Google+ Content Authorship with Rel=’Author’
An important and often overlooked part of any SEO campaign is actually the search engine conversion aspect. What I mean by this is getting people to actually click through to your website when you appear in the search listings. Obviously, ranking high in the results page helps toward this, but there are also many other factors that play a part toward getting that all important visit to your website. One of these factors is content authorship.
How Do I Link My Content to My Google+ Account?
Google have been making many changes to the way that the search results are displayed with a variety of different blended result formats. One of these changes was to display additional information on content authors.
A fantastic article from Cyrus Shepard on the SEOmoz blog looked into the effect on click-through rates after changing the Google+ profile image that is shown next to the search result listing. The results showed that with an improved profile image there was an increase in organic traffic by 35%. This indicates that there is clearly an advantage to be gained by having your author image displayed next to your search listing. It also tells us that making sure you use an appropriate image is just as important!
Create Your Google+ Profile
If you haven’t done this already, you need to do this first. Go onto Google and sign yourself up (or just log-in if you already have a profile), then once you have filled in all of your information on the ‘About’ tab, scroll down the ‘Contributor to’ area.
In this area you need to do is add the link to your website (on my profile I have it linked to the Wow Internet Blog). You don’t need to link to the individual webpages from the website/blog, just link yourself to the domain and it will find everything that you have created after we have carried out the next step. At this stage it may also be a good idea to take a quick look at how your profile image is looking. Unfortunately for me, I can’t change my face, but I hoped that if I dressed myself nicely then people might overlook it!
Using Rel=”Author” to Link Your Content
Now that your Google+ account is linked and your profile image is looking beautiful, it is time to look at adding some code to your content that will link together your webpage and your Google+ profile.
There are two different ways to do this, each are just as effective as the other but it depends on what you prefer. The first way is to add the rel=”author” code within the body section of your webpage, as shown below:
<a href=’[Google+ Profile URL]?rel=author’>Check out Matthew’s Google+</a>
Where it says [Google+ Profile URL] you need to replace it with the full URL of your Google+ profile; for example, my profile URL is https://plus.google.com/u/0/105978802963205299233/.
Alternatively you can add a Google+ badge that links to your Google+ account. You can get the code for this from the Google Developers website. The badge is also useful for building your followers on Google+ as users can instantly add you to their circles via it.
Testing it Out
Once you have linked up your content to your Google+ profile, it is worth giving it a quick check to make sure that Google is able to read it properly and that you haven’t made any mistakes. You can do this via Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool. All you need to do is enter in the URL of the webpage that you have authored and Google will grab all the Schema data from the code, like is displayed below:
It may take Google a week or so until it initially starts displaying your profile image next to your webpage listings in the search results, but after that it should work for each of your new posts that you author. Bring on the increased click-through rate!