What is Google Authorship Markup?
Google authorship markup is a fantastic way to have the content you’ve created and published be credited to you when it appears in search results. It could be content on blogs you contribute to and even your store.
How does it work?
Well, all you need to do is link your Google+ account to the content you’ve published and vice versa.
Here’s how to get your profile picture or photo in search results
Once you’ve done that, give it a couple of days or more for Google to take note of the changes. You can then check if you’ve done everything right by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Just login to your Google account and key in the URL of the blog you’ve linked to.
You should see a preview like this:
This is what is actually looks like in search results.
Quick Tip: Avoid using avatars, side profile shots, half face shots and abstract/psychedelic shots of yourself. Use front facing shots or 3/4 angle profile shots. I’ve seen side profile shots approved and then removed after a few months so save yourself the hassle and do it right the first time. B&W shots should be fine but natural colors would be better. Some people are calling this ‘Google Face Rank’.
To link your store to your Google+ account, simply paste your Google Authorship Code into the Extra Head Tags box. The line of code should look like this.
<link rel=”author” href=”https://plus.google.com/yourcode”/>
Why is it important?
When results appear on search results pages, studies have shown that users are more likely to click on results with an author image next to them. This author image is part of what is known as a Rich Snippet. A Rich Snippet contains a bit of information (image, name, number of people in Google+ circles) about the author and a short snippet of content with regards to the search terms used.
Being visible and linked to a lot of quality content helps build your reputation. Remember, content does not just mean articles. It could be videos, comments, slide shows, etc. It all adds up. Soon enough, the juice from your reputation will flow into your online real estate.
How does this affect SEO?
It’s not just about links alone anymore when it comes to SEO. You need to balance it with social presence. Think about it. A few years ago, the only way for Search Engines to tell if your store was popular was if people built links to it. Now, search engines also look at what people LIKE, SHARE, Tweet, PIN, Thumbs Up and comment about.
In summary, you need links, social activity, authorship and interaction to let people and Google know you’re the real deal.
So if you’ve been putting out great content out there in support of your store, you might as well take credit for it and build your online reputation.
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