With Google+, marketers can merge personal branding with SEO to give their blog posts greater authority around target keyword phrases.
“Social is the new SEO.”
That’s the title of a great new post by Christopher S. Penn that does an excellent job of breaking down a growing trend in search engine optimization – it’s no longer just about what your content is; it’s also about who is creating it.
What this means is that Google, in its never-ending quest to provide higher quality search results, is now working to give authority to content creators in search based on their online reputations. In other words, the more credibility you have as an author, the better your chances are that Google will list your content higher in in its search results.
This is important for marketers because it places an even greater emphasis on the importance of thought leadership content and social sharing. A major concept of content marketing is to become a trusted source of information for your audience, but this direct link to SEO means that this strategy can potentially draw even more eyes to your blog or video marketing content.
Google is doing this through what’s been dubbed as its new AuthorRank algorithm. And while the specifics are not yet fully understood, Mike Arnesen has put together an excellent article over at SEOmoz on how content creators should prepare.
One thing I can tell you, however, is that Google+ will play a substantial role in how Google measures author credibility. I’ve written recently about why Google+ makes sense for video marketing, but there’s one thing I didn’t mention that marketers and content creators can do now to help improve their rank credibility: link your Google+ profile to the content you create through Google Authorship.
This is very simple to set up, and it can help marketers in a few different ways:
#1. Increased credibility in Google. By linking your content with your Google+ profile, Google will be able to make the connection between you and all the content you create. Again, as your reputation grows as a content creator, it could help your posts sustain higher positions in Google’s rankings. The more content you create, and the more that content is shared socially and linked back to, the stronger your Google authorship will – theoretically – grow.
#2. Better visibility in search results. Once your Google+ profile is linked to your published content, your author profile and headshot will start to appear when people find your content on Google (see example below). From a pure visibility standpoint, this will help your content stand out from other listings on the page, making it more likely that users will click through to view your post.
It also gets your “face” out there, which is great from a personal and company branding standpoint. After all, if more people recognize you, they’ll be more likely to view you as a trusted source of information and be encouraged to click on future posts associated with your picture. Finally, I should note that users will be able to see your profile in search results whether they are logged in to their Google accounts or not.
#3. Promotion of Google+ pages and additional content. As you can see in the image above, your author profile will also provide links to your actual Google+ page, making it easier for more people to add you to their circles (which can also potentially improve your rank authority). There’s also a “More by…” link, where Google compiles all the content associated with your Google+ profile. When users click this link, they will be taken to a results page comprised solely of content created by you.
No matter when Google’s AuthorRank algorithm starts to really take effect, this is one thing that every marketer and content creator can do to get a jump on boosting their credibility.