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How To Implement Google’s Authorship For Individual Pages Using Rel=Author

In the same way that rel=”publisher” is great for obtaining authorship for a brand or business website, rel=”author” is the authorship markup used for personal or individual content and pages.  With authorship, Google is able to easily verify and authenticate you as an author of original content across the web.  By doing so, it adds value to your online profile while establishing you as an authority on the subjects and topics that you write about.

Google won’t admit it, but for many sites, rel=”author” has increased rankings as well as improved search engine results.  At least one thing is for certain: it can’t hurt.

According to the search engine marketing experts at Virante, making the two-way connection between your Google+ profile and your content on the web provides multiple benefits:

1)      You qualify to have your Google+ profile picture show next to your content in search results (see image below).

2)      You may see a higher-than-normal click through rate (CTR).

3)      You might gain possible protection against being outranked in search results by people and websites that may re-publish your original content.

4)      You build Google page rank authority for your profile by connecting your authorship with your original content, especially on popular, high-authority sites.

rel=author search result

So how do you do it?  How do you “claim” authorship?  It’s not as difficult as you may think.

For starters, you must link your content to your Google+ profile (if you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one).  According to Google, it’s a simple, two-step process.  First, you must add a link from your website to your Google+ profile.  Second, update your Google+ profile by adding a link back to your website.

This can be achieved by following Google’s instructions:

rel=author

After implementing the markup, you’ll want to test it to see if it worked and to see what author data Google is extracting from your website.  You can use their structured data testing tool or you can manually check (do a Google search) for your own name.

If you decide to try Google’s structured data testing tool, keep in mind that it only looks at a single page.  For now, you’ll need to check your Google+ profile page and your content pages (each webpage with your original content on it) separately to ensure that they are linking to each other correctly.

You can add rel=”author” markup and link to any webpage that has your unique and original content on it, but you definitely need to set it up on your own website first.  Regarding connecting authorship to an entire site and multiple pages within a website, Google’s Matt Cutts has said that for personal sites, such as your own blog where you are the only author, it’s fine to connect the entire site to authorship (this can be achieved by simply putting a rel=”author” Google+ profile link within your website’s header).  For business sites (rel=”publisher”), the same is generally frowned upon.

Ideally, a rel=”author” connection should be made only between original pieces of content clearly authored by someone with a Google+ profile and those author’s Google+ profiles.  Lastly, and to reiterate, rel=”author” is for original content by real people.  rel=”publisher” is designed to create authorship for a business or brand.  Don’t get the two confused; Google is pretty straightforward with authorship markup as it applies to personal websites and business websites.

The Importance Of Adding Local Markup To Your Site

 

By now, you have probably already heard about rich snippets.  If you have, then you know how important they are as well as the role they play in your site’s seo and marketing efforts and ultimately, its overall success.  If you haven’t heard about rich snippets, then you’d better get with it!

Rich snippets are awarded by Google as a result of properly-implemented structured markup to your site like Schema.org.  If awarded, rich snippets appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) in the form of extra information are displayed including prices, ratings, reviews, hours of operation, availability of products, and much more.  Rich snippets add credibility to a site and search engines seem to be favoring them heavily over sites that don’t have them.

For any website or storefront, especially smaller/local ones, it’s very important to stay competitive.  The best way to do this is by adding Schema.org markup to your site and its products.  There are quite a few “properties” to choose from, but there are definitely a few that are more important than others.  For your local business, try adding Schema.org markup for hours of operation (“openingHours”), payments acccepted (“paymentAccepted”), price ranges (“priceRange”), and reviews (“itemReviewed”) if applicable.

In a recent article by Search Engine Land, they referenced a 2013 study completed by Digital Marketing Works (DMW) that showed that the quantity and quality of Google reviews is the “single most important variable determining inclusion and ranking” within Google’s image carousel.  Their findings held true in local markets as well as larger, metropolitan areas and markets.  What this means is that if your site has implemented local markup and has been been awarded rich snippets, it not only urges people to rate and review your business, but Google ranks your website accordingly, which generally means a higher ranking.  And, the more ratings and reviews you have, the better chance you have of being placed higher in the image carousel.  But, for now, let’s focus solely on the local markup itself.

Here is an example of a rich snippet; what the result of proper Schema.org markup looks like.  This particular example shows the restaurant’s rating and review count, address, and includes links to the menu as well as contact information:

Adding Local Markup To Your site

Glancing at this example, you can see just how detailed Schema.org markup can be.  And that’s a good thing.  Having markup that looks like that can work wonders in the SERPs while drawing the attention of internet users to your website.

It’s been proven time and time again that internet users are more likely to click on links that have rich snippets.  Getting users to click on your site is the key and ultimately, having rich snippets results in higher click-through rates which more than likely increase sales.  For local businesses, it’s wise to start positioning your site now to be able to compete with bigger name stores in the online world.

 

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