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What Is Google Authorship Markup?

You may have noticed more and more recently that when you search on Google, some of the results have a small picture of a person next to them. This is due to Google Authorship, which means the content of that webpage has been linked to a specific person’s Google+ profile. Google has done this as a way to give content a more personal feel, but it can also be argued that it was also done to encourage people to sign up for Google+.

When a search is done for Orlando SEO, you will see next to the result for Web Solutions a picture of the President, Noah Talesnick. This is because he has set up a Google+ page using his email address that is connected to

The benefit of doing this is that Google will now look at this website as being more trustworthy. WSOA has also been set up in Google+ and added to the Google Directory (for more information on this, read Directories and Local SEO). It is not surprising that Google rewards people and websites who have signed up for their social networking platform.

Sometimes people may post a guest blog or other content on a different website, especially people who make a living at contributing to blogs. Since an author’s email address will not be the same domain as all the websites he contributes to, Google has provided another way to show authorship.  It’s a bit more complicated, and involves adding some code to the webpage the author contributed content to. This code is provided in Google support.

This code is known as the “rel=author” tag. This tag is found in the code that must be added to the website, and it is what notifies Google that the link is connected to an author on Google+.

The author must then go to his Google+ profile, and edit the “Contributed to” section, entering the URL of the content. Google will let users test to see whether the authorship tag has been set up correctly with their Structured Data Testing Tool.

Once the authorship tag is set up, you cannot stop there. Google Authorship as of right now isn’t ranked, but many SEO experts believe one day authors will be ranked, and the higher you are ranked the better for your website. Actively contributing to blogs in the same niche as your website, engagement with Google+, links to your website and comments on your blog are all thought to help a potential authorship rank. Of course, these are all things that help organic SEO as well, so it can be easy to kill two birds with one stone while working on your authorship rank.

While all of this may seem confusing at first, the basics of Google Authorship can be broken down into three steps:

1)      Create your Google+ Profile: If you already have a gmail account, you’re halfway there. If not, you will need to create a gmail account and then a Google+ profile.

2)      Tell Google About Your Content: Add the URL of any sites to which you contribute content to your “About” page. This includes your other social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

3)      Link Your Content to Google+: Add a link to your Google+ using the rel=author tag.

Once these steps are completed, continue to write, build links, and contribute to blogs and websites in your niche. With enough work, your name and face can become known across the web as an expert in your industry.