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Those who keep up with the latest trends in SEO have probably found references to Google Authorship recently. What is Authorship? In short, Google Authorship is a method for Google to tie together content and authors. It helps authors gain a reputation and credit for their content, while adding another way to punish people who steal content.
How does Authorship Work?
Authorship happens when an author publishes content. The author is able to link the content to their Google+ profile. This link benefits both the site the content is published on and the author.
Linking content allows an author to build a portfolio of their work in one central place — in this instance, with Google themselves. When a user performs a search, they are given a list of results. If the link they click is a page written by an author who has linked their profile, this triggers Authorship to kick in. If the user spends enough time on the page, then clicks back to the search results, the results now show something new.
Underneath the search result the user clicked is a new box. This box contains three links that are also written by the author of the page they just read. Google measures the time they spent on the page and assumes that they enjoyed this author’s content, and so provide easy links to more of that author’s content.
Authorship is still in the early phases of use. Not every user will see the authorship results, and sometimes it takes specific circumstances to bring them out. Google is still working out some kinks with the system. Identifying the author of a piece is challenging for an automated system, because it may detect any line with “by Name” in the piece as a potential author. Most of this can be avoided when an author links their content to Google+.
Authorship benefits the author, the site and Google. The Authorship results box gives the author more exposure for their content. It helps them build a reputation as an authority in their field, and gives users easy access to more of their content. This is a great benefit to sites that have exclusive authors, though any site will see a marked benefit. Another benefit for the author is that Authorship relies entirely on users liking their content, and doesn’t take keywords into account. The links might lead to other posts on the same site as the first, or it might lead to the author’s posts on Google+, or it might be any other site the author has posted their content on.
Impact on Businesses
Authorship is part of Google’s ongoing commitment to content quality. It has the most benefit for authors that produce high quality content on a consistent basis. Sites with an array of exclusive authors, or who publish content under one name, benefit far more than any site that reposts content. Any site that can link their authors stands to benefit from the changes.
Authorship helps cut down on content thieves and reposting sites. The original content is linked to an Authorship account, and Google knows which site it comes from. This makes it much easier for them to catch sites that try to post the content under other names.
Authorship may be experimental at the moment, but chances are good it is going to have a large impact on SEO. Businesses should consider adopting it now and putting author links into their blog formats immediately, to reap the most benefit.
Written by Jane Heaney