Google introduced authorship markup in 2011, but many small businesses have yet to understand its importance. If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, read on for some helpful pointers.
First, this quote from Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt from his upcoming book The New Digital Age:
“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.”
So, do you want your business to be anonymous and irrelevant? No, I thought not. Put simply, you can boost your website’s rankings by using Google authorship.
What is Google Authorship?
Google’s aim is to identify high-quality sources of original, expert content – which is a good thing for everyone. To verify your digital identity Google asks that you link your published content back to your Google+ profile.
How do I set up Google Authorship?
First you need to connect your Google+ profile to all the websites where you publish content. This means that whenever an article or blog post you’ve written appears in Google’s search results, your profile will be displayed.
Visit Google Webmaster tools and follow the set-up instructions.
After your Google Profile is set up, all the content you’ve previously written will be linked to your profile. Now you just need to write more! Blogging is one of the best ways to build your personal brand (and, therefore, your business brand).
Obviously, it’s vital to write content of the highest possible quality and if necessary hire a professional writer to do this for you. Now that every word you write will be tied back to your profile, it’s more important than ever that you don’t write fluff!
Build your profile
Do your best to raise your digital profile by engaging users, writing guest blogs for high profile sites, taking part in networking events and public speaking. The more people who want to read articles by you the better.
Start using Google+
If you’re already over Facebook, committing to updating Google+ every day could seem like the final social media straw, but by using it a little each day, you’ll gradually build a stronger profile and in turn be added to more circles, all of which will boost your natural ranking.
The benefits of Google Authorship
If all this seems like too much effort just remember the positives. By setting up Google Authorship you’re pretty much guaranteed that:
- Your content will be more eye-catching to users in the search results.
- Visitors are more likely to click on search results that look authoritative.
- Your content credibility will be enhanced.
- Content hijacking will be reduced.
Many SEO experts believe Google’s network will ultimately eclipse Linkedin, Twitter and maybe even Facebook, so while setting up Google+ might take a little work and trial and error, getting ahead of the curve could mean a big boost to your business.