What is Google Authorship? How Does it Benefit Your SEO?

Google Authorship

Sounds important, doesn’t it? In a world where it feels like everything can be found on the Internet, establishing and verifying authorship of the content that you create is insanely important. Authorship provides validity and authority to viewers and search engines alike, and makes for an ever-increasing measure of importance when it comes to search engine optimization and performance in the search results.

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is established when you link your Google+ profile with your content. This two-way connection verifies ownership (aka authorship).

NEW INFORMATION: The most obvious benefit used to be seeing your Google+ profile image next to your authored content in Google’s search results. But as of June 25, 2014, Google is removing the Google+ profile photo from authorship snippets in the search engine results page.

Verifying authorship goes way beyond displaying an image. It verifies your work, it helps others to find additional content that you have created, and allows them to add your profile to their Google+ circles.

Google Authorship displays likes this:

google authorship

Google Authorship used to display like this:

google authorship

Obviously the profile image no longer used, but you you still get byline name recognition and that links directly to your Google+ profile along with verifying ownership of the website content.

How Does it Benefit Your SEO?

  1. Competitive Advantage. The search results with authorship are more enticing to the eye and lead to an increased likelihood of being clicked. Google has reported on testing of Authorship in search results.
  2. Author Rank. Attaching your name leads to some real benefits in the search engine results. The added rich snippet provides readers and search engines with a higher level of trust for your name and your work. That usually translates directly to improved traffic and engagement.
  3. Click Through Rates. Studies have report anywhere from a 30% to 150% increase in click through rate after implementing authorship. Honestly, who doesn’t love more clicks?
  4. Ownership. Authorship is useful in search because it denotes a personal perspective or analysis of a topic. Claimed content is far more realistic, trustworthy, and credible than content that doesn’t carry authorship. Not only that, authorship helps protect your content from being pushed out by sites that seek to copy your content and plagiarize your words.

Additional Google Authorship Details

What qualifies as authorship?

Simply put, articles do. Pages don’t. Content that qualifies for authorship needs to carry a byline and contain content that is written by the author named in the byline. Google also desires content in the form of a single article, not a compilation page of articles written by the bylined author.

Pro tip: Google Authorship should not be established or applied to your entire website, homepage, or static “pages” on your website. Authorship is meant for single articles.

Who can be an author?

Google only recognizes humans for authorship. That might sound a little obvious, but if you’re authoring content under a pseudonym or as a company mascot, Google’s crawlers won’t pick that content up.

How do I establish authorship?

Three easy steps:

  1. Create Google+ profile
  2. Link your content back to Google+ by adding “rel=author” from your webpage
  3. Add contributor links to your content from your profile

See Google’s official authorship help guide here.

What’s the difference between authorship and publisher?

Where the rel=author tag helps to associate authors’ articles with their personal Google+ profile, businesses can identify their content for search by using the rel=publisher tag. The rel=publisher tag links content on the business’ website to the business’ Google+ page. It’s important to note that while rel=author and rel=publisher are both link relationships, each is independent of the other.

What if I don’t want authorship to appear?

If you don’t want authorship to appear, you can block your Google+ profile from being used. Follow these directions to do so.