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Google+ Authorship: How to Get Your Picture on Search Results

Have you ever Google searched something and found results that had someone’s photo next to the link? This person was designated by Google as an “expert in their field”, simply because they learned how to use Google+ authorship code to help search engines find their blog posts and content. We’re all sick of About.com, Wikipedia, AskJeeves and these monster content sites taking over search results. I mean how can About.com suddenly be the expert on a huge range of topics from career advice to gardening? Well Google agreed that the domination of search results from these sites was not beneficial for our constant need for information. So they re-programmed their algorithms to seek out thought leaders in their expert industries.

You can’t have a marketing conversation these days without the terms social media and SEO popping up. But if those marketing individuals aren’t sharing with you the value of using Google+ Authorship to leverage your online presence, it’s questionable how much they understand the connection between your content marketing efforts, social media and search results.

Just Ask Yourself: Which One of These Would You Click On?

Google+ Authorship: How to Get Your Picture on Search Results image Screen Shot 2014 05 07 at 7 12 57 PM4

Who Uses Google+ Authorship?

Anyone who wants to brand themselves or their companies as leaders in their industry are prime candidates for Google+ Authorship. One requirement is that you should be prepared to generate quality content, hopefully using my tips and tools, so that the topics you are writing are relevant and search-worthy. The people who take that extra two minute step to attach Google Authorship code to their blogs, are the brilliant ones who will get two to three times more blog traffic. Some of the brands who can best take advantage of the authorship code are:

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  • Service Professionals such as Lawyers blogging on best Employment Law advice (full disclosure, this guy is one of our favorite clients). Or a Background Screening company blogging on legislation changes in youth coach screening practices (also a VIP client). Recruiters giving away free hiring advice for a taste of their expertise. Doctors blogging about healthy lifestyle tips. These are the people who are ruling the online results on news in their industry. They are owning them without paying for the ads, which is by far one of the best organic lead generation tools on the internet these days.
  • Lifestyle and Consumer Brands have the opportunity to engage their audiences beyond the initial interaction with their product, location or service. They’ve learned what their audience is interested in and searching, and help them find more information through their blogging. Fashion, food, real estate and any brand that plays a role in someone’s life, can easily take advantage of Google+ Authorship.
  • Personal Brand development relies on looking like a thought leader. What better way to get people to recognize your name and face, than to have it popping up on search results relevant to your expertise?
  • Editorial Content is the absolute best place for a direct ROI on Google+ Authorship. If your website is already spending 8+ hours a day on maintaining quality content, then it’s a no-brainer to include the technology that will bring you readers.

Google+ Authorship: How to Get Your Picture on Search Results image google  authorship pictureresults14 600x573

How Does It Work?

Having a Google+ account is the first mandatory step in starting Google+ Authorship. It’s the primary way that Google can verify you are a real human being, because it’s tied to a Gmail account and linked to all of your beautiful colleagues, friends and family. The remaining steps will require some trial and error, but this guy explains it best.

So many people I talk to say they’ve started this process and haven’t finished. That’s fine by me because quite frankly the less people using this trick, the better for me and my clients. But hey, I’m not selfish – I’m sharing the information with you! Let us know your experiences with Google+ and Authorship code.

Comments on this Article: 4

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  1. Sandra says:

    “I mean how can About.com suddenly be the expert on a huge range of topics from career advice to gardening?”

    Because About.com has well-qualified experts who each concentrate on one topic area. Nearly 1,000 of them. And it’s not sudden — they’ve been providing expert quality for over 15 years.

    • Antoinette Marie Johnson says:

      While About.com is an excellent source for information, Google wants to help prevent them dominating all searches. Users of search engines are getting frustrated at About.com answering all of their searched questions, so in order to differentiate themselves, Google’s algorithm is focusing on the individual experts rather than the monster-sized sites with loads of content for any subject.

  2. Barry Davidson says:

    But is it true that Google may not show your authorship, even if it is set up as described? There seems to be another level of approval that relates to the quality or quantity of posts?

  3. Antoinette Marie Johnson says:

    My research has not shown this. Every time we have investigated an authorship is not showing, we run a trouble shoot and find it was one of these 5 things that needed fixed – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1306778?hl=en

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