You may only be dimly aware of its potential, but Google Authorship should be an essential part of your content marketing strategy over the next 12 months. Here’s why:
Google Authorship is the search engine leviathan’s way of establishing links between content and its authors. Whilst that in itself might not appear to be anything out of the ordinary, it is set to have far reaching consequences.
To illustrate the point, think of a medical site that is getting occasional visits from people interested in a certain illness. For the purposes of this example, none of the articles on the site are attributed to any author. With Google Authorship, a connection could be made between author and site, and ownership of those specific articles attributed to the individuals responsible for writing them. At this point, Google is able to assess the quality of the information provided (and verify that it comes from a human and not a machine) and distinguish it from content that doesn’t possess the same level of quality or integrity.
For creators of content this is a fantastic way of establishing authority, click throughs and visibility. Authorship means that the carefully selected photo or company logo appears next to the name of the author when a search result is generated. These ‘rich snippets’ also show the number of Google+ circles the author belongs to, thus providing extra ballast for anyone looking to verify the article’s native expertise or worth.
If that wasn’t significant enough, there’s also the ‘authority effect’ to take into consideration. Some research has concluded that click throughs increase by as much as 150 per cent as a consequence of rich snippets. It seems that individuals browsing the web respond better to photos of authors than they do to endless text listings. If you imagine that playing out across a fully-fledged marketing campaign, then the benefits of taking Authorship seriously become evident.
Authorship and the future of Search…
It could just be that Authorship will be the engine of all future content strategies. In a quote from his book The New Digital Age, Google’s Eric Schmidt seemed to be indicating that Authorship would exert a huge influence on the search rankings of tomorrow: “Within search results”, he said, “information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”
Whilst this, in itself, is no proof that Google are already seeing verifiable ties between authors and content as the ultimate arbiter of online visibility, it does suggest that the door to conducting successful campaigns using Authorship is rapidly being eased ajar.
Four key advantages of Authorship…
- Build trust and establish yourself as an authority. If you’ve got followers running into thousands you’re already in a stronger position than someone who has a factor of ten less. Although it’s not perfect, the signalling provided by weight of numbers is all part of generating a credible online persona and improving your ranking results.
- Enhance the role of the author of quality content and create positive alignment between your brand and your online persona.
- Make sure that the work that you’re doing is attributed to you and can’t be spun by content plagiarisers. Your articles’ Authorship mark-up should see them elevated above the scrapers’ efforts.
- You can rank for different topics without one area establishing a ‘drag factor’ in your overall score.
For more information about how you can integrate Google Authorship into your content plan for 2014, please feel free to get in touch with us on 01263 519749 or email firstname.lastname@example.org