Let’s say you are looking for new music around the Internet, and you come across a writer that has the exact same music preference as you do. But, unfortunately this author doesn’t write from a central website, they guest blog all over the web. With Google Authorship, you will be able search their name + music, and Google will return all articles on that subject written by them. Or you can click on the link that says, “more by [Author’s Name]”, and see a list of their articles. This, of course, is integrated with the semi-successful social media platform “Google Plus”. Whether you are a fan of Google Plus or not, guess what, it isn’t going anywhere. In my opinion it will have more longevity than other social networks. If we live to see the fall of facebook, Google Plus will be standing over the blue giant’s carcass (smiling most likely).

If anything else, it is pretty cool to see your own picture come up in someone else’s Google search results. I strongly believe that the importance of authorship in the ranking algorithm is going one direction, UP. The reason is that Google now has a way to track feedback and opinion on a per writer basis, and present popular or trending authors in search results. It can even return your friend’s or co-worker’s articles. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get started.

So, how do you set it up?

I am glad you asked. There are 2 ways to set up Google authorship for your sites and articles. I was having mixed results until I did both, so I’d suggest you do the same.

1. Have your Webmaster create an email address for you, at the domain that you post on. (IE if you post on catpictures.com, you will want YourName@catpictures.com)
2. Go to: http://plus.google.com/authorship and enter that email address. You will be sent a verification email. Remember to click the link in the email.
3. Remember to match your Google plus profile name, with the way that your name is displayed on your site(s).
4. Edit your profile on your website, and add the following link to the end of your bio: <a href=”[Your Profile URL]?
rel=author”>Google</a>
(Remember to replace [Your Profile URL] with the link to your Google plus profile)
5. Edit your Google plus profile. Go down to the section that says “contributor to” and add all of the websites you have written for.
6. Save your profile, and you are done.

You will also want to make sure that Google considers your profile fully set up on Google plus (they will let you know if they don’t). Once you have completed all the above steps to set up your authorship, go here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets to make sure that it is working.

Don’t be alarmed if your face isn’t immediately plastered all over a number of search terms on day one. Just like SEO, these things will take some time. Google will also only present your author information to users who it thinks would benefit from the info. Google will also be looking for the number of shares, and “plus”es that are tied to articles that you have written. So, please click that plus one next to this article if you have enjoyed it.

After more research I plan to circle back on how to take full advantage of these features, and how to get the most out of Google plus and authorship in general. If you have any tips or tricks feel free to include them in the comments section below.

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