Anybody involved in online-business, SEO marketing will tell you that every time Google sneezes the world shakes. When the king of the online jungle decides to make a move, the ripples are felt far-and-wide and – over a year after being launched – the effects of Google+ are just beginning to really be felt. Not all of the changes have been met with open arms (such as social search results), but in some cases they should be embraced, and one in particular – Google Authorship – is something that you absolutely must start taking advantage of to remain at the top of your game.
The Google Authorship Program is a way to integrate online reputation into content creation. If you want to be cynical, you could say that it’s a way to force people to start using Google+ more often, but it’s also a handy tool that will encourage people to create better content on the web – something that will ultimately benefit us all. At the basic level, Google Authorship links your Google accounts to the content that you create, allowing you to build your reputation around a particular subject and therefore giving people an indicator as to the level of expertise they can expect when reading an article or visiting a website.
It’s extremely important that you pay attention to this revolution, as over time it will drastically shape the internet landscape. The development of Google Authorship has made it clear that Google will place less and less emphasis on pure link-building as a guide to a page’s authority on the internet, and thus in the search rankings. If you care about your website’s rankings in Google’s search results, then Google Authorship is important! Although it may seem like a lot of work initially, the upside is that you will begin to write higher-quality content, and begin to only accept guest posts that add real value to your website, which in the long-run will be converted into valuable traffic and a greater reputation for your website!
How does it help?
Google Authorship can help you in a number of ways. It enables you to build a solid online reputation around your expertise, backed by a verifiable history of contributions. By taking advantage of it and using it properly, it will also improve your search rankings and visibility with the SERP. It can also help you to claim ownership over the content that you create, preventing people from duplicating / stealing your content and posting it up elsewhere as their own.
How do I get started?
Google Authorship revolves around the ‘rel=author’ tag, but there are actually 3 different ways to integrate it into the content that you write. A fully-featured, point-by-point guide is outside the scope of this article – but have a look at this article for a tutorial on how to begin, or see Google’s own take on the issue here. You can also check out my bio below to see it in action!
Hopefully you now see the importance and exciting possibilities that Google Authorship offers you, and you will decide to start integrating it into your own content. Have you had any experience with Google Authorship, positive or negative? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear your thoughts!