Understanding Google Authorship and its SEO Benefits

Google’s made it abundantly clear through its continuing updates that the credibility of your content will continue to gain importance as a ranking factor. Google Authorship is a Google verification program that ensures content creators verified by the program are rewarded by the insertion of images and links (links to other articles written by the same creator) into the links to their articles on SERPs. So authors can sign up for this program, get verified and make sure their picture appears right next to the content they have created. This ensures better visibility as authors and also improves their credibility. But here’s the condition. If you want the link to your article on a certain site or a blog display your picture and the additional links we talked about, the site must be optimised for Google Authorship; if it isn’t, in spite of you being a verified author, your picture won’t appear alongside the link to your article. To understand how you can get your picture into search results, I recommend you go through this detailed article on KISSmetrics about Google Authorship. If you want to make absolutely sure that your name and picture appear on SERPs, there are two things you need to keep in mind:

Author Name and Profile Name must be a Perfect Match

If the profile name on Google+ isn’t the same as your author name, Google will find it difficult to make a connection between your name and your Google+ profile. In this case your picture will not end up alongside the links to your article on SERPs. So make sure your author name is the same as your Google+ profile name.

Avoid Picture Issues

I have come across people who have done everything right as far as the Google Authorship process is concerned but have gone on to make a crucial mistake. They haven’t picked the right kind of picture. The right picture is the one that fights shy of any filters or hues. It must be a crystal clear picture. And something else that you need to take note of is that your picture shouldn’t be very small. Clarity is everything as far as your picture is concerned. If it’s clear, it will be there on SERPs, if it isn’t, it won’t.

SEO Benefits of Google Authorship

Higher Click Through Rates

Think of a scenario where you are searching for some SEO related information and Google throws up its results. Now, there are some links that have author images alongside them and there are others that don’t. Which are the links that you are going to pick? Nine times out of ten, you will prefer clicking on a link with a photo associated with it. That’s where Google Authorship scores as far as SEO is concerned. There might be ten different links pointing to the articles that are giving very similar information, but you will always be tempted to click on a link with a picture alongside it. This leads to higher page views and an improvement in blog or website traffic. Google’s done something interesting here. It’s brought human psychology into play, to improve search quality.

Improves Reputation

Why would somebody read your article and not somebody else’s? It’s because of your reputation as an author, and this reputation gets a leg up with Google Authorship.  But this is easier said than done; actually Google wants you to make an effort to improve your reputation as an author. Its Authorship program just goes along to enhance this reputation. So, what Google wants you to do is create useful content consistently and make sure that it gets social mentions and that there are high authority sites linking to it. It’s now that the SEO benefit of Google Authorship enters the picture; think of it as incremental benefit. The fact that you are coming up with good articles on a consistent basis (you are an active author), and most of them come under the ambit of the Authorship program (wherein your articles are linked to your Google+ profile) you will see your articles ranked higher in SERPs. This is irrespective of the popularity of the blog they are posted on. It’s your online reputation that is growing and not that of the blog.

It will reduces instance of content spinning and spammy content

Google wants to get rid of links to spammy and really poor quality content from SERPs. It wants your high quality content to rank right on top. This is only possible if it incentivizes quality content writing. Google Authorship is a step in that direction. It’s telling authors that the identity of the author can no longer remain hidden. With the authorship program you will get the benefit of higher CTRs but this also means you need to come up with original content that meets all the content quality guidelines. You can no longer afford to spin content or stuff it with keywords and still get away without a dent to your reputation.

It Rewards Quality Content

And finally, Google’s made it very clear, that it will reward those authors and sites who come up with or host high quality content. Everybody else needs to take a hike. If you have signed up for Google Authorship, you will have to write quality content and don’t worry, you will be rewarded for your efforts. Of course, you must consistently come up with quality content. The fact that you come up with quality content all the time, will improve your reputation and also your authority in the niche. There will be more people willing to link to your content and these will be the authority figures in the niche. Google is giving more SEO weightage to links from authority sites and Google Authorship will help you do just that.

The Wrap

The truth is that until and unless you don’t get started on using Google Authorship, you won’t really understand the immense benefits that it has on offer. The key though, lies in making sure that you focus on writing useful content that people will love going through. Remember, your name and a picture as a verified author of the content piece, is going to be placed right alongside it. So, you need to be very careful about how you go about writing content. After all, your reputation is at stake. Image Source: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2013/10466/google-authorship-and-author-rank-big-for-seo-in-2013-and-beyond

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