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Google is taking great strides in helping to eliminate spam and duplicate content, they are rewarding online authors who verify their profiles, even if it is a way to boost their own social network, Google Plus. The benefits of verifying through your Google Plus profile is added photo next to your search result and extra links (such as how many people are in your social circle, other articles written by you and a link to your profile). It is obvious for those that have seen a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) with this rich snippet, that these links receive higher click through rates and visibility. The use of rel=”author” and rel=”me” tags will become ever more influential with the addition of AuthorRank.
Author ranking isn’t officially discussed by Google, but author tags and author verification can influence rankings. Some factors that can influence your content’s ranking are: the page rank of the site’s you publish content on, how often an author posts, the engagement the author has on their Google Plus profile page and their activity on trusted social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter. Google’s Eric Schmidt has confirmed the impact of authorship…
“Within search results, 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.” Eric Schmidt- Executive Chairman, Google
Some authors do not have access to the anchor tags on a website they publish to. In this case, you can use the email verification method to attain Google Authorship. In order to use this method, you must meet the following criteria:
In order to see if your author tags are pulling through correctly and your name and links will appear next to your content, you can use the Structured Data Testing Tool from Google Webmaster Tools. As you can see below, this handy tool allows you to see what information Google is pulling from your URL and whether or not it is verified or not. If it isn’t verified correctly, this tool gives you ways to properly tag content to receive authorship. This tool is also great because you can see examples of other rich snippets and how to pull reviews, hours, products and multiple authors through your content on a search engine results page.
Google Authorship can be extremely advantageous for authors, content creators and businesses who publish content they want seen and clicked through. Using these rel=”author” tags can help with search engine optimization and increase search relevancy. One thing to point out, is that even if you verify your links and your image shows up in the testing tool, it still may take some time to show up in search. On two of my blogs the authorship showed up in a week. Others can take even longer. Google instructions for setting up authorship on every CMS is not conclusive and their are great plugins through WordPress that can make it super simple. Google has announced that authors in search results will become more and more prevalent as their algorithms keep changing to include social search. Make sure that you are ready now.