While Google’s Authorship markup has been available to content creators since June 2011, adoption rates remain low. While it’s challenging to develop an accurate gauge of engagement on Google+, studies indicate that user engagement with the platform is weak, especially compared with social media giants Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Search experts have long speculated that Google authorship will become an increasingly vital component of SEO. In a recent interview, Google’s Matt Cutts stated:
“Reputation will matter more and more as we move forward. Over time, [Google] will be caring more about identity and social.”
Google Authorship hasrecently become much easier to use, and it’s abundantly clear that establishing yourself as a content creator in the eyes of the world’s leading search engine will only matter more in the future.
Here are 8 ways it will benefit your brand today:
1. Authorship Creates Trust
While the ROI of content marketing has risen 300% over the past three years, behavioral psychologists have found that seeing a human face has a powerful impact on human behavior. Including images of real people in marketing can “boost trust” and improve first impressions of your brand. First impressions matter on Search Engines Results Pages (SERPs), and Google authorship markup could amplify reception of your brand before a prospect even clicks through to your website.
2. Google Authorship Improves Your SEO
SEO is constantly changing. With Google regularly updating its algorithm to return the best search results, you can bet the farm that Authorship will affect your website’s SEO and how well your content ranks in search results.
There are many ways Google Authorship impacts SEO, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that content by verified authors will appear higher in search than content produced anonymously, and there’s a chance this factor will matter more in the future.
As Google’s current executive chairman Eric Schmidt said:
“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. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
3. Google Authorship Sends You More Traffic
Case studies have found that implementing authorship markup can lead to 150% increases in traffic.
There are several ways the addition of this photo can change traffic, and increase exposure:
- Author Byline: Clicking on “By Helen Nesterenko” takes you to her Google+ profile
- More By link: Clicking on “More by Helen Nesterenko” shows you a mini SERP with all pf her content
- Circles: Your content appears higher in search results for people who have added you to their circles
- Google +1s: Your content appears higher in search results for people who have +1′d your content.
4. Authorship Establishes Thought Leadership
Prior to the implementation of Google authorship, a consumer’s options for seeking more content written by a specific writer were limited. They could use search modifiers, or wade through pages of irrelevant search results. Due to the fact that an author’s body of content is easily available with a single click, you can become a go-to research for consumers seeking product or service solutions in your niche.
5. Google Authorship Generates Higher Click-through Rates
The way Authorship markup appears in search results is very similar to rich snippets, an industry term for anything that appears in search other than a standard title and description, including images, videos, ratings, or +1s.
Rich snippets have been proven to drastically increase click-through rates, due to the fact that the human eye is naturally drawn towards the “added value” of the visual content next to the text descriptions. If you’ve been struggling to get more traffic to your website or blog, implementing Authorship could make a huge difference.
6. Google Authorship Links Together All Your Content From Around the Web
Your website and blog aren’t the only places you publish new content. One of the best things about Author Rank is that incorporates on all your content around the web, no matter where you published. If your content marketing strategy includes guest posts, or news articles, including a link to the real author text associated with your Google+ can curate your work and further improve your reputation in the eyes of Google.
7. Google AuthorRank Probably Won’t Hurt You
As Google could be moving towards implementing AuthorRank, established business blogs with contributors who have registered for Google Authorship markup won’t be harmed in the process. Content creators who could suffer in an era where authorship is the norm include the following:
- Branded Content Published Without a Listed Author
- Ghostwriters Without an Established Personal Brand
- Plagiarizers and Content Scrapers
While there’s no proof that AuthorRank lies in the immediate future, it’s essential to consider that Google is already considering social signals and other similar factors in SEO. If you’re publishing unique, high-quality content, you have little to fear in an era where authorship is a critical component in how content appears in SERPs. However, as Guy Kawasaki has stated, it’s essential to “get started yesterday.”
8. Google Authorship is Positive Personal Branding
As writers work to establish personal brands and credibility in their niche, Authorship can lend an air of credibility that pages of simple search results can’t. Working to create high-quality content and expand your presence on the network will indicate to future employers and clients that you mean serious business. Google Authorship is really much more than a photo in search results, it’s a way to indicate to anyone searching for your name or brand that you’re savvy, and definitely mean business.
Do you use Google and Authorship markup?
We’d love to hear how your use Authorship. Please share your experiences and ideas in the comments below!