Google authorship has done a lot to help publishers who produce quality content. There are many advantages that you get as a Google author over regular publishers. One noticeable feature is being able to get your picture placed next to your search engine listing. This is called the Google Authorship markup, and it gives you credibility, helps your listing stand out, and attracts more clicks.
In some cases, adding the Google authorship markup resulted in more than double increase in the number of clicks. This gives you a serious advantage over your competition, making implementing it a no-brainer. So how do you set up this feature? All you have to do is follow a few basic instructions.
Instructions on Setting Up Google Authorship Markup
First, set up a Google+ profile if you haven’t done so already. When setting up your account, you want the domain of the email to be the same as the domain of the site you’re creating content for. This will help Google connect your Google+ account to that domain.
Next, you want to manually connect your Google+ account to your content. On your Google+ account, go to the lower right side of the About page. You will see a small column called Links which lists your YouTube account, other profiles and contributor to information. This is where you have to add the sites or blogs your Google+ account is contributing content to.
Alternatively, you can verify the email address for the site you’re publishing for. To do this, go to this page and enter the email to have the confirmation email sent to that address. Once that is done, you can verify the authorship status which will connect the Google+ account and the domain it will be contributing for.
You then want to make sure you have a good headshot ready for your profile picture. Try using a picture that is in color, makes you look friendly, and highlights you in a good light. There have been tests that showed that A/B split testing profile pictures can actually improve clickthroughs, so you may want to try experimenting with different photos later. You can upload the picture in the Photos tab of your Google+ account.
Finally, you want to link to your Google+ account by linking to it at the bottom of each post. Simply link to the Google+ profile in HTML code and add “rel=author” tag at the link. For example, the HTML code would be “a href=https://plus.google.com/12321112?rel=author”. Many people use this in the author bio section and use text such as “you can find me in Google+ and Twitter” with the Google+ text hyperlinked with the Google+ account.
Once you’ve set everything up, the Google authorship markup should appear below the search engine listing title and to the left side of the listing description. This will now help your content pages listed in the search engines attract more attention while also showing users that there is a real person behind the content. This adds a lot of credibility, trust and authority to your content.
As a side note, you even take advantage of authorship when contributing to another blog. All you have to do is link to your Google+ account with the rel=author tag as you normally would. Another thing that shouldn’t be overlooked is the fact that there can be multiple authors for one domain. This can be used to encourage employees to submit content for the domain, giving the domain an SEO advantage.
Verify Your Google Authorship Markup
If you want to figure out if you’ve set Google authorship markup correctly, simply use Google’s structured data testing tool. Visit this page and enter the URL of the Google+ account that you’ve set up authorship for. This tool will preview how your listing will appear in the Google search engine. If you see your Google authorship markup placed next to your listing, it should be set up correctly.
While the whole process setting up Google authorship markup a little annoying to deal with, it is well worth the effort of setting everything up. If you’re skeptical, try comparing the traffic from one of your listings before authorship markup and after authorship markup. Many publishers report that the difference in traffic is night and day. You should see a big difference in the results as well.