Tag Archives: how to

Why Google Author Tags are important and how you can easily add them.

Note that this post is from 2013 and Google no longer treats authorship the same way.

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.

Google Author Tag in Search Results Example

Example of photo in search

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.

You get a second chance at capturing reader interest with Google Author Tags

Example of additional chances to reach searchers with your content

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.

 

Example of what you would see on your main Pinterest page (stream).

Pinterest explained, and how to use it.

I am doing a week of blog posts about Pinterest. If you are already a user, this particular introductory post may not be relevent, but I will be publishing six posts total on Pinterest:

Please visit again or subscribe to be alerted about future posts in the series.

Pinterest is a bit like Twitter was a couple years ago. You may have heard about it, and understand the basic concept, but here is a quick overview.

Pinterest is about viewing, organizing and sharing images (they offer video too, but that hasn’t taken off).

The two key parts of Pinterest are pins and boards.

Example pin of a glass bowl.

Pin

A pin is any image that you want to post. You can also add a text caption to any image as part of the pin. Pinterest offers a bookmarklet that you can add to your browser to quickly pin images you see on most websites.

Boards

You have to then put the pin on one of your boards. Boards can be labeled anything you want, but people usually use them to organize images around themes. Pinterest will automatically add some boards in the signup process if you approve it. You can always delete or rename boards later. It is helpful to have the default boards as a place to start.

Followers/Following

Example of what you would see on your main Pinterest page (stream).

Your pins show up in the stream of pins that your followers see, and likewise, you see the pins of people you follow on the default Pinterest page.

You can follow all of a person’s boards, or choose to only follow the one’s you are interested in.

Pinterest uses an algorithm to place some pins at the top of your stream largely based on “re-pins” and “likes” from other users.

Re-Pin

You can re-pin other peoples pins to your own boards and have the option of changing the text caption when you re-pin. Unless the caption is highly personalized, most users make very few changes to captions.

Like

You can “Like” a pin, and that will show up in a separate stream that others can access from your profile. Likes are often used when a person literally likes a pin but doesn’t want to re-pin it. This could be because they don’t have an appropriate board or don’t want to make their interest as public as re-pin would make it.

Example board from my personal account.

Ways to use Pinterest

Like most social networks, you often don’t know how best to use it until you try it out. I personally started on Pinterest because my wife uses it, and I am interested in social networks. I use Pinterest to collect images of different art I like in addition to other random collections of images that interest me.

Popular board categories include:

  • Places
  • Food
  • Decor
  • Humor
  • Organization
  • DIY

The list can go on and on. Essentially any topic you could think of could be a board. And you can make it as broad or specific as you want. Most people start out creating broad catagories and over time make them more specific. But like most social networks, there are many ways to do it right. Pinterest’s search function is excellent, and when you find and image you particuarlly like, you can then explore all the images that are on that board.

Pinterest heavily leans to female users, but I believe the human impulse to collect and organize things, will make Pinterest of use and genuinely fun for most people who give it a try. Whether Pinterest can make the experience relavent to people outside of core female demographics remains to be seen. But being able to follow individuals by board (essential interests) and not just by person, naturally lends itself to more an individualized and relevant experience.

I have only used Pinterest for two months, so I welcome your ideas, thoughts and suggestions on the service. Comments are appreciated.

If you need an invite to Pinterest, just email me at jd12345@gmail.com with Pinterest in the subject line, and I will send you an invitation.