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Google Authorship and How to Do It

AuthorshipFI

Understanding Authorship

Authorship relates to the attachment of content to an individual author on the Internet. It allows individuals who provide content across a multitude of websites to maintain credit for their work, and build authority.

How Does It Work?

A reciprocal, verified link between the content and the author’s Google+ page allows Google to establish the link and use it to extract Author information to display in SERPs.

Why is it important?

The term Author Rank has been coined largely by the SEO community, and is not something that has come direct from Google itself. It relates to the idea that content with associated, verified authorship will get a ranking boost. While not officially confirmed nor denied by Google, it certainly has an impact on CTR as the SERPs pull in a thumbnail of the attached author’s profile picture.
The future of Authorship is almost certain to have an effect on rankings as it essentially epitomises what Google is looking for in content; i.e. if theres a human person attached to content, it suggests that content is unique, relevant, and engaging. Coupled with the relationship with social signals, allowing the opportunity to further establish the relevance and popularity of the content; authorship is not something to scoff at.

For more information about Author Rank and Authorship please have a read of this article on Search Engine Land.

How do I Implement it?

It is a relatively simple process, and there are two ways to go about establishing verified authorship over your content. But the first step is to have a Google+ profile. This is Google’s start point for understanding you as an author, and the central hub back to which all your content is linked. You also need to make sure your profile picture is a recognisable headshot, as this is the part that Google will pull into the SERPs.

So if you haven’t set up a Google+ profile yet, get on it! It’s a simple process, and is actually a great network, if you’re willing to give it a chance.
Now the easy way, which is advisable if you don’t have access to the html of the content you are providing, however you need an email address with the domain of the site your content is placed on.

  1. Ensure that the byline of your content matches the name of your Google+ page.
  2. Then simply visit Google’s Authorship page and submit your email (the one with the same domain).
  3. You’re done.

The second method involves the editing of the html of your posts, but is a failsafe method that doesn’t require you to have an email address registered to the domain.

  1. Place a link on the page with the following tag:
    <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

    The content contained in the anchor tags is irrelavent, it can be text, or an image. Replace the [profile url] with your Google+ profile URL, such as

    http://plus.google.com/4982049502
  2. Edit the Contributor To section of your Google+ profile to contain the website that your content appears on.
  3. You’re done.

You can test that Google is pulling the information by using the Structured Data Testing Tool.

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