By now, you’ve heard about Google +, and if you’re like many local business owners, you’re trying to get a good grasp on what it means in way of SEO and promoting local business. In way of numbers, it’s no surprise that Google + is growing quickly as they continue to promote and make it easier for people to provide links to invite their friends to join the network. Google also continues to add features that help with exposure and SEO, such as the new Google Authorship markup capability launched relatively recently.
After setting up Google Authorship, an individuals’ Google + profile photo and name will appear next to links to articles written by that individual in Google search results. In addition, you can link to external websites for which you’ve written content, and they will show up under your Google +1 tab of your Google profile. This feature bodes well for local business owners who author a fair amount of content on the web. And Google Authorship coupled with individuals clicking the +1 button to show support of your content can really bolster rankings as social data and the social graph become more important in search engine ranking algorithms.
Another benefit of Google Authorship beyond SEO is exposure. The way Google displays pictures from your Google profile is very eye-catching in search results and definitely stands out compared to normal search results. Just seeing the photo alone may create enough curiosity for someone to click on the picture or article to see who you are and what you’re about. This is one reason as to why it’s important to make sure your Google profile is up-to-date and current.
To set up Google Authorship, Google has a couple different methods you can use. For a view of how an author shows up in search rankings and for a tutorial, you can check out Google’s Webmaster Tools Help section. For a full step by step guide, check out Google Authorship: Another Way to Put Google + to Work for Your Business.; and for an easier version for the less tech savvy individuals, Google released a new video with a 4-step process that can be found in Chris Crum’s post, Google Authorship Markup – An Easier Way.
Google’s push of Authorship Markup not only impact rankings, but also helps push and provide exposure for Google with Google Profiles and Google +, of course. Given that Google has a way about maximizing synergies with the tools and products they provide, this is no surprise. But even though Google’s push for users to utilize Authorship has a lot to do with their benefiting from the exposure (why wouldn’t it?), it’s very smart business for a local business owner to gain exposure by utilizing Google Authorship starting yesterday, as well.