Special Guest Post: What Is Authorship And What Should Marketers Do With It?

2011 in search marketing was a busy year.  Google+ in beta was introduced in June and opened up to the public in September that year.  June was also the month when the support of the “authorship markup” was announced on the Google blog.

It was introduced as a way to connect authors with their content on the web.  Now it has developed into a way of ranking content by the authority of the author instead of the quality of the domain the content is hosted on.  Google keep changing the goalposts and everyone has to keep up with the changes to avoid being penalised and get good rankings in the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Google is constantly fighting spam

In Danny Sullivan’s post about “Google’s Over Optimization Penalty”, the cofounder, Sergey Brin in 1999 said there was no search engine spam and they never ban anyone or do not believe in spam.  In 13 years a lot has changed and of course there is now a lot of spam which Google tries to eradicate with its many algorithm updates.

Panda last year was a site quality update, which did result in a lot of sites being “banned” or no longer appearing in the SERPs.  AuthorRank introduces the concept that someone with a high rank may count and pass more trust and authority than a blog without authorship.
So what does AuthorRank mean?

Tom Anthony from distilled summed it up well in his recent post on seomoz.  You no longer have to think about the credibility of just where you are getting links from but who is authoring the content. AuthorRank is a better way for Google to determine the quality of the content, linking up the author to his/her content.

If you want to see your brand high in the SERPs, more people visiting your site and more sales, you need to take note of AuthorRank and authorship, it is here to stay.

So what should you do as an author?

1.) Complete your Google + profile

2.) Participate on Google+ by sharing relevant news, interacting with others on Google+

3.) Set up Google author verification on your blog or if you regularly post content on your company’s site, set it up on that site

Google will not guarantee to show author information in the Google web search or News results. However, Google always wants to help users find the information they are looking for and those blogs with authorship markup may have a better chance of being highlighted in the SERPs than those that do not – and as an added bonus (or the crux of your strategy?) your click through rate will rise by up to 500% too.

If you want to reap the benefits of Google, have a better chance of your brand appearing high in Google, you will need to start using authorship markup.  AuthorRank is not going to replace PageRank, it is simply going to make it more accurate.

Jo Turnbull is a freelance blogger and SEO consultant at SEO Jo Blogs.