By now, you’ve probably seen profile pictures next to certain google search results. And you’ve probably noticed how much those results stand out from the rest.
Recently, Google released a new feature called Google Authorship which displays your Google Plus profile picture and links to your profile on posts that you write. This is a way for google to verify the ownership and authenticity of the content, building ‘trust’ in the link. Not only does this build credibility in you as an author but click through rates on those links increases dramatically.
Other than attracting more visitors and increasing website traffic, here are some other SEO advantages for implementing Google authorship:
- Google prioritizes authored content to help users find more relevant content
- Allows authors to ‘claim’ their work and solidifies their authority within their industry
- Increases engagement between authors and readers
There are a few different ways to implement Google authorship.
This blog posted by Google explains in simple terms how to set it up. Using WordPress does complicate this a bit, but there are several plugins that will make the process pretty painless. I used Allow Rel and HTML in authors bios successfully.
To test, go to the Google Webmaster rich snippets testing tool. Enter your url, preview and if all goes well you will get a message saying “Verified: Authorship markup is correct for this page” along with your profile picture.
Be patient, as the results can take a few weeks to appear in the search results.