Google Authorship mark up or “rich snippets,” was officially released in 2011, but didn’t really start catching on until late 2011. And now its a runaway freight train!
Google+ is considered the backbone of the framework, along with a few other “moving pieces” from your site(s) that you need to wrap your head around. But all in all, it’s a relatively painless set up. I set my sites up 2 months ago, and even though it took a week or two for Google to verify connections, it was well worth the wait. I found that showing your skills as a writer gives you great leverage. Throw in the ability to measure progress such as CTR (Click-Through Rate) and other analytic metrics, and it becomes a ringer, a “no-brainer.” An example of my authorship is found here. As you can see, I set it up for both my personal Blog and my business website, and I highly recommend you do the same.
“If you run a website with authored content, you’ll want to learn about authorship markup in our Help Center. The markup uses existing standards such as HTML5 (rel=”author”) and XFN (rel=”me”) to enable search engines and other web services to identify works by the same author across the web. If you’re already doing structured data markup using microdata from schema.org, we’ll interpret that authorship information as well.”
Needless to say, I’m a huge Google fan. Even though they’ve had a few throwaways along the way, their successes have far out-numbered their miscues. And in some cases, they’ve even given me a few “wow” moments. Google Authorship markup is one of those events I highly recommend for any profession, especially one that relies on the Internet (what business doesn’t these days right?).
So, how do you set up Google Authorship markup?
In technical terms, it’s the markup on both Google+ and the websites that defines authorship. This basically means adding rel=”author” to link to the authors page on the same domain, and rel=”me” to both the author page and Google+. So in essence you are building a closed loop with your content and Google+. There are many good articles available if you need more detail how to set up. It seems there are “more than one way to skin a cat” but boils down to having the following connections in place:
- A link from the content to the author page using rel=”author”
- A link from the author page to your Google Profile using rel=”me”
- A link from your Google Profile to your author page using rel=”me”
Once you have everything set up, head over to the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to see if you are up to snuff, as for as Google is concerned.
Don’t worry if you’d prefer to avoid “getting dirty” dealing with all this techno-garble, Google has you covered there, by providing a fill-in-the-blank, click here and click there, step by step process. Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to establishing author-ity-ship! I still prefer setting all up the connections myself (that’s the geeky side in me coming out) but this method will work as well. The diagram above, gives you a 30,000 foot level glimpse of what needs to be setup and where [click image to enlarge].
Authorship has numerous benefits:
- Claim your content
- Better Click-Through Rates (CTR)
- Good way to show your an expertise in the field
- Allows you stand out in the search listings
Setting up Google Authorship on your website or blog only makes sense. Having the ability to stand out in a competitive niche gives you a leg up and leverage in the search results. It may seem complex at first, but committing to getting it done, will pay dividends in the long run. So please go and carve out an hour or so and learn this highly effective strategy of Google Authorship!