Get to Know Google Authorship for Social Media
Whether it's Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or even 50 Shades of Grey (hey, I'm not judging), we've all had the experience of discovering a great new author and wanting to share their books with others.
Now everyone searching and sharing on the web can have the experience of discovering amazing new authors – or even being that awesome new author being discovered.
Making it possible is Google's recent authorship campaign, designed to link content on the web with the person who wrote it and make it easier to determine who owns the writing. It's an initiative anyone working in social media needs to know about.
You may have come across authorship in action after searching Google for a particular topic.
Posts with authorship enacted get special attention in Google results – including a small photo, some social proof (in the form of how many Google Plus circles they're in) and a link to more of their writing.
For anyone who creates content online, there are many other pluses to signing up for authorship:
More eyes on your content: Seeing that friendly photo on a results page is appealing to searchers. Posts with authorship enacted have been linked to a higher click-through rate forthat result – anywhere from 30% to 150% higher.
Credibility and trust: A big part of social media is letting people know who you as a person or a brand. Once you've established that you're smart, useful, interesting or fun, you begin building a relationship with your fans and followers.
That same principle is in effect here. Authorship is a chance for bloggers to show that they know their stuff and build credibility as a trusted source.
Three more chances to win a fan: Discovered just last week is a brand new benefit to Google authorship. If you click on a post by an author, read the whole thing and then return back to your search results page, Google wants to give you more chances to connect with the author whose work you enjoyed. That's why the search engine will often add three new links tosimilar posts by the same author when you look again.
Ready to get started with Google authorship? If you only work with one blog, authorship is easy to set up using Google's steps. If you blog in multiple spots, here are a few tips:
(1) Get on Google Plus: If you never set up a profile, now's the time. If you haven't been there in a while, go back. Make sure the "About" section is fully filled out, and that you have a nice, big photo uploaded.
(2) Add your blogs: Pay special attention to the "Contributor To" section in your Google Plus profile. Any blog you regularly write for or have ever written for needs to go here.
(3) Ask about authorship: Make sure to discuss authorship with any blog you plan to write for. Do they implement it or have plans to? Are they OK with you adding authorship yourself?
(4) Put your G+ profile in anything you write: If the blogs you write for don't implement authorship, you can do so yourself.
(5) Find your unique Google Plus ID in the URL of your page.
Then add it into a byline or bio like so:
- (6) Get to know the Google testing tool: To make sure you've added authorship correctly, run your URLs through this tool. Authorship gives you a leg up, but it's not a magic bullet. You still have to write useful, interesting, shareable content, and then use social media to build the relationships that will propel your authorship even further. Give +1s to great stuff you find. Comment on posts that make you think, and share content you love.
- Adding to the conversation helps to grow your circle, and your potential author fan club. Sharing great blog posts, insights and news is at the core of what social media is all about. Google authorship lets us know each other a little bit better as we do so. And what's more social than that?
- Courtney Seiter is the Community Manager at Raven Tools.