Back in mid-to-late 2010, I published a blog post that explained in detail about rel=author. Essentially, it’s an easy way for users to see your head shot when they do a search in Google.
Here’s an example. All I’ve done here is a search on “google rankings drop” and in this screenshot alone, there are two search results that stand out – why? Because they’ve added this little attribute, which is a single piece of code to their page.
Now, in order for you to accomplish the same thing, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps.
The first is you must create a Google profile – if you already use Google+, then you already have one.
Secondly, you’ll need to do one of two things in order for Google to recognize that you are the original author of a piece of content and that it’s tied to your Google profile. The first is covered in the original post located here, but the second alternative you have is new.
The newest option is to be sure that you have added your name and email address to any post that you have authored. Google states that this option is best for those sites who have multiple authors contributing to it. The email that you use on the content that you’ve authored should then be placed within your Google profile. Once you’ve done that, Google will send a verification email to that address.
Now, why is this all so important? Aside from the obvious that it makes the content you’ve authored stand out in the search results, Google has now added the number of people who follow you in Google+, gives you the ability to follow them in Google+, and even a way to view the comments on that post directly from the search results.
Additionally, they’ve added a way to see how often your content is showing up in the search results via their Webmaster Tools – another very nice, new addition.
Aside from the fact that Google continues to improve authorship, and respond to what authors would like to see, the whole bottom line is that authorship builds trust. Now, while it’s easy to assume that since this is tied so tightly to Google+, that you might believe that it’s just a “round about” kind of way to promote Google’s new social network and, you may be right, but the bottom line is, if you want Google to notice you, use their own suggestions and make yourself stand out!
Written by: Kristine Wirth