In other words, Google has shown us that if we want to have authority in our chosen fields, this is the best possible way to do it. In addition, it makes manipulation on the web less feasible and it resolves the issue of the original authorship of content!
How does Google Author Tag work?
By using author markup on the web, you are letting the public and Google itself know that you are the author of certain content. You are creating authority and at the same time your links are receiving +1 approval through social networks and content sharing on them, especially on Google+.
The better the content, the more credible the authorship. Content is king, right?
Let’s take, for example, a blog of one of our ShoutEm clients which our own Boris Licina wrote for on the topic of Choosing the Right Color for Your App at the beginning of this year. By using the Google Author markup, the results showed the text along with a picture of the author, lending importance to the credibility of the content as well as to the author who wrote it.
It is also clear how this version of search results impact the frequency of clicking on the results themselves. Namely, regardless of the fact that a result has not shown up at the very top of the search results, it is very likely to be clicked on since it shows the author’s photo along with the link. Yes, this is the author of the text – this is content you can trust!
When searching the phrase content marketing going mobile, in addition to the usual results, you will also see a blog post Content Marketing: Are you ready to go Mobile?, also written by Boris Licina and again shown with the author’s picture. But along with by Boris Ličina, you will also see in 994 Google+ circles, marking the number of people who have so far added him to their circles on the Google+ network. This is yet another sign of the credibility of the author and his content.
The habits of Google users, particularly of those who use the search engine of all search engines, have greatly changed, and the search results offered by Google keep getting better. Justin Briggs’ excellent blog post How does Google Authorship Impact CRT shows how users today skim the search results. This heatmap does an excellent job of illustrating the situation in which the most clicks are achieved – as you might have guessed – by results with authorship.
What has been going on lately with Author Tag?
There have been lots of rumors, such as those that author tag no longer exists, that it has been completely eliminated by Google. That is not true; at the end of 2013, Barry Schwartz from SearchEngineLand.com described how Google reduced the number of rich snippets displayed in the search results. According to Google’s Matt Cutts, there has been a 15% reduction of authorship in the SERP, the reason being the elimination of options such as author tags from pages that have weak authority.
The whole thing was explained eloquently by Cyrus Shepard, who used his blog to show how MozCast Features recorded a significant decrease in authorship results. While Matt Cutts talks about 15%, Shepard has recorded an interesting 30% reduction by using a very simple method: he took two screenshots in different time intervals to search 10 SEO copywriting tips.
In one search at one moment, every result had authorship, while in another three links were shown without the authors’ pictures.
Shepard continues that additional research has brought him to two conclusions: either Google has started showing fewer results in searches, or there has been a major purge and an elimination of low-quality results.
If the second of these options is true, and you write and create intelligent, shareable and praised content, it is about time you boarded the Google boat, put that Google authorship into gear and became an authority in the eyes of searchers as well as those of the great Google itself.
You need help? You want to put your Google+ presence out there? Contact us!