Google Authorship

Is Google Authorship Essential for High Search Engine Rankings?

So, there’s been a lot of debate about the impact of Google authorship on search engine rankings. Some SEOs say it helps, others say it doesn’t. The truth is no one really knows that it does work. In fact, there was a heated argument about this recently in a private IM membership forum.

Google Authorship

One of the members mentioned that he removed Google authorship from some of his websites and saw their rankings go from pages 5-10 to pages 1-3 within 72 hours. While there may be pockets of results with claims that Google authorship hurts rankings, there are even many more who claim it works.

The question now is, do we believe it works? Or are we just assuming it helps? Why are there so many mixed results? Is there concrete data to prove that it positively impacts search rankings or not? How do we determine its effectiveness or the lack thereof?

The Case Against Google Authorship

Recently, Matt Cutts announced that the Google Webspam Team will be doing everything possible to “penalize” or prevent authors who publish spammy and low quality content from getting the benefits of Google authorship.

Basically, that means if you produce crappy content and think you can spam the search engines because you have a Google plus account linked to your website, you’re going to be disappointed.

This goes without saying that if you produce high quality, shareable content, you’ll get higher preference on the search engines, resulting in better rankings. Yet, there are people who are doing the latter and getting their websites overtaken by people who are spamming the search engines. What’s with that?

If Google says that good content wins, why are there people with low quality content rankings higher than those with great quality content? The fact is there are other factors to consider… and maybe, just maybe, “someone” is trying to blow smoke up our fannies.

The Case for Google Authorship

The impact of Google authorship and Google+ was first made public by one of Moz’s rankings study. The study pointed towards an incredible correlation between Google authorship, Google plus and higher search engine rankings.

Of course, other factors were considered, but their results showed something even more interesting –that it seems Google+ was built more for SEO than for just social. Therefore, for people who frequently take advantage of Google+’s link authority and effectiveness, they’re bound to get better search engine rankings.

Summarily, the study showed that using Google+

  • Authors can almost instantly get their content indexed
  • Pages and posts on Google+ acquired accumulated pagerank, resulting in higher link equity
  • Longer posts and articles got higher rankings because they were considered more informative

So Does it Work or Not?

Well, according to Matt Cutts, it doesn’t. So, who is telling the truth and who is fibbing? Truth is, I’ll take an objective study over a statement by someone who has a vested interest in ensuring the information about this “loophole” doesn’t circulate.

While there’s no real evidence that Author Rank helps rankings now, indicators point towards the fact that it might become a significant ranking factor in the future of SEO.

In Conclusion – My Advice

Add Google Authorship to your online marketing arsenal. Create a presence on Google+ for your floral shop, create and publish excellent content and share from there – doesn’t hurt – consistently. Most importantly, pay attention to all the metrics that will help increase your search engine rankings. Even if you don’t get any SEO benefit from Google Authorship, you can still benefit from the increased brand visibility, audience reach and acquisition, and revenue.

6 thoughts on “Is Google Authorship Essential for High Search Engine Rankings?”

  1. Regardless of whether or not it helps your Google rankings, I still think that it is smart to set up Google Authorship for your blog.

    While it may help some it has even better benefits such as building trust and credibilty in you as a person and your brand as people can actually see your face and know that the person who wrote this information is a real person.

    Nowadays people are looking for real people so when you set up your blog with Google Authorship you are allowing people to get to know you and they are more likely to come back and read what you have to say in the future!

  2. If Google authorship impacts the ranking we’ll never know. Like all topics concerning SEO, some say one thing works while some say it doesn’t. What’s sure is that adding it to our arsenal, like you put it, can’t hurt. Coupled with high quality content and good SEO practices our websites can only thrive.

    At the same time I think it’s safe to assume that Google favors itself one way or another, but in subtle ways. Thus, using all it has to offer it’s a wise move.

  3. From my own personal experience I can say that starting to use Google authorship had absolutely no affect on the search rankings, but it did help me get more traffic. It seems that having a nice picture of me appear beside my site in the search result pages encourages people to visit my website.

  4. Another great article. People don’t seem to realize the value of brand advertising. Even if you didn’t get any monetary benefit from Google Authorship, you still have some people exposed to your product or brand. One should try and use every asset they can to make themselves noticed by the consumer!

  5. I think this article was expertly written and there are aspects of credibility that are yet understood by those whom have a business in the floral niche. Creating a sense of credibility goes far beyond the scope of simply setting up an authority site, it goes without speaking that you have to ensure your users have an aspect of communication with you, ability to view a listing of profiles that are truly you and not someone posing as your and an understanding of what your brand offers as a benefit versus simply putting a site/ blog out there inspecting everyone to know it’s you.

    The Google Authorship program offers you the ability to associate a face and allows you to become your brand. I think a few pointers that work well include:

    Photo Ready – Ensure you have an updated professional photo or logo associated with this account to ensure your audience is able to cross associate whom you are. If you are placing yourself out there to provide guest posts, use the same photo, if you are acting as an expert on behalf of your business then use the company logo. It’s important to sometimes separate yourself if you anticipate taking on variable endeavors under a blanket company. You the expert versus You the company should be represented individually staring with the visual aspect.

    Monitoring – You should always ensure that you are able to monitor the actions of your audience using more than just the Google programs. Google is a sensational arsenal and a powerful tool but its important to have other software that monitors your audience. Understanding what your audience likes by monitoring the comments, number of items shared and online reputation is important. Do not place your primary focus on just one tool.

    Professionalism Proven – Use the Google Authorship program as you would LinkedIn. These are great resources to list on a portfolio. The program is growing in popularity and the earlier you registered the more it shows as a sign of investment in your brand.

  6. Google Authorship has always helped me in my years writing for the web. My articles are much more highly placed on the search engine and it’s easy to organize them to refer back to them.

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