There’s a new Google ranking signal out there – authorship markup. As we all know, Google put a lot of emphasis on the quality of their search results, and this new method of defining search rankings seems to fulfil two Google goals: to improve the trustworthiness of their content, and to give Google+ a boost.
Still in an ‘experimental’ phase, authorship markup deals with the credibility of authors, ultimately by displaying their photo alongside applicable Google search results. Here’s the catch – you need a Google+ profile. The profile supplies your photo to the search results, as well as link to your profile, and hey presto – you become visually recognisable, your articles have enhanced credibility, and your Google+ profile is promoted (along with Google+ itself).
Mischief-makers take note – sites have to be linked back to Google profiles, preventing ill behaviour, like writing a load of gobbledy-gook and attributing it to another author.
Want to use authorship markup? It’s easy. First, add a link to your Google+ profile on every post or article. On the link, add an attribute rel=”author”. In the header, or the footer, wherever works. You can wrap it around an image too.
Multiple authors are hardly any more complex – just follow the above, linking each author post, or their author bio, to their Google+ profile. All it takes is takes a bit of coordination between authors and webmaster to give search rankings a real boost.
We like it, and we do respect Google’s smart move of making a Google+ profile a key part of the new ranking signal. As the Facebook/Google+ supremacy battle heats up, we’ll be waiting for a countermove with baited breath…