Noticed those small pictures next to your Google search results? That’s what Google Authorship looks like. It’s the search giant’s way of verifying content and connecting it to your Google+ account.
Sure you might think Google is just trying to get more people to sign up for its social network. But the consensus in the online marketing industry is that it will eventually lead to something called Author Rank – where Google ranks pages based on the credibility of their authors.
In essence, Google wants to cut out the spammy content and prioritize content from verified authors.
The way Google+ is tied in here is to determine how much authority you have by looking at the amount of +1s, shares and comments your content attracts.
So they’re not there just for show. They deliver quite a few benefits for you as an author and your website. Here are the top 3 reasons why you need to implement the Google authorship markup today.
1. More Credibility
Take a look at the picture and you’ll see how many people have me in their circles. Now, this only shows up if you allow Google+ to publish your circle count. And if you don’t, it just disappears.
This is social proof and the idea is that the more people you have following, the more credible you are as an author.
2. More Traffic To Your Site
Even though Google Authorship has been around since June 2011. You’ll see from the screenshot below, where I searched for “seo tips” from the past year – that it’s yet to hit mainstream, and that it’s still in its infancy when it comes to adoption.
By implementing Google Authorship today, you’ll stand to gain more traffic from Google. Having your picture by the side of a search result, makes it more inviting for visitors by putting a face on your content. It really stands out among search results, and a recent study by search marketing firm Catalyst found that CTRs increased by 150%.
3. SEO Benefits
Current Google executive chairman, Eric Schmidt said it himself,
“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.”
As was mentioned above, Google is looking to get rid of spammy content and provide users with relevant search results. Schmidt’s comment all but confirms the forthcoming Author Rank, albeit unofficially. What this means is that you stand to gain a head start on your competitors the sooner you get verified with Google Authorship.
From the looks of it, Google appears to be in the process of changing the rules of search and SEO as we know it. Although these changes won’t happen over night, Google’s social network is at the center of this shift. And yes, to implement Google Authorship you need a Google+ account. If there’s any reason why should join the network, it’s to give yourself an early advantage in search.
Want to discover more about Google+? Check out these 9 Content Ideas For Promoting Your Business On Google+
Oh, and don’t forget to connect with me on Google+ at +Kostas Papageorgiou