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Google Authorship is the Next Big Thing in SEO on Oct. 31, 2012

[podcast]http://www.tmprod.com/podcasts/TM%20Podcast%2010-29-12.mp3[/podcast]

If the Trademark Productions crew learned anything at PubCon Vegas 2012, it’s that Google Authorship is one of the biggest factors in SEO today. That, along with the new Disavow Links tool, is what TM Social Media Manager Michael L. Hoffman and I are discussing in this week’s TM podcast.

For those unfamiliar, Google Authorship is the search company’s way of linking an author to the content he or she has published online. Essentially, it creates a link between an author’s Google+ page and the content he or she has produced. It doesn’t just associate an author with his or her content, though, it also lends more legitimacy in the eyes of Google to both the author and the page. There are some people in the SEO realm who fully believe that pages with Google Authorship properly set up will rank higher in search results than those who don’t.

There are three primary ways to go through the Authorship process: the three-link method, the two-link method and the email verification method. But before you begin to add the rel=author tag into all your blog posts, you need to set up what Search Engine Land calls a “circuit of verified trust” between an author’s Google+ page and the appropriate content. The first step in establishing this trust is to properly fill out the “Contributor to” section of your Google+ profile.

'Contributor to' section of Google+ Profile | Google Authorship

Google+ ‘Contributor to’ section.

This is easiest part of setting up Google Authorship. All you have to do is add links in the “Contributor to” under Profile -> About to the different sites or blogs that you write for. It’s that easy. One thing to keep an eye out for, that we encountered here at TM is if your blog is not built on the same platform as the rest of your website, link directly to the blog, not the root domain. If you link to the root domain, Authorship won’t work, even if you have everything else set-up correctly.

In this podcast, we’re going to cover how to properly utilize the three-link method of verifying your Google Authorship. This method is used for websites with content pages linking back to an author biography on the same site. In this scenario, you add a rel=me tag to your author biography page that links to your Google+ and add the rel=author tag linking back to your biography page on your content pages. What this does is create a circle of links intertwined in each other.

After you have added all of the appropriate links to your site (and Google+ profile), you can use Google’s Rich Snippet Testing Tool to see if your Authorship is working correctly. This tool will also tell you if your Authorship is fully verified. If you’ve done everything correctly, you should see something similar to this:

How to use Google's Rich Snippet Testing Tool for Google Authorship.

How Google Authorship looks in SERPs.

If your Rich Snippet doesn’t look like the one above, it may be because you didn’t include a link somewhere along the process. Also, while you will see your picture next to your post after the test, it could take anywhere from one week to a month or two for SERPs to start looking like this. We have attached our podcast both at the top and bottom of this post so that you can learn more about Google Authorship. If you have questions, ask us in the comments! We’d love to help you out!

[podcast]http://www.tmprod.com/podcasts/TM%20Podcast%2010-29-12.mp3[/podcast]

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