How to Use Google Authorship to Boost SEO and Reduce Piracy

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You know those words you’ve been writing? The ones on your blog that you’ve spent countless hours carefully crafting?

Yeah, you don’t own those.

Not really. Not according to Google. This may be the biggest thing you haven’t heard of…yet.

Before you get upset, let me tell you a quick story.

Last year, David Cohen, a brilliant marketer, SEO, and mentor invited me to a small Google+ Hangout with other writers interested in SEO and Authorship. He also asked if he could use my personal website as an example during the meeting.

I said sure. Who doesn’t like free feedback from an expert?

But while we were on air, he said something that wrecked my day.

“Caitlin,” he said. “According to Google, you didn’t write any of these posts.”

Snap. I was mortified. Embarrassed. And more than a little bit angry at Google. Over 300 blog posts and none of them mine? That just wasn’t right.

I’ll never forget the day I first learned about Google Authorship.

This isn’t an in-depth analysis on Google Authorship, but it will give you a good basis for understanding. Here’s what you need to know:

1. You aren’t an author unless Google says you are.

You can write thousands of posts, but unless Google recognizes you as the author, it’s easy for someone else to steal your words. It’s like leaving a finished manuscript on a table at a writer’s conference. Someone is going to pick up your words and sell them as their own.

Authorship allows you to register your words. If someone copies and pastes your words to their own site and tries to take credit for them, Google will know. The thief will be penalized.

2. You have to play by the rules: Google’s rules.

Depending on who you ask, Google is either a gift from God to the masses or the technical spawn of Satan. I’m going to let you make your own call on that.

In the world of the internet, Google is calling the shots. Follow the rules or disappear from search results. Your choice.

When you set up your Authorship profile, your Google+ picture will show up in the search results. Having a photo increases the probability of someone clicking on your article.

What Authorship Looks Like

This is an example of what Google Authorship looks like in organic search results. You’d click on that, wouldn’t you?

 

Tweetables:

  • Is Google a gift from God or the spawn of Satan? Check out their Authorship program and decide. – click to tweet.
  • You know those blog posts on your site? You didn’t write those until Google says you did. – click to tweet.
  • What authors need to know about Google authorship. – click to tweet.
  • Play by Google’s rules…or disappear from search engine results. – click to tweet.
  • Get established with Google Authorship today. Here’s how. – click to tweet.

3. You can establish your authorship now.

Incorporating Authorship isn’t hard. Here’s the step-by-step guide so you don’t get confused (as I did in the early days of authorship).

  • Set up your Google+ profile.

If you have a Gmail account, you probably already have an Google+ account. If not, you can sign up on Google+.

  • Add your contributor links.

These tell Google where to look for your content. This is a screenshot of what mine look like.

Google+ Contributor Links

To edit yours, go to your Google+ profile and click, “edit profile,” then click the “about” tab on your profile page.

Google+ about

You will want to scroll down the page until you find the profiles. Click “add custom link.”

  • Add your Google+ profile to your WordPress account.

If you log onto the dashboard of your site, there is a small tab on the left bar for users. Click on the “users” tab and find your profile. Here’s what mine looks like.

Add your Google+ Profile to WordPress

You will want to fill in all the fields. This makes it easy for people (and search engines) to find you.

Notice that the Google+ field is filled out. That’s the most important field.

That’s it.

Give it a few days for Google to start recognizing the changes. You’ll start seeing your authorship photos crop up in search results. You’ll also want to make sure you provide this article and your Google+ ID when you are guest posting. After all, you wrote those words. You deserve the credit!

Don’t have a professional author website? Talk to us. We’ll help you get started.