Google Authorship is about determining you to be a genuine author and proving the authenticity of the content that you write and publish for a website. In a layman’s term, it is about connecting and establishing your identity as an author of the blog you write for by connecting it to the Google+ profile. Google search results return searches and use this authorship as a byline where your avatar is displayed. In this way people searching the web will be able to identity who is the author of the content and make it easier to look for a particular author too.
Advantages of Google authorship
Every content writer dreams of getting greater visibility and higher hits for their content. And what better way for that than connecting their Google+ account with the content directly? This may give weightage to the author’s profile and higher traffic since Google+ is also a social networking website. The links can be easily shared between people through it and prove more useful in grabbing the attention of people. It also makes it easier for someone searching several contents written by the same writer and keeping it streamlined and more user-friendly.
Most common issues in authorship and their most effective solutions
Using the right profile picture and its importance
Setting up Google Authorship is actually quite easy and comprises of a few easy steps. The set up also needs a profile picture that you might have given already but may not see that image appear on a Google search result. This may be heartbreaking but a problem that can be easily fixed by a few troubleshooting techniques. Always crosscheck whether the Google+ profile picture of yours is identifiable or not. Also ensure there are no images in which you are wearing sunglass, caps, etc, basically anything that can cover up your face and make you less recognizable. Remember, Google prefers a full face on the picture and that’s the choice you should go with while selecting a profile picture.
Only original authors are eligible for Authorship
Google considers and allows only real human beings for opening an account with Authorship and needs original and relevant content. It does not take or consider any business logo or mascot as the author of a particular content. This doesn’t mean that content cannot be posted on the internet if it is not by identifiable humans and is invalid. Only Authorship has such a criterion as Google wants to focus and bring up the feature for individual profiles and not that of a company.
Clearly mention a byline to go with your content
If you want your content to get an Authorship search result, there are two main things to be taken care of. One is to make sure that all content of yours has clearly mentioned a byline that states the name of the author. Secondly, this much mentioned name should match the name you have mentioned in your Google+ profile. So avoid using aliases or nicknames just to be more identifiable as the author of the content.
Get every author writing for your site an author page
If your website is built using WordPress themes and frameworks like Genesis you might be interested in knowing that they provide you with the option of setting up a unique author page using the options under Users Tab. Such templates then provide a byline automatically when the page is created by the author and the link is linked to the writer’s author page. With such provision already in place, all you need to do is connect the Google+ profile with the unique author page and each author can link their pages with their content on your site. In case the site doesn’t use themes then a coding right into the author pages may provide the necessary link between the content and the author’s page.
Misattribution in displaying correct author information in Google search results
It may so happen that Google search results are not providing your profile picture along with your content and may even display some other author’s image. This is a genuine problem as it may end up giving the wrong author the credit for content that you have written.
Carefully inspect the issue and do an on-page search for the name that is displayed instead of yours for the content. It may also happen that the profile which is displayed along with your content is of someone who has commented in your article and Google may just have extracted that writer’s information and displayed it right away. It is a question as to why such authorship issue takes place by Google and what makes it choose only a particular name from a whole section of comments.
Do not use domain authorship attribution
There are many themes and plugins that provide the option of setting up authorship for your domain but is not a good idea to begin with. Google doesn’t like Authorship to be used for a page that doesn’t display even a single article or subsequent versions of it by the same author. The page that needs authorship is the ones with rich and genuine content written by real human beings. This includes content that is of analytical nature or of a person’s view on a topic. Property listings and product pages do not carry such content and hence should not be connected to authorship.
Google Authorship is evolving since its launch in summer of 2011 and keeps on going through major upgrades and changes. It may be safe to say that it will only get better with time and Google will work on the misattributions with a keen eye. Till then you can start being alert about such issues that may hamper your visibility and use the above points to solve them. If all is done well properly your authorship may start producing fruitful results within no time.