful tool, especially for informative and instructional content such as articles, blog posts or commentaries.    Make use of it to promote your website or online establishments.

Suyog Shirke is a search engine marketing expert with Mumbai digital marketing company, On Target Marketing Solutions. To know more on how the On Target team can help you achieve your online marketing/ SEO goals, contact us with your requirements.

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