Google Authorship and How it Impacts Authority

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When Google made huge changes to its algorithm with the Google Penguin update, many

Image via CrunchBase

search engine optimization professionals experienced a serious moment of downright panic. While black hat search engine optimization methods like keyword stuffing and link buying had already started to fall out of fashion, this Penguin update to the largest search engine algorithm in the world permanently changed the search engine optimization game.

Now, the only way to increase a website's rankings or gain popularity amongst a large population of readers is to create an authoritative Internet presence. The goal of every marketer, every writer, every designer, and every other online earner, no matter what industry he or she belongs to, is to establish oneself as an authority that consumers will trust. Authoritative writing and content generation may just be the only way to secure a place at the online commerce table. One way that writers are establishing and increasing their perceived authority online is by using Google's new authorship function to ensure that all of their created content is attributed to their person or their business.

Google Authorship is a process that involves assigning your name, experience, personal profile, and personal web presence to all of the content that you create all over the web. Jeroen Van Eck writes an article at State of Search detailing the importance of Google Authorship. The article itself is actually a perfect example of Google Authorship, as Van Eck's name, website, and experience are included in search results that turn up this informative article. You can read the text of Van Eck's article here.

Without a doubt, using Google Authorship is one of the best ways to positively impact the perceived authority you have in your business niche. By claiming attribution for all of the articles, blog posts, and informative content you create and publish online, consumers will perceive you as an expert in the field. Your word will be law. Your business will thrive. Here's the scoop on using Google Authorship correctly and effectively.

Staking a Claim on Your Content

A huge percentage of the content posted online is unclaimed or claimed by a pseudonym. Real content, on the other hand, that has intrinsic value, must be claimed by the author. If you want to gain a following and establish yourself as a figure of authority within your industry, you must find a way to attribute all of the content you create to your person. Whether you are guest posting on blogs, writing on your own business website, or featuring articles on a social media platform, Google Authorship can help to collect all of your generated content simply by using your email address to mark content as your own.

Associate the Name with the Quality

When your articles are attributed to you, consumers who read your work will begin to associate your name with the quality of content that you create. If you are going to crank out worthless blog posts that are stuffed with keywords, you likely don't want to use Google Authorship. If, however, you plan on creating content that astounds, informs, and engages, Google Authorship will put you one step closer to developing an authoritative brand.

Who Authors Your Business's Content?

Generating content on behalf of a business is a little different. Large businesses may have several different authors of content, but all of this content may be best attributed to one specific business figurehead, such as the business's CEO. Deciding who authors your business's content is an important part of the Google Authorship marketing strategy. Choose someone who already possesses authority and clout, and Google Authorship will simply enhance that authoritative reputation.

Pairing Authorship with a Complete Profile

Google Authorship will be completely ineffective unless you link your articles with a complete and consistently updated online profile. The best Google Authorship profiles link to several different online social media platforms. This way, consumers who stumble across your content and are interested in reading more of what you have to say will have several simple ways to connect with you. Take Van Eck, for example, the author of the Google Authorship article mentioned in the first paragraph. At the bottom of the article, Van Eck's profile is complete with links to Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

When a search is performed for the article about Google Authorship, the link leading to the article includes a photograph of the author, information about Google+ circles in which the author is included, and a link to more articles by the same author. This information is provided by the author's Google+ account, so the completeness and thoroughness of a Google+ profile is crucial to a successful Google Authorship marketing strategy.

A personal photo is not necessary, but it is a way of humanizing you, the author, to your audience. In the past, a huge percentage of online content was devoid of any human worth or practical application. Content that was posted to blogs and on websites was created specifically to appeal to search engine algorithms. This content was stuffed with keywords and repeated phrases without actually containing any worthwhile content. Consumers, naturally, grew tired of this content, and this exhaustion developed into wariness and mistrust when reading articles online. A simple photograph shows your readers that you are a real person with real, applicable, and interesting thoughts and comments. Never underestimate the value of connecting your words with an image of your face. People are largely visual learners; they trust what they can see.

Search Trends in the Future will Lean Toward Authorship

Online authorship is projected to become more and more important as programs such as Google Authorship start gaining notoriety. In a bookstore or library, consumers often go straight to the section where their favorite author is featured. The subject or reviews of a book become secondary in importance to the name of a reputed author. Authors like Stephen King and John Grisham, for example, can turn just about anything into a bestseller, simply because the consumer population associates the name with quality.

This is likely to happen in the online world in the near future. Using Google Authorship and other attribution programs to link your content together will help to establish your name, business, or brand as an authoritative and trustworthy content provider