Back in March of this year, one of my IBM colleagues, LJ Banks, posted to her blog outlining how to use rel=author tags on blogs to optimize content ownership. I recall running through the steps back then and connecting my own blog using the steps she outlined. I’d thought I did it right, and the double checks LJ noted provided the information that confirmed I had, so I went on with my regular blogging and work. Then, just last week I receive an email from Google welcoming me to the Google Authorship program…. still not sure why the long delay, but happy to know the work to connect my authorship has “taken”.
You can learn more from Google here. Google also has a useful answer section on adding authorship which covers 2 different types of additions in some very simple steps. If you already have a Google Plus profile you can use this page to link your profile to the content you create: https://plus.google.com/authorship
The big question I am sure you’re asking right about now, however, is… WHY? Why is this important?
Establishing your Authorship means your photo and a link to your profile can now appear next to your content in search results. Your photo and extra info adds a much deeper personal touch to search results, which will have a direct impact generating more clicks on your content.
Take the following mock-up for example, I’m sure you’ll agree the first search result will be far more likely to result in a click-through than the second result, even though the content at the end of the click is the same:
Not only will you see improved traffic from search because of the improved visibility authorship provides, but you’ll be taking deeper, more obvious ownership of your content. The SEO (search engine optimization) benefits alone should be enough to convince you, but the user experience and less tangible psychology of user behaviour should also be good indicators with the above example as to why you should connect your authorship.
If you are a content creator, blogger, whitepaper author, etcetera, and you want to increase traffic and be known, I heavily urge you to take the time to read LJ’s post above and run through Google’s steps to connect your profile to your content; after all, ownership and visibility are important pieces to this entire puzzle.
Connecting that high value content with YOU is an important step to being seen as the thought leader or subject matter expert in your space and increasing your own digital eminence in the emerging social economies.