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Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is – Google Authorship

You know what they say about the weather…

In 2011, Google announced an initiative to give online authors credit for their content while also providing more search visibility for their business. The initiative, called Google Authorship, in essence associates your Google+ profile – adding a byline, photo and other relevant information – to your blog posts and articles when they appear in search results. The rationale? According to Google, users trust recommendations and the attribution to an actual person more than they rely on search algorithms.We’ve been following and testing the numerous iterations of Google Authorship as Google has continued to refine it. Just as we felt it had stabilized enough for us to recommend that our clients start getting their content correctly attributed, there were two new improvements that make us even more enthusiastic about Google Authorship.

The Best Ways to Start with Google Authorship

Our hesitation has been the authentication process.Initially, it was overwhelmingly complicated, and it seemed that only hardcore, early adopters of Google+ were motivated to sign up.While we were researching the best ways to set up Google Authorship for this post (we had uncovered three), Google streamlined the process even more. Now, depending on the email address you use for your Google+ profile, you can choose one of two options to set up Authorship:

Easy!

Link your Google+ profile to your content via your company-hosted email addressIf the email address you use for your Google+ profile is hosted on the same domain as your website (i.e, @salesrenewal.com and www.salesrenewal.com), you can link your content as follows:

  1. Add a byline containing your name on each page of your content (for example, “By Akshay Masand”).
  2. Make sure your byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
  3. Verify your email address in Step 4 on the Google Authorship page. Note: We discovered that Google Authorship will make public the email you use for verification, so if you do not want to keep this public, we recommend going back to Edit Profile and changing the visibility options to “Only You.”

Flexible!

Set up Authorship by linking your content with a non-company email addressIf your email address is hosted on a different domain (i.e., @comcast.net), or you write for multiple websites, or are a guest writer, you can link your content to a Google+ profile with a two-step process:

I. Link your content to your Google+ profile

II. Link your Google+ profile to your content

  • Log into your Google+ account, hit Profile, and press Edit Profile.
  • Navigate to the About tab, and scroll down until you see the Contributor to section.
  • Edit the fields to add the name and URL of your website and click to save the changes.
  • Note that you need to add each website your byline appears on.

Note: While you’re in Edit Profile mode, you might want to check that your photo is a nice crisp headshot (while very cute, puppies are not ideal for building your authority as an expert in your field!) and be sure your +1s are set to show on your profile (click the +1’s tab, check the Show this tab on your profile, and click Save).You can verify that you’ve done everything correctly by visiting Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool and typing in your website’s URL. If Authorship was set up correctly, you will see a sample search preview.

Reaping the Benefits

Google Authorship was developed to improve the quality of online content and, in turn, the online search experience. Associating individuals with the content they produce provides accountability and indicates to web users that there are real people writing what they’re reading. For those who create this content, Google Authorship provides an excellent tool to gain popularity and build an online reputation as experts in their respective fields. Google Authorship also provides Author Stats in Webmaster Tools – impressions and clicks to your content – so you can monitor which content resonates with your readers.So what are you waiting for? Claim your work and start building your online reputation! And be sure to subscribe to our blog as we will be following and reporting on changes and updates to Google Authorship as they happen.

Audrey Trieschman

Sales Renewal’s insight:

You know what they say about the weather… In 2011, Google announced an initiative to give online authors credit for their content while also providing more search visibility for their business. The initiative, called Google Authorship, in essence associates your Google+ profile – adding a byline, photo and other relevant information – to your blog posts and articles when they appear in search results.