Have you seen those little pictures of people’s faces just to the left of the search results? You know, like the one you see below:
That nifty little photo there looks cool when you go through the search engine results, but it does much more than that.
In one case, for example, Copyblogger noted some studies where clicks on results with photos increased by as much as 150%. In fact, the better the headshot, the more clicks some users saw.
And you also see in that photo where it says, “by Danny Sullivan – in 1,769,122 Google+ circles?” That’s also a huge credibility booster. You know it’s not just some average Joe writing on a topic for the first time. Instead, it’s someone highly respected, so search users are even more likely to click on that search result.
But There Are Some Questions About Authorship’s Long Term Usefulness…
AJ Kohn notes that the Authorship Project at Google was led by Othar Hansson… who now works on the Android search team. Additionally, Sagar Kamdar was the product manager for Authorship, and he now works on Google’s Project Loon.
And the truth is, even though many important authors already use Google Authorship, there are many who do not.
So, how can Google make Authorship an important factor in its search rankings if many major thought leaders don’t use it?
Even Though Not Everyone Uses It, You Should Use Authorship
There are simply too many benefits to ignore using Google Authorship. Even though it’s not used by everyone, it is used by many reputable people across the web. And, Google’s looking for a way to establish unique identities on the internet in order to help searchers find credible, relevant results.
Besides increasing click-throughs and building your credibility, it also:
- Makes you easier to spot in the search results (numerous eye tracking studies, including this one from Moz, have shown people look at these images first before headlines)
- Allows you to claim ownership of your content (that puts a damper on plagiarism)
- Builds your reputation and authority as a digital writer
- Distinguishes you from other people on the web who may share your name
There is a Catch…Isn’t There Always?
One catch about authorship is that it’s kind of quirky at times. It’s a comparatively simple thing to do, but it may (or may not) throw some curveballs in your direction. If you think it’s a good idea, read this post to learn how to get it set up (whether you write content on your own site or another).
Although there is still debate over the long term value of Google Authorship it is still very much alive and the data speaks for itself. If you want to increase the popularity of your site, the authority of your brand and the number of clicks to your blog, then Google Authorship is a great opportunity.