The last time you searched Google for something, did you wonder why certain results have a thumbnail-sized picture of the content’s author? Here’s how you can boost your search engine rankings with the Google authorship program.Through Google Authorship, Google allows you to associate the content you’ve published with your Google+ profile, pulling your profile image and other information into the search engine results for the content you author.
Why Use Google Authorship?
Having authorship gives your Google listings an increased sense of credibility, professionalism and transparency. Take a look at this screenshot, picturing a search on effective lead generation:
Which results jump out at you? Probably the two with the author images, right? In addition, listings with author images and information attached will likely benefit from a perception of credibility and appease any suspicions of spammy content.
Because we are naturally drawn to the listing with the photos, Authorship could give your content a much better fighting chance against other results that might organically rank higher. This is particularly noteworthy considering not many users have taken the opportunity to apply for Authorship.
How to Apply for Google+ Authorship
Convinced it’s worth taking a few minutes out of your day to apply for Authorship? Here’s how to do it:
- Make sure your Google+ profile page has a profile photo that is a recognizable headshot.
- Make sure you have an email address (for example, [email protected]) on the same domain as your content (domain.com). If you don’t have an email address on the same domain, Google has an alternative method for linking your content to your Google+ profile. Learn how here.
- In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, add that email address so it’s easier for Google to associate your Google+ account with your domain.
- In addition, make sure each article you publish on that domain has a clear byline identifying you as the author (for example, “By John Doe” or “Author: John Doe”).
- Furthermore, make sure that byline name matches the name on your Google+ profile.
- Visit Google’s Authorship page, and submit your email address to Google. Regardless of how many articles you publish on this domain, you’ll only need to go through this process once.
- In the “About” section of your Google+ profile, make sure the profile discovery box, “Help others discover my profile in search” is checked.
Once Google approves your Authorship request, your Google+ profile will update with the domain on which you’re a content contributor in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile (as pictured below).
You may also receive an email confirmation from Google once your request for Authorship has been approved. It took about six days for Google to confirm my Authorship request.
When Google grants your Authorship request, you’ll start noticing that the search engine listings for content you’ve authored will start to be accompanied by your Google+ profile image, as in the example below:
Furthermore, you’ll notice that the “by [author name]” link called out above in red sends people to your Google+ profile page.
While this post explains the simplest way of applying for Authorship, there are other routes you can take. In fact, the folks over at Search Engine Land were kind enough to publish a comprehensive and technical article about those other options here.