Jan 15, 2013

Google Authorship for Content Marketers

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

Back in the old days—y’know, like, a year ago—life for us content wonks was pretty simple. We posted our own content on our own blogs, did our social media thing, and if we wanted to know how we were doing, well, we just checked our own site traffic and social analytics.

Google Authorship for Content MarketersFast-forward to 2013 (feels like we did fast-forward to get here, doesn’t it? or am I just getting old?) and our tidy little universe is a bit more complex. These days we’re just as likely to:

  • Curate content for an online community
  • Guest-post on someone else’s blog
  • Contribute regularly to a superblog
  • Co-author an e-book
  • Collaborate on a webinar or online course

Meanwhile Google, in its never-ending quest to deliver quality content to the eager little hands of searchers, has added a new term to search-minded marketers’ lexicons: authorship.

When it does its ranking thing, Google has always looked at the content itself and the reputation of the site it’s posted on. Now it’s starting to look at the “who” behind the “what” and the “where.”

Simply put, Google authorship lets you get SEO credit for all the content you post around the Web, regardless of where it’s actually housed. Over time, your magical Google mojo (yes, that’s a technical term) will build up and contribute to better search results for everything you attach your name to.

google author shipAll Aboard the Google Author-ship!

“Sounds great, Parker. So, how do I get in on this deal?” I’m so glad you asked!

1. Get on Google+

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t already, is set up a profile on Google+. Yep, I’ve been telling you that the Googlegods are integrating their social platform more and more into their search function, and it’s only just begun.

So if you haven’t set up a profile on Google+ yet, do it now. You’ll have to eventually, and sooner is better than later.

2. Set Up Your “About the Author” Boilerplate

Put together a little paragraph about you that, along with your profile picture (you do have a good one, don’t you?), will go at the bottom of anything you write. I’ve got mine at the bottom of this post to show you what it might look like.

Since you’ll be posting on different platforms (for guest posts, etc.), it’s a good idea to copy the HTML code and paste it where you can easily find it when you need it. But not quite yet, because we have one thing to add to it.

OK, here’s where the real magic happens:

3. Add a “rel=author” Tag to Your “About the Author” Boilerplate

To do this, you’ll need your 21-digit Google+ ID number. Just go to your Google+ Profile page, highlight the big long number after the first slash, and copy it to your clipboard:

google plus URL

Now go back to your “About the Author” blurb and hyperlink your name to your Google+ profile using the following code: 

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/[your 21-digit Google+ ID]/?rel=author”>[your name]</a>

Here’s what mine looks like:

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/109481824380893603549/?rel=author”>Rachel Parker</a>

The rel=author bit is the magic part. It’s the piece of the code that tells Google, “Hey, this is the author’s identifying information” so that you can start racking up credit for all the awesome content you create—no matter where it’s located.

And you’re done! Takes a bit of effort to set up, but once you have that HTML code saved in a handy place, you can pop it into any format that takes HTML tags.

Have you been using Google Authorship tags? If so, has it made a difference in your search mojo? Tell us about it in the comments—we’d love to hear from you!

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About the Author

Rachel ParkerA self-described “marketing nerd,” Rachel Parker, Owner and Chief Content Strategist of Resonance, works with businesses of all sizes to help them meet the challenge of connecting with today’s hard-to-reach customer.

Rachel has made Resonance the “one stop shop” for companies looking to get more out of their content marketing efforts. She’s also a sought-after speaker and has presented to many of Houston’s major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.

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  • Great post – and I appreciate the information, Rachel! Tom George was letting me know about it and directed me to this post – I look forward to learning more about it! Regards, Jenn

    • Rachel Parker

      Thanks, Jenn!

  • Great article Rachel! Google never ceases to come up with innovative ways to keep their search result’s relevant. I believe Author Rank was a great idea. We will be using it of course for everyone soon. Cheers!

    • Rachel Parker

      Thanks, Tom — and welcome back!

Content Curator

Rachel Parker

A self-proclaimed geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations.

More Curations by Rachel