Although much-maligned by social media marketers, in the main Google’s own social network – Google+ – is in fact a very powerful tool to promote your own brand and authority if used correctly. Google+'s strength comes from its integration with other Google products such as Google Search, and this is where Google Authorship can help authors, journalists and other individuals make their mark on the web.
In layperson’s terms, Google Authorship couples content hosted on the internet with its actual author. This connection is then displayed within Google Search results in the form of an image and byline next to the relevant search result. For example:
The byline links back to the author’s profile on Google+ so that people interested in the article can find out more about the person cited.
In addition, the byline displays the number of Google+ "Circles" that author has been added to. In brief, Google+ Circles is analogous to Connections on LinkedIn, Friends on Facebook or Followers on Twitter; it demonstrates the following that the author has on Google+ itself. The more Circles an author has been added to on Google+, the more influential or trusted as a source they may appear to be, or be judged to be.
The benefits of Google Authorship
There are numerous benefits to embracing Google Authorship, not all of which are immediately apparent. Here are just some of them:
How to implement your own Google Authorship
Even though Google has attempted a degree of automation with Google Authorship, it is a feature you really have to take manual ownership of if you want it work correctly with your online content. To activate it, take the following steps:
Drawbacks with Google Authorship
In itself, I can’t think of there being too many drawbacks to activating Google Authorship, although, like all things, it is far from perfect. Here are some things to bear in mind once you have decided to implement Google Authorship for yourself:
On balance, I would argue that the Google Authorship is worth investing your time and energy with, particularly if you are looking to build up a personal brand or if your company or organization is built around a set of strong, identifiable individuals.
As I have already argued, Google is and will remain the biggest player in the internet search for the foreseeable future, and it is therefore foolish to dismiss any of Google’s products out of hand, especially if you are looking to curate a coherent, professional internet presence.
Google Authorship is therefore a vital tool for authors and content writers looking to establish their authority in the internet age.
About Nick Lewis
Nick is a communications professional with over 15 years’ experience of working in both the private and public sector. As Nick Lewis Communications, he’s now using his wealth of knowledge to help small businesses and organizations adapt to the modern online age. A graduate from the University of Wales Swansea, he worked in various marketing roles prior to launching Nick Lewis Communications in 2012. Nick can be found on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.
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I am an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society. Visit the SfEP website for more information.
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