google-authorship-tag-mark-f-simmonsThere are many factors that lead to SEO success. Some are wide-reaching, while others are a bit more subtle. Ultimately, your goal is to be found in the search results and to to that, you need to stand out. Think of the Google authorship tag as yet another way to accomplish this goal. The authorship tag is very important if you want to get noticed amongst the thousands of other websites, blogs and multi-media results on Google. This post goes into a bit more detail of why it’s so important – yet so under-utilized.

Google Authorship, in its current form,  didn’t start out as Google Authorship. It first came on the scene in 2005 as Agent Rank. Google soon realized it needed more than just the Agent Rank platform to help important authors to stand out. Thus Google+ was born and then they developed the Google Authorship tag.

Why Is Authorship So Important?

When you conduct a Google search, you’ll often see a photo and a byline beside the search results. This is a result of that page’s creator using the Google Authorship tag. However, it doesn’t end there. The photo and byline are the obvious expressions of Authorship. These “rich snippets” of information show the author’s profile picture, which is taken from your google+ account.  It also shows the author’s full name and the number of Google+ circles he or she belongs to. This added bit of information adds context around teh result, letting you compare to other authors. There is a certainly a method to this. Since it is connected to your Google+ account, it creates verified connections between content on the web and the author of the content. This gives users the ability to learn what was created by actual human beings, and worth their time. It also serves Google’s goals of improving user experience and search results.

Back to SEO

How does this help with SEO? The Google authorship tag come into play when a user is searching for content in your area of expertise. Instead of just showing the website, it provides a richer context. The inclusion of a profile picture adds trust and credibility to the listing, ultimately, providing a stronger connection between user and search results. It is this credibility that  is likely to give you more click-throughs rather than someone who doesn’t use the tag. The better the click-through, the more trusted your site becomes in Google’s eyes.

Who Does This Impact

If you’re a blogger, writer or content producer of any kind, you need to use this. The more it’s used, the more likely it is that your content will get viewed. In the battle to build a brand, this is a key weapon. It also happens to be an easy one to implement. Chances are, your blog’s SEO plugin has this field already. If you’re not using CMS, it’s still an easy add on.

Care To Share?

Thank you for reading! As always, I invite you to add comments, thoughts and advice below. Do you have experience with Google Authorship you can share? Any tips for those out there not already using the tag?

 

Yours in success,

Mark