Everything you need to know about Google Authorship

Google Authorship is one of the newest ways to differentiate yourself online and link yourself to your content, making you more likely to appear in searches and establish yourself as an authority.  It allows writers to claim their content and allows the search engines to group authors’ content together so it’s easier to find.

Hugh Duffy of Accountingweb gives some benefits of Google Authorship and a basic description of how Google Authorship works.

Basically, it direct links your Googe+ account to your content.  The stronger your Google+ accounts, the stronger your brand becomes.  Once this is done, your content becomes more prominent in search engines, website traffic increases as your site begins to stand out and your brands credibility sky rockets.

It takes five simple steps to set up Google Authorship:

  1. Join Google+.
  2. Set up your Google+ profile and make sure you have a clear, recognizable photo.
  3. Make sure your name shows on every page of content you create.
  4. Make sure your name on your content matches your Google+ name.
  5. Present your email address on the same domain your content appears on.  This verifies that you’re publishing on your own website.
The term “Author rank” started to surface in early February this year.  According to AJ Kohn, AuthorRank is:

“The identity of individual agents responsible for content that can be used to influence search ratings.  Assuming that a given agent has a high reputation score, representing an established reputation of authoring valuable content, then additional content authored and signed by that agent will be promoted relative to unsigned content or content from less reputable agents in search results.”

This “agent” is you, and Kohn is basically saying that the better your reputation is and the higher quality the content is, the higher you’ll appear in search rankings (especially above random posts that aren’t signed or accredited for).

What is Google Looking For?

Their are distinct key factors that Google will use to determine your AuthorRank.

  • The average PageRank of an author’s content
  • Average +1s and Googe+ shares of an author’s content (this doesn’t include shared, third-party content)
  • Number of Google+ circles you’re in
  • Mutual connections with high-rank Authors
  • Amount and level of authority of sites an author’s content is published on
  • The Google+ engagement level of an author
  • Outside authority indicators (e.g., the presence of a Wikipedia page)
  • Youtube subscribers and the engagement on authored videos
  • Any number of importance/authority metrics on social media sites that Google trusts (Twitter, Linkedin, SlideShare, etc.)
  • Real world authority indicators (e.g., Google Books or Google Scholar)
  • See the “big picture”.

Along with practicing a healthy, Google+ lifestyle, you need to make sure that your “rich snippet” (e.g., your headshot) is tagged to your content.  It makes your work more prominent and credible.  Having one is an absolute must.

Google provides basic instructions to do this.  Kissmetrics does a good job putting it into lamens terms.  Here are the steps.
  1. Verify your email address on Google+.  We’ve already discussed this but it’s always good to reiterate:  Make sure your email address has the same domain as the domain of your blog.
  2. Link from your Google+ profile to your content.  On the right side of the “About” page of your Google+ profile there is a tab titled “Contributor to”.  This is where you link your content with your blog.
  3. Link your content to your Google+ profile.  From the byline or author box at the bottom of the post, you can link your profile by adding “rel=author” in the link.  If you’re using WordPress, plugins exist that will automatically add this markup, such as Author Box Reloaded
Google also has a handy rich snippet testing tool that will allow users to test their links and see what they’ll appear like in search engine results.