Over the past few years, Google has been doing everything it possibly can to promote Google+. After all, it is no easy feat to overtake the social media giant that is Facebook. In their effort to strip Facebook of its prom queen title, Google is giving plenty of encouragement to be active with them.
Since Google is investing so much effort in the process, it means we should sit up and take notice. Google never does anything altruistically; they always have a hidden motive. So what is their motive with Google+? And how can we take advantage of their eagerness for people to join their social network?
Introducing Google Authorship
Authorship is one of the primary methods Google is using to lure people in. After all, who doesn’t love a little fame?
What is Google Authorship? In a nutshell, it is a visual way to express ownership for an article or website in Google’s search engine results page (SERP). Here is an example.
Why Bother with Authorship?
Let’s take a look at four ways Google Authorship can enhance your SEO.
1. It improves click through rates.
The first – and most obvious – bonus of Google Authorship is the headshot that appears beside the link. Not only do you like the 15 minutes of fame that come with this, but readers also like to see the author’s images. It makes you (and therefore your link) seem more credible.
Also, your image helps your link stand out in the crowd. Surprisingly, very few people have embraced Google Authorship. Therefore, you have an edge over the competition. That edge translates into more clicks. Studies show readers are more likely to choose the link with Authorship than the link without – even if the Authorship link is a few spots lower.
Even if Google Authorship brings you just 10% more visitors, isn’t that 10% worth it?! You get a boost in traffic with less than 30 minutes of work.
2. It sends a powerful message to Google.
We all know Google has grown fond of their position at the top. And they are going to fight like hell to stay there. Therefore, they are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways to organize and analyze the massive amount of information on the web.
In the past, Google has relied heavily on PageRank and links as indicators of relevance. Now, those tools are buckling under the pressure. What is Google’s newest way to determine quality content?
Google uses their Authorship tool to help understand who is writing the web’s content and how trustworthy these people are. If they can get webmasters and writers to link their content to their Google+ account, Google can start to get a handle on where the quality stuff is coming from.
Once they know who the great writers and site owners are, they can use that information to better rank “quality” links.
3. It will help create an Author Rank.
Google is determined to keep their actions a mystery. So, we’ll never really know how true this is, but some experts say Google is in the midst of creating an Author (or Agent) Rank. If they aren’t already using this tool, they will be soon. After all, they wouldn’t put so much effort into creating Google Authorship if they had no plans to use it to their advantage.
By utilizing this Author Rank, Google will know your content – no matter where it is – deserves to rank well. Therefore, you can engage in a gust blogging campaign and get your contributions moved to the top of the list almost immediately – simply by taking advantage of your excellent Author Rank.
4. It allows you to take advantage of other people’s clout.
If Google is using an Author Rank and if they place a high value on credible writers, then you can easily boost your SEO by taking advantage of other people’s elevated Author Rank.
Solicit guest posts from the industry’s top authorities. Make Google Authorship one of the stipulations of posting their piece. By enticing the highest quality authors to your site, you can enhance your own SEO.
We all know SEO is a game and effective strategies are just an illusion. But we also know that some things do seem to work better than others. Google Authorship is one of those things that can make a big difference in an SEO campaign. And fortunately, it also happens to be one of the quickest and easiest steps you can take. Why not give it a try?