Google’s authorship markup programme means anyone who creates web content can potentially have a thumbnail headshot of themselves appear next to their content in Google searches. Links to the author’s profile page on Google Plus and to other content he/she has produced are also displayed.
This is all about improving searches by highlighting articles and content by credible, trusted journalists and bloggers. And research by Searchmetrics (our client) reveals that at least one author profile snippet is displayed in the top 100 results in over 13 per cent of UK searches.
So here’s my list of 10 key things PRs need to know about the author markup trend:
1) As a PR if you have a client who’s already a recognisd authority in his/her field, then having their profile pic appear in searches will draw more attention by highlighting that a blog or article is their handiwork.
2) If your client is not well known – but wants to be – then having their profile appear in searches will help to build their profile.
3) When images appear in searches, generally they attract more clickthroughs, so more people will view the content with an author profile entry.
4) If you – as a PR – manage to get your clients’ news and information written up by authors/journalists who have author profile entries next to their content, then these articles’ll be more visible in searches.
5) If you run a blog for a client, then getting well known guest authors to write for it could mean their posts will appear with author profile images in searches – you can get even more visibility and traffic to the blog!
6) To have a chance of driving author profile entries, writers need to be on Google Plus and to link their articles to their Google Plus profiles (see instructions from Google here).
7) Author markup is another example of the growing importance of Google Plus and another reason why you and your clients should be on there.
8) Interestingly, in Searchmetrics’ analysis, US focused authors are more frequently getting author profile entries displayed in Google UK searches. Perhaps because UK journalists, writers and bloggers have been slow to get on GooglePlus.
9) Good news for technology PRs; tech authors are one category of writer that are getting frequent author profile entries in UK searches according to the Searchmetrics data. UK writers in the top 20 most frequently displayed in this way include Charles Arthur, the Guardian’s technology editor, and Edward Chester, reviews editor at TrustedReviews.com.
10) Of course author profile entries aren’t the silver bullet answer to getting your content and your clients’ content visible in searches. You still need to be doing the SEO stuff to help it rank well for the right keywords.