What is Google Plus Authorship & Why You Should Use It?

Benefits Of Google Authorship

About 3 years ago, Google began to implement “Authorship” mark up to connect writers with their articles across the web.  In other words bloggers with Google Plus accounts can now have their photos and name displayed in the search results and builds their reputation as a web author.

Here is an example of one of my articles displayed nicely in Google’s search results along with my full name and Google Plus photo. Yes, I know I need to get a better photo : )

Travis Shak Authorship Capture

How Does This Benefit You and Your Website?

Increased Visibility in Search Results

When people do a search on Google, they quickly scan the results looking for something to click on. Most of the time they end up clicking the first result and maybe the second and third result eventually, but studies by marketing expert Justin Briggs and Moz have shown that results that are using the authorship markup will see increased interest by users as a result of having their picture displayed in the results

Increase In Click Through Rates (CTR)

The first benefit of implementing Google authorship is that it increases the likelihood of a visitor clicking on your links in the search results.  When someone does a search and sees a photo of you, the author, they are much likely more to click on the link and visit your site.  You can say it’s sort of like using bait to reel in the visitor to your site.  The majority of marketing experts and studies agree with these findings.

Authorship Increases Trust in Your Brand

Would you be interested in reading a book with no author? I know I wouldn’t be interested.  Having your name and photo displayed directly in the search results gives your website and article credibility and shows visitors you believe in your brand.  It allows visitors to see a face behind the article, an author who is willing to put their name and face throughout the web.  Most authors will not put themselves out there unless they are proud of their work.  Have you ever read an article written by an anonymous source and questioned its credibility? Of course you have, most rational people will be skeptical of any type of article where there is no author to be accountable.

Helps to Fight Off Plagiarism

When you created a well written article and spend hours of your time on research, you want to make sure you get proper credit for the article.  Unfortunately in the wild west of the internet, it is very easy for other bloggers and spammers to copy and paste your hard work into their blogs.

Fortunately, the authorship markup was intended to help mitigate plagiarism across the web. Implementing Google authorship helps Google determine the original source of the article. For example if you wrote an article back in 2012 on a particular topic, Google will take note and see that you are the original composer of the content.  However if someone plagiarizes your content on their own blog, google will understand that the content was written by you, giving the plagiarizer’s pages less weight and possibly event penalizing the abuser.

How Do I Implement the Google authorship Into My Website?

Adding the authorship to your website is fairly simple assuming you have access to your site’s WordPress user profile or by using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. I will go into greater detail in a future post but in the meantime here are a few great guides on how to implement the code.

Link to your Google+ profile using rel=”author”

Google Authorship Setup Guide By Tree House

Questions? Comments?