Google+ is quickly becoming an online content creator and writer’s best friend. With the launch of Authorship in late 2011, Google+ created a product that benefits both writers and Google’s search results.
Authorship allows writers to claim their content using their Google+ profiles by establishing a link between your profile and each content page you created. It’s a way for the original writer to establish credit for their work, while keeping content scraper’s results from showing up as a top search result, improving Google’s search reliability.
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The first thing you notice about an article written by someone with Google+ Authorship is that their profile picture shows up next to their item in your search results. Why is that important? Simple—people are drawn to pictures, especially in a sea of text. So if your article shows up in a search result, the person doing the search will be drawn to your content before others, even if it’s not the top result.
Basically, Google+ Authorship helps you stand out in a search. Whether or not this effect will last as more writers employ Google+ Authorship remains to be seen. But in the meantime, something as simple as having your photo appear in the search results next to your content can increase traffic to your pages.
But it’s more than merely having your photo appear in search results—implementing Google Authorship also increases your standing as an authority and your trustworthiness as a content producer in the eyes of Google (and others searching online). The link to your Google+ profile makes it easy to develop a social following based on your content performance, giving you the opportunity to build your reputation as an authority on certain topics. Also, the link provides verification that there is a real person writing and not some content robot pumping out keywords to drive SEO results. For both users and Google, Google+ Authorship establishes you as a reputable author.
You will also start to build up your AuthorRank, which is determined by your social influence, and can improve your search standing once you’ve established yourself with hundreds or thousands of followers.
A lesser known benefit to claiming Google+ Authorship is the increased potential for a search user to view more than just one page of your content from just one search result. If a user clicks onto your content page and stays there for over two minutes (or so) before hitting the back button, Google considers your content as valuable to the user, and that they may find other articles created by you useful as well. When the user returns to the original search results page, extra links written by you will show up under your original listing.
Even if they navigate away from the page before the requisite time has elapsed, the person doing the search has an opportunity to find more articles by you by simply clicking the link “More by [name of author].” The link leads to a page that pulls up results from the cross-section of content created by you and the user’s search terms.
And finally, claiming your content via Google+ Authorship can help keep plagiarizers from benefiting from your hard work and ensures the credit goes where it belongs—to you!