There have been a lot of changes in search the last couple years.
A recent change ad one that’s been pretty major is the issue of (not provided). That one has the SEO world going crazy. It’s frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world.
Another big change that’s been a benefit to SEOs is Google Authorship.
Authorship is something Google has done to showcase more information about the authors of content. It’s been noticeable in the blogging and online publishing world. If you’ve done a few Google searches in the last year you’ve probably seen examples like this:
You see the image next to the result. You also see my name listed as the author and the number of circles I’m in on Google+. Some feel that authorship markup was Google’s way to increase the use of Google+.
That’s probably a nice side benefit of authorship. I think what Google is truly trying to do is to make the content on the web more trustworthy by putting a face on the content.
It makes sense that people would want to get more information about the content they consume online. Authorship provides more transparency with content and I don’t think it’s going to change in the future.
Authorship For Individuals And Brands
Google provides a little insight into the effect markup has on search results and traffic. They are showing me that when my face appears next to a search result that I’m getting more traffic from those searches. It seems that authorship will increase your traffic because people are either more trusting of results with an author or are simply attract to the good looking pictures. (wink)
So the first benefit of authorship is an increase in traffic. It’s something that can improve your SEO.
As Google has done over the years, they’re always looking for ways to make the results more relevant and useful for searchers. Authorship is a big step toward making the results better.
Searchers are looking for information like this so it makes sense that working on your authorship right now will pay dividends in the future.
How can you do that?
Here are some suggestions.
1. Determine The Authors For Your Company
It’s unclear right now if a brand will be able to get markup. I think it’s something that could happen, but right now Google and users seem more interested in actual people more than faceless brands.
I don’t know if that will always be the case, but it’s a good bet that people will continue to look for people (not mascots).
This means that you have to determine the who the authors will be in your company. You’re looking for real people. These will be the faces of your company as you build their online profile and credibility as sources of information.
2. Setup The Correct Coding
There is some coding that goes into setting up authorship. You have to add some code to the articles on your website and you also have to add an email address to the corresponding Google+ profile.
Here is one of Google’s official posts on authorship for information on how to do this.
3. Create Fresh Content
The next step is to start creating fresh content.
Freshness was one of the updates from Google in the last few years. They’ve been showing more inclination to show fresh updates over old updates. This means that if you want to continue ranking for certain and in some cases most terms you’re going to have to continue to publish content online.
The reason behind this is that people seem to want the most up-to-date information. Some content will be timeless, but in other cases the newer information is better and that’s what people want.
In our experience at GBW, blogging is a great strategy for providing fresh content. We find success with even monthly blog posts. After a year you have 12 pieces of content that will work to build your authorship profile and traffic for your website.
4. Build Your Google+ Following
You can see in the screenshot image above that the number of circles you’re in is listed. It may not seem like a hugely important thing, but people do pay attention to this number.
Search is one of the reasons Google+ is important. When Google starts showing the number of circles you’re in on Google+ it’s going to have an effect on whether people click on your search results or not.
For your authors you’re going to need to build their Google+ profiles.
5. Ghost Blogging
Since we’re a ghost blogging company we get asked about authorship often. Our answer is that you can do it two ways.
The first is to hire a ghost blogger to represent your company. They would be the public writer on your blog and you can benefit from their authorship profile and status.
The second way to do it is to have authors within your company and have ghost writers work to build their profile. In most cases we find that these authors have great knowledge to share, but either don’t have the time or skills to write regular posts. So we often take what they know and turn it into blog posts to build their authorship.
Google Authorship is in its early stages, but investing now will pay dividends in the coming years in terms of traffic and sales.