When you publish blog posts and articles on your website, it’s a good idea to include a byline that attributes the content to a particular author. This not only personalizes your message, but also signals to readers (i.e., customers or clients) that you have on staff an expert in the industry. And the more you can help people associate your business with a real person, the more comfortable they’ll feel trusting you with their business.
Beyond that, there is the additional benefit of a byline enabling you to take advantage of Google Authorship.
What is Google Authorship?
Google Authorship verifies the author of content pages on your website — information that influences how these content pages show up in search results. Not automatically, though. Google Authorship is something you have to sign up for, and it’s something that requires bylines included on your content pages.
What’s the point?
When you sign up for Google Authorship:
1) Your picture appears beside your content links in search results. This is huge, as people are more likely to click on links with photos beside them.
2) You become a recognizable expert in your field. The more your content turns up in search results, readers who regularly search on your topic are able to immediately associate a link with a face — someone who they remember as someone they can trust for good content.
3) Your content gets indexed faster. This can be especially helpful if you are publishing content on a current event or timely topic. If you have Google Authorship, but your competitors don’t, Google will index your content faster, thus improving your position in search results.
4) You can protect yourself from plagiarism. With Google Authorship, there is no question that the content belongs to you. So in the event of plagiarism, it’s your content that Google will rank first, plus it will be that much easier to make sure the plagiarized content is removed.
5) Your byline will show up in image search results. When you include images in your content, which you by all means should, they may show up in image search results. When someone clicks on the image in these results, your byline appears, crediting you with the content associated with the image, including links to the blog post, your website, and your author bio page.
6) You’ll get a jumpstart on the much-talked-about but yet-to-be-formally-announced Google Author Rank, which it’s believed will further influence search results.
How do you sign up?
To sign up for Google Authorship, go to plus.google.com/authorship. As outlined there, things you’ll need include:
- Bylines in your website blog posts and articles.
- A verifiable email associated with your website domain.
- A Google Plus account under the same name you publish under on your website.
- A recognizable headshot as your Google Plus profile picture.