What Is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is a super easy and incredibly effective way to promote your content, but what exactly is it and why do you need it? Authorship essentially provides a way to verify your identity with Google in order to associate yourself as the specific author of content you publish—this is evidenced by the photo and byline that will appear next to your entry in the search engine results.

Intuitively, it makes sense that our attention is drawn to entries that also display an author photo and a byline—they are simply more eye catching. Research validates this assumption and confirms that authorship leads to higher click-through rates by as much as 150%!

For example, below is an example of a search results page for “car dealers hilton head sc” in which one of the results is using Google Authorship:

What is Google Authorship?

I know which entry grabs my attention first!

What Are the Benefits?

Establishing Google Authorship is a no-brainer, as it yields more clicks and is easy to set up—but there are additional benefits to establishing authorship as well. Behind the scenes, authorship adds value by associating content with its author in the eyes of Google. This not only tells the search engine that this is quality content someone is willing to put their name on, but also that the content was created by an actual human being. And it also verifies that the content wasn’t scraped from another site.

Another benefit provided by Google Authorship is the additional exposure that ALL of your content will receive. If you click on the “by (author’s name)” byline in the search result, you are taken to a list of other content written by that author or to that author’s G+ profile.

How Do You Set Up Google Authorship?

Establishing Google Authorship is quick and easy:

First, you need to set up a robust Google+ profile. It is important to use a good profile picture, because the quality of the photo has been proven to impact click-through rates. Your influence and activity within Google+ also improve your readership, as the number of G+ circles you are part of is displayed in your byline.

Next, you’ll need to add the sites you contribute to in the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile. (You can find this on your “About” page under “Links.”)

Once the sites you contribute to have been added to your profile, you’ll need to add a special link pointing back to your Google+ profile somewhere on the page with your content. This will require some minor changes to your HTML—the byline is a logical location, but it can appear anywhere. Here is an example of the code to use to link to your Google+ profile:

<a href=””>Christy Hickey</a>  

The key here is to add the ?rel=author parameter to the end of your Google+ profile URL.

Once this is done, you will have established your Google Authorship—now you can start taking advantage of higher click-through rates and expanded readership!

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