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Spruce Up Your Blog in 2013: Preparing For Google’s Author Rank

We’ve talked here at Babble about Google’s new Author Rank system being the new hot SEO tip, but how, exactly do you become part of the Google Authorship Program?

Before I say too much, know that it involves Google+ to some extent, and before you groan at me about how much you don’t need G+ and how annoying it is, well, suck it up. If you want your blog to appear in Google’s search results, you’re going to have to be part of the platform as well as take the other steps needed to become an author in Google’s eyes.

Why does this matter? The Content Authority explains it brilliantly.

“Google’s current ranking system is heavily dependent on links.  In the beginning, inbound links to a website were one of the main factors in determining its value.  In theory, when people find content they think is useful, they link their own websites or other web properties to it.  In turn, this gives a signal to search engines that the content is important and when a query is used to find similar content, the search engine serves up that important content.  The only problem with this scenario is that webmasters can create quality backlinks to their websites and give the appearance that their site is important when in fact it may not be.”

 

So, now that you understand why it matters, here’s how you do it.

1. Set up your Google+ profile. Take the time to make it nice (you can use this to help make your cover photo). Include a Google+ page for your blog, while you’re at it.

2. Link your content to your Google+ profile. You can do this in several ways; you can certify your email for your own blog (using your sites .com in the emails; as in name@blog.com) as well as install code on your site by following these instructions.

  1. Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
      <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

    Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

      <a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202?
       rel=author">Google</a>

    Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

  2. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    1. Edit the Contributor To section.
    2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    4. Click Save.
  3. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.

3. If you write content that doesn’t appear on your own site (as I’m doing here at Babble, for instance) you can add a link to your Google+ profile in your byline or signature. Be sure that when you do write for sites other than your own that your byline matches your Google+ profile name.

So there you have it. If you want more detailed information about how to utilize Google+ and author rank, I highly recommend Lynette Young’s book Google+ for Small Business. Once you have your authorship approved, you’ll get an email like this:

You’re receiving this email because you’ve added Google Authorship markup to your pages. This is a one-time notification and we will not be contacting you further about this issue.

You’ve established your Authorship, which means your photo and a link to your profile can now appear next to your content in search results. Learn more

When your Authorship information appears, it will look something like this:

by Cecily Kellogg – in 6,069 Google+ circles.
A relevant snippet from the page will appear here. The excerpt will depend on the user’s search terms.

Click here for a list of your pages currently in Google’s search index. To see Authorship in action, try searching for some of these pages on Google.

 

Good luck!

_________________________________________________

 Cecily Kellogg has been writing content online since 2004. Her personal blog is Uppercase Woman.
She’s passionate about creating great content and geeking out over social media.

Find her on Twitter, on Facebook, Pinterest, and on Google+.

 

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