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Street cred still counts, even in the day of the information superhighway. With cyberspace flooded with content, search engines have to find a way to distinguish the spam from the good stuff. Google authorship might still be fairly new, but it’s the search giant’s way of doing just that. A feature of Google +, authorship offers you a way to build credibility on the web, which will benefit you both personally and in terms of your business.
Google authorship works by “pulling together” everything you publish online under one profile—yours. In the same way that a website links to a few specific content pages from all over the site, establishing authorship indexes your work and starts to build a ranking on Google for you.
It links everything posted under your name to the Google+ profile associated with your email address. If you have multiple email addresses, you can add them to your profile to ensure nothing you post is left out of the pool.
Within a short time, you’ll start to see your Google+ profile picture appearing alongside your posts in search results, highlighting you as a legitimate author. The results also show the number of circles you’re in on G+, which indicates the number of followers and connections you have and further establishes your credibility.
Claiming your Google authorship is important for three major reasons:
#1: It helps you build a reputation
If you’re blogging regularly—whether for business or pleasure—and posting on social media, it’s important for you to build a reputation in your field or industry. In these days of rampant plagiarism, it’s not easy to distinguish between the real McCoy and the junk that permeates the Internet.
An established Google authorship indicates that you are the genuine article—not only to your readers, but to the Google algorithms, too.
#2: It protects ownership of your content
Google penalizes sites that post duplicate content. Sure, we know you’d never do a thing like that, but what about other, less reputable sites? If someone else copies your content, how would the algorithm know which site carries the original content and which carries the copy? You could find your site slipping in rankings because another has copied your information.
Especially if the second site has bigger traffic than yours, Google might think that it contains the original content and penalize you! Google authorship establishes your ownership over the material and gives you protection against unlawful use of your content by others.
#3: Ranking is becoming more important
It’s early days as yet for Google authorship, but the search giant’s Matt Cuts recently announced plans to develop its functionality further as the company fights to reduce spam and continually improve its search results.
It’s already possible for Google to recognize experts in particular fields, and in the not-too-distant future you could find yourself unable to generate traffic through search unless you have an author rank on a certain level.
It’s a relatively painless process to set up your authorship. You’ll have to start by creating a Google+ profile, if you don’t have one yet. Keep in mind that the profile will become your author credentials, so leave the party pics on Facebook and use a professional-looking headshot instead.
Once you’ve set up your profile, go to http://plus.google.com/authorship and insert the email addresses you use for publishing content. The system will send a verification email to each address and once you click on the link to confirm it, you’re done.
To make sure nothing slips through the cracks, each time you publish fresh content make sure you have the Author info enabled on your post. Link your name in the author bio section to your Google Plus profile add and add “?rel=author” at the end of the URL. This will help Google to connect the dots and make sure you establish authorship of each piece as you post it. You can always check against this with Google’s structured data testing tool.
If you have multiple authors writing for your site, then each of them should set up their own profiles to claim authorship, including information about their employment or association with your company in their bios.
Google authorship is the professorship of the future. Here at SEOPressor we expect it to become the passport to online recognition and the primary form of industry acknowledgement of a contributor’s status. The longer you wait to set yours up, the later you’ll be in arriving at the party. If you’re creating content, you need to claim authorship without delay.
Updated: 17 December 2017