Implementing Google Authorship

Some time ago I read this useful post from IonLeap about an impending shift in the method Google uses to rank pages. Put briefly, it involves a move from ranking content by the number of links that point to it, to a system based on the author.

How do Google propose to do that ? Well, it’s based around forming connections between an author’s content, and their Google+ profile if they have one. As well as having potentially very significant impacts on where authors choose to maintain their ‘hub’ – the profile around which everything else revolves – it promises to help authors tie together their work, and to give it greater exposure in Google search.

How is it done ? Very simply – and the post above gives some simple instructions, also available here. Once you have a G+ profile, one simple line of code within your blog template does the job; in my case, in the link to the G+ profile over on the right. Leave it for a couple of weeks, and this begins to happen.

google authorship

Not only does this post score highly on a very general search, it shows the photo from my G+ profile (if the user is logged into Google), and links to it. [See note 1 below]

I’ve yet to see whether this will lead to increased traffic to the blog; it’s early days. But it strikes me as a quick and easy thing to implement for bloggers, and I don’t see an obvious cost or much risk.

[Note 1. As @j_w_baker rightly points out, how the ranking works may be influenced by the ‘filter bubble’, and I didn’t test these results before implementing the change. But they seem roughly comparable between machines so far. I’d be very interested to hear any before-and-after findings from others.]

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