Update 12/22/14: Google no longer offers the Google Authorship program. However you can still improve search results by using rich snippets. Learn more here.
Hey, writers! Are you on Google+? More importantly, do you have it connected to your author website?
If your answer to one or both of these questions is “no,” you may be missing out on a great opportunity to boost your content in Google Web searches.
Launched by Google in June 2011, Google+ (also known as Google Plus or simply G+) is very similar to Facebook. The Google+ social network is comprised of “circles,” or groupings of connections where users can share posts, links, photos, videos, and events. As of October 2013, Google+ boasted almost 300 million active users.
But as with most social networks, it’s not just about sharing adorable pictures of cats with pancakes on their heads. It can be used as a powerful networking and promotion tool for writers.
One awesome feature of G+ is something called Google Authorship.
What Is Google Authorship?
With Google Authorship, you can connect your author website to your G+ profile and voilà—Google will start associating the two in search results. Over time, your picture and name will pop up next to your content link, making it more attention-getting and appealing to readers.
Here’s an example of how a search result bolstered by a Google Authorship connection looks:
Not only is this result eye-catching, but the author’s name links to a more specific page of search results that shows any other article she has written on the same topic. This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field!
So how do you set up Google Authorship on your author website?
If your author website is built on WordPress, setting up Google Authorship is easy:
- Create a Google+ profile and upload the picture you want associated with your content. Put your primary e-mail address on your profile, as well as a link to your website in the “Contributor to” field of your About page.
- On the WordPress dashboard of your author website, head over to the Users section and click into your profile. Under the Contact Info section, enter the same e-mail address you put on your G+ profile—and while you’re at it, add the URL to your profile in the “Google+” field.
- Make sure that your name appears EXACTLY the same on your WordPress content as it does on your G+ profile. This can be done in the user profile page, right above the Contact Info section.
- Go over to the Google Authorship page to verify your e-mail address by following the instructions on this page: https://plus.google.com/authorship
If your author website isn’t built on WordPress, you can follow these instructions on Google’s Webmaster Tools help page to set up Google Authorship. They’re a little different than what we’ve outlined above, but just as easy to follow.
An active presence on social media is an invaluable tool for writers promoting their work online. There’s a lively writing community on Google+ worth getting to know (Writer’s Relief is on G+, too!). And you can use it to boost your site’s traffic by setting up Google Authorship.You’ll be one step closer to having a well-connected online author platform.
Photo by ePublicist
QUESTION: Are you taking advantage of either a Google+ presence or Google Authorship?