I’ve been quietly getting more and more excited about Google+, Google’s social network; they really seem to have thought things through and it looks more and more like a great blend of the best bits from Twitter and Facebook. However, I don’t want to get too bogged down in G+ today, I want to just talk about a sort of side effect of it…
Most of us with anything more than a passing acquaintance with websites etc will be familiar with the phrase SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This mysterious terms does mask quite a lot of baloney but, that aside, most people would agree that getting more traffic to your website is a good thing. Ok, hold on to that thought for a minute…
What if I said there was something you could do to help your pages stand out more in the search results listings? Something that was above board, something that was free and something with further reaching benefits. Interesting eh?
In which case take a look at the search engine results snippet below:
The thing to notice is that my battered old face is showing next my post (and shut it you at the back saying that my face will put people off clicking!). The thing is this, people’s eyes latch on to faces so just getting your Google Authorship set up is an easy win.
But won’t everyone do it?
Sure – many people are already doing this but, in truth, we’re not doing this for short term SEO gain. The bottom line is this: Google are trying to understand a lot more; they want to move beyond just having an arbitrary idea of website pages; they want to understand more about meaning. And one of the angles they are attacking is that they want to know who wrote something.
When they know what content someone has created they can easily show searchers other content by the same publisher (as a very basic example of use).
Where do I start?
If you Google ‘Google Authorship‘ then the top, key result is on their Google+ domain and it explains how authorship and your Google+ profile are interlinked. This is because Google see their social network (and your profile on that network) as key to the battleground of online identity.
Note: check out this other very useful Google page on Authorship.
If you’re not on Google+ then (shame on you!) I’m be tempted to set yourself up just to get yourself started on the Google Authorship scheme.
Oh, and if you’re on WordPress.com, your life has been made easier to link your site to your Google profile.*
*If there’s any demand, I’ll publish a more “nuts and bolts” article about setting this up but, in this instance, I just wanted to talk through the concepts…