If you read blogs about SEO you’ve probably at least heard a bit about Google Authorship and read musings about what it might mean for people who publish on the web. You may even have noticed that the appearance of some Google results have changed. But, what does this have to do with you as an article writer?
First Things First: What is Google Authorship?
Google rolled out its Authorship program in 2011 with a HTML markup that could be used to identify the author of an article on the web. When a site is using the tag correctly, the article will appear in Google search results with the name and photo of the author beside it.
To establish Authorship on Google, you need a few things. First, you need to have a Google Plus account with the same name used in your byline. Next, make sure that you have a clear head shot on your account. Then, verify authorship through either an email address on the domain where you are publishing or by linking the content on your Google Plus profile. If all goes well, your headshot and byline will appear next to your article when it appears in Google search results. There are a number of tutorials online that can lead you through the process, as well as a thread right in the Writer Access forums.
Establishing Yourself as an Authority
The use of your professional byline and photo add legitimacy to what you write. Readers are more likely to trust you when they know who you are. These readers, of course, include potential future writing clients.
The articles that have been identified as belonging to you will be added to your Google Plus profile, which allows you to expand the professional possibilities of this social network and lead people to the place where they can hire you for their content.
Plus, an article writer can even potentially get a second traffic boost if the searcher returns to the search engine results: on a second visit, Google will share up to three links to other content of yours on related subjects.
Climbing Up the Search Engine Results
With each refinement of their search algorithms, Google has reaffirmed that the idea is to provide the highest quality results to people’s queries. And, in general, people who are willing to put their names and faces on their articles will be producing higher quality work. This, along with the other requirements of Authorship, mean that, if you are creating quality content, you will float like cream to the top of the search results and, over time, build a better career based on quality content.
Lara S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.