This blog post has two purposes. The first is to explain why Google Author Tags (also referred to more broadly as Authorship) is something you should consider implement on your own blog. The second part is to introduce a new flowchart that will help you accomplish this with step-by-step instructions. If you are already familiar with the benefits of Author Tags, you can go right to the flowchart.
Google Authorship one of the best things about Google+ accounts. Simply put, these tags allow you to associate your Google+ account with bylined content you have published on your own site (and potentially others). If your name is listed as the author of the content, you can associate it.
Here are the key benefits…
Getting your photo is Google search results
Once you associate your Google+ account with your content, this association extends to search results where your photo shows up next to results that include your content.
While there hasn’t been a comprehensive study of how much additional traffic sites get from a photo appearing in search, a number of blogs have seen traffic increase from 15% to 50%. When I added author tags, I saw a 20% increase in traffic.
Getting an extra chance to engage with people doing searches
Google also provides something unique in search that is only for people using Author Tags. If someone clicks on a link to your content, spends some time on your site, and then clicks back to search, they will at times see links in the search results to additional pieces of content you have written. These additional links appear below the initial search result link that they clicked on.
Getting ahead of Google’s continued move to making Author Rank a key element of what results show up in search
Eric Schmidt, Google’s Chairman, has a new book coming out, and The Wall Street Journal published a number of short paragraphs from it, including one that points to the future value of Google Authorship.
Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.
I don’t believe that Google will ever eliminate anonymous content from search, but for content that you feel comfortable publishing under you own name, the future value of of Google’s Authorship program becomes clear.
Now that you know the benefits of Authorship, I highly encourage you to check out the flowchart I made to get your own account setup with Google Author Tags. I feel it is the best piece of how-to content I have worked on.