About a year ago Google discontinued Google Authorship, a program meant to help writers improve their author website’s search rankings. So what does the elimination of Google Authorship mean for writers today? Is there an alternative way to boost your SEO?
What Was Google Authorship?
Google Authorship was a program rolled out by the search engine kingpin that sought to use rel=author tags within posts to identify the authors of post content on the Web. Google’s search results would display any and all content created by a particular Web content author and streamline the searching process. This was of particular interest to writers, who often use their blogs to build their fan base and generate buzz for their work.
Why Was Google Authorship Discontinued?
The sad truth about Google Authorship: hardly anyone used it. In a study by Search Engine Land, a startling 70% of Web content authors studied failed to adopt the Authorship program. Check out more info on the rise and fall of Google Authorship.
Due to the lack of interest in the program, Google decided to shut down its reliance on the rel=author tag and stopped showing profile pictures and bylines next to search results. Unfortunately, this means writers (and all Web content authors) need to find new ways to improve their SEO.
Is There a Replacement for Google Authorship?
Not really. Google has not unveiled any new program that functions similarly to Authorship just yet. However, there is a way you can still achieve some of the desired effect: rich snippets. Rich snippets are the short lines of text that appear below each search result. Google identifies what a given page or post features and creates these snippets as a way of letting users know what a search result is about.
In order to implement rich snippets in your pages and posts (listen up, bloggers!), you must have a basic understanding of HTML. The process involves tagging certain elements of your post/page content so that Google can register the information and create a snippet. Read more on an in-depth look at how to mark-up your content with rich snippets.
Where Should Writers Focus Their SEO Attention Now?
If you have the know-how and time, you should definitely take advantage of rich snippets with every post you write. It’s important to stay up-to-date if you want to maintain your search rankings.
In addition to rich snippets, we recommend a thorough cross-promotional social media campaign that links your various profiles to your author website and other websites where your content appears. The social media landscape is vast, so it’s important to adopt as many strategies as possible to widen your reach. Having a cross-promotion team may also be an investment worth your time.
And if you find that managing multiple social media profiles in conjunction with your author website is taking too much time and effort away from your writing, the Writer’s Relief Virtual Assistant Program may be for you!
QUESTION: Did you use Google Authorship? Let us know your experiences in the comments!