The Importance of “Authorship”
Using Google Authorship to Become Your Own Spokesperson
Your personal reputation online has become increasingly important for your business reputation and can be one of the most valuable ways to generate a loyal following. Google realized that these online relationships offered great insight into who and what consumers find value in, as well as which companies were the most trustworthy. This led to the creation of Google’s “Authorship,” an idea that people can take ownership of content they post online and build a following based on individual expertise. [Learn how to set up Google Authorship below.]
While keyword ranking or backlink building still offer a solid foundation for search engine optimization, your backlink strategy should really be about building relationships and customer loyalty. The fact stands that word-of-mouth and personal referrals are still your most valuable assets, and it is time to harness the power of online relationships and engage with current and potential customers who are already talking about you.
Authorship is a good way to put yourself in front of your customers, open a dialogue and control the conversation. It will add the personal touch of your profile picture appearing next to the post in search engine results. A name and a face can be very effective in establishing trustworthy relationships with your audience and every company, big or small, should capitalize on this.
The first page of search results is like having prime real-estate in the best neighborhood, but if your friend tells you about the best bakery three towns over, it may be worth the trip, right? Google Authorship allows you to be the friend, the referral and the top search result.
Here’s how to add Google Authorship to your online post:
- Create an Account:
- Sign in to Google with a gmail email account
- Create a personal Google Plus account (if you haven’t already)
- Connect Google Plus to websites you contribute to:
- In the “About” portion of your profile, there is a “Links” box
- Click “Edit” within the “Links” box and you will see a “Contributor to” section
- Under “Contributor to” click “Add Custom Link”
- Add the link to your website, blog or any other site that you may publish content on.
- Add a piece of code (rel=”author”) to your published content to connect you as the author:
- Your Google Plus profile URL will have a long string of numbers unique to your profile that looks something like this: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118203730257489076105/posts
- Copy that URL and paste it into the following piece of code that will be added to your post:
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/118203730257489076105/” />
- Using whatever platform you use to post content, bring up the code of the content you are publishing. This line code will be pasted at the top of your post. For example, if you are adding a new post in WordPress, switch it from “Visual” view to “HTML” view and past this code at the top of the post.
- Check out your post in search engines!
Google has realized the importance of social media as a way to measure the quality of a post or website. Google’s assessment of your brand now evaluates the quality of its employees, but every company needs to ask whether or not they should incorporate individual reputations into the brand.
Fun Fact: In the 1950s, a French film theorist coined the term “Auteur Theory” after the foreign film ban was lifted following WWII. Having the privilege and ability to see many films by the same director in one sitting allowed them to recognize and value the influence of a single person on their work. Would you watch a movie just because Alfred Hitchcock directed it? Or would you rather not see it because Tyler Perry did? Following a specific director may seem like second nature to us these days, but the unconscious decision to trust someone we have never met based on their past expertise is more deliberate than you might think–especially in the online world.