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  • Google Authorship – Increase CTR and Credibility

    by Dan DeRoeck on March 27, 2012

    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.”

    google authorshipNeedless 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 google authorship exampleestablishing 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!

    { 17 comments… read them below or add one }

    Rosa March 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    So if I understand correctly, Google authorship is a general term used to describe how one writes an article, posts it on the web and, most importantly, attaches one of those Google +1 counters onto the article’s web page, right? Besides writing a compelling or informative article, will adding the Google Plus 1 counter actually increase your social relevance and thus, your page ranking or is that just a counter to measure popularity based on human perception?

    Stephanie March 29, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I also feel that I can contribute quality articles to the social media society throughout all of the various networks like Facebook, Twitter and so on. In fact, throughout all of my cyberspace surfing, I have to say that I have seen plenty of mediocre articles, and I don’t mean to bash those folks, I’m simply using their content as a comparison. And I that makes me feel like I should be authoring articles now.

    Jennifer March 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I hear lots of chatter among journalists in the media who complain about how the internet has made anyone think they are qualified. And while there is some truth to this – because there are many blogs which report rumors and fallacies, I think they say it more because they don’t appreciate how people now have a platform in social media without ever earning it the way they had to pay their dues in college an so on.

    Dean March 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I have been noticing how heated the “death of newspapers debate is, as well as “bloggers vs. journalists debate, and “do we need science reporters debate for a long time now. What I have found – and it is frustrating to watch – is that different people use different definitions for the same set of words and phrases. “News, “reporting, “media, “press, “journalism, “Web, “Internet, “blog, “citizen journalist, “newspapers, “communication, etc. are defined differently by different people.

    Betty March 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    For some time now this topic has been hanging around my head so I finally decided to comment about it. Are you a blogger or a writer? A blogger and a writer are two different characteristic some may disagree with me on this but I will try and explain. A blogger is a person who keeps and updates a blog or simply put, an Author of a blog. That simplifies it; a blogger must have a blog or is an author of a blog.

    Debra March 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Google authorship and the ever increasing numbers of bloggers will continue to fuel a heated debate over the value of journalism over blogging. Based on research around the coverage of a small detail regarding the 2009 group that invested in the St. Louis Rams – was that “the depth of coverage reflects the advantages professional journalists have over bloggers, including better training and more resources. I suppose there is some truth to that. But journalists aren’t that good at geting web traffic.

    Francis April 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    There’s an old rule among sportswriters: no cheering in the press box. In fact, a few weeks ago a young journalist lost his gig with Sports Illustrated for just that reason: cheering at the conclusion of a thrilling race. Sportswriters could allow themselves to cheer occasionally without it affecting their work, but they don’t. And this rule gets handed down from older to younger members of the group. Well recently, Dan lebatard’s Papi cheered in the Heat press box.

    Joyce April 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I have to admit that I am guilty of neglecting the importance of using the Google Plus module for each of my articles / blog entries. I have been getting lots of social signals in the form of comments, but I suppose I should also add the social media sharing bars including Google Plus. I will use these instructions to finally do what I have been procrastinating and neglecting for too long already. Thanks for this.

    Maria April 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    I think it is great that Google provides incentive for people who want to provide quality content for audiences, whether it be for the purpose of driving traffic to their web site or to establish a presence and a following on the net. Google seems to be encompassing their influence in all areas – not just search engine optimization. They are also investing in innovative businesses via their program, Google ventures (I think that’s it’s name).

    Brendon April 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I have noticed in the past couple of years (maybe more) that Google has been showing pictures of article authors next to search results. Apparently, this began simply as an adoption of industry standard Web markup, but at some point, it seems to have become an exercise in promoting the Google+ social network. From what I know, this started In June 2011 when Google began to pilot a way for content authors to associate a photo.

    Edward April 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I think we are living in a wonderful time of the modern era – or should I say, the information age. This is a unique time when everyone how has a computer, a certain amount of technical knowledge and an internet connection has a platform for expression. We don’t have to invest four years to get a degree in order to voice our opinions and experiences and our creative expression to an audience the world over.

    Kenneth April 5, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I have a blog which I update often enough and to which I am getting some traffic and readership (based on the comments that are being left and the Google Analytics statistics). So to attain official Google Authorship, I am wondering if all it takes is to add the Google Plus widget to each blog post. Is that all it takes or would I need to also submit an article to one of Google’s networks?

    Jessica April 6, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Google is rapidly encompassing all things in cyberspace. They have set the standard in many areas such as web traffic tracking with Google Analytics, SEO tools with webmaster tools, email with Gmail, navigation with Google Maps, Earth and street views, literature with their fast growing library of e-books, online shopping with Google checkout, need I go on? It is truly amazing how many resources and unlimited funding this company has. It really boggles the mind.

    Annabel April 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

    This blog offers very helpful information about Google itself. One of the things that authors (unlike other mere mortals) do is organize their thoughts and ideas. You don’t just sit down and write a book from page 1 to 300; you do a lot of thinking, researching, and planning. You can approach your web project in the same spirit. The program Dramatica Pro is excellent in helping you formulate the structure of a novel or article.

    Richard April 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Now that we are in the golden age of the information age, we can all dream big about becoming famous authors, and we can start in cyber blogs. Speaking of great authors, Dr. Harlow Shapley of Harvard University said that we are entering an entirely new age of man. He called in the psychozoic age: the age of the mind. And you, my friend, own one! Free and clear! Combine it with your own public cyber platform and you can be heard.

    Carl April 9, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Everyone wants to know how to exploit the +1 feature to get more traffic. Some think the +1 button does’nt affect your Google rank. Many think that getting lots of +1s will boost their rank, but this won’t happen. That’s not what the button is for. The +1 button allows you to share a link to your stream on Google+. What this does is get the link more exposure through the Google+ network, but not on the Google search engine itself.

    Margaret April 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Google’s implementation of author rich snippets requires an author profile page containing an author head shot photo. The photo appears in the rich snippet; I noticed that originally it was positioned on the right, before assuming a spot on the left. Google also creates an author byline which links to the author’s profile page: Google seems to have many sources available for author hub pages. Websites which contain high quality content, including news outlets, usually have their own author profile pages.

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