In the past, it was dubbed a “Ghost Town,” so much, in fact, that its own employees had allegedly been inactive on the social media site. Most were simply too enthralled with Facebook, Twitter, and lately Instagram and Pinterest, too.
If everyday users didn’t have the time or use for Google+, then why in the world would business owners give a hoot, either? Fair enough. But as Google’s algorithm continuously evolved, it wasn’t going to be long before Google+ played a role in search results. Content associated with a verified account would soon affect your place in search ranking.
Now, there’s no telling if it’s already begun to play a role in organic search, but it certainly will–most likely in the very near future.
“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results,” Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt wrote in his new book, ‘The New Digital Age,’ according to the Wall Street Journal. The book is slated for release this April.
“The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
The above excerpt is clear indication that all businesses with a blog must integrate Google+ into their content marketing strategy. For quite some time, authorship information has shown up on search engine results pages.
The rich snippet image enhances credibility and the likelihood that someone clicks on your link. It’s still unclear as to how Google picks and chooses which results are accompanied with the image, but one of the main reasons behind Google authorship is to provide more authoritative results.
Setting up a Google+ account is easy, while adding authorship is a bit more complex. Now’s the time to take the necessary steps to verify your account, link to your content, and ensure your content is reaping the benefits on SERPs.
How to set up Google authorship
There are two ways to link your Google+ profile to your content. For instance, le’s say you have a company blog that you contribute to (or one that a content marketing service writes for on your behalf).
The easiest method to link your content to your authorship (Google+) page is by verifying your email. You must have a Google account first, but you do not need a Gmail account. The email must, however, be associated with the website or blog you contribute to.
Then sign up for Google+ and set up your profile with your professional information, including a profile picture. Once you’re signed in to your Google+ account, you can edit your profile by clicking on the profile button, then “edit profile.”
Toward the bottom of the page, you’ll see the following options:
For instance, I have my authorship tagged to my author page on the blog I contribute to. After verifying the website or blog that you contribute to, test it out using Google’s Structured Date Testing Tool. Here’s what it would look like if you’ve verified your authorship.
Another (yet a tad more technical) way of verifying your authorship is through links to your profile pages–both on your Google+ profile and blog page. First you need to copy and paste the blog URL into the contributor space provide on your Google+ profile.
Then you need to link your Google+ page to your blog (in this case, I will show a WordPress example). You can copy and paste the URL of your Google+ page into your author biography on WordPress, and from there, you need to add ?rel=author to the end of the link.
In the code before and after the URL, you’ll notice <a href=”[profile URL?rel=author]“>Google+</a>.
After going through the verification process, you must understand that it will take a bit of time for Google to recognize your authorship. But in the near future, you’ll notice your authorship appear next to your results, ultimately boosting your traffic and–conceivably, in the near future–improving your rankings.
If you have further questions about Google Authorship, feel free to leave a comment.
Get over yourself and get on Google+, by Brian Clark of CopyBlogger
The Google+ effect on breaking news, by Chris Winfield of Blue Glass