Google+ Author Linking And The Shift Towards Branding Your Content

Written by Run2.
· 4 minute read

There seems to be a lot of change going on recently with Google in an attempt to further improve their search results. It appears that the shift is moving towards “branding” and putting your name to anything you produce online.

If you think about it, by putting your name to your content you are going to make sure that what you put out is quality and not some rehashed rubbish that the Internet is now littered with. Well let’s face it, if you don’t produce quality content and your name is associated with it then people will lose interest in you and your brand very quickly.

This is exactly what Google wants . . . for you to produce quality content that people are looking for and enjoy and therefore share with their friends and link back to.

Personally I’m all for this because the Internet seems to have got to a stage where there is actually too much content! Although I rarely have a problem with finding what I’m looking for with Google, there are still poor quality sites and content, making their way to the first page that get there through pure gaming of the search engine.

Google are constantly battling against this in a seemingly never ending war with the SEO and marketing world . . . so what’s one of the latest developments from the big G?

Google Authorship!

Through Google+ you are able to link your profile to your content which lets searchers and Google know that you are the author. Now there are rumours that this could be worked into the ranking algorithm at some point but despite the potential effects of that, your click through rate from the search results should increase meaning more eyeballs on your content and product offering which means more sales!

The reason for this is that by linking your content and adding the sites to your Google+ profile, your picture appears next to the search results adding credibility, trust and authority to the searchers perception.

The theories for the integration into the ranking algorithm is that Google could analyze all your content and see how people interact with it. Think social sharing, time on site, bounce rate, followers etc. Makes sense but like I say, it is important to note that this is all theory at the moment.

So Is Google Authorship The Next Big Thing?

Although I am in favour of it, I very much doubt it unless a lot of ground is gained by Google. Google+ only has about 90million users at the time of this writing and it is estimated only a small percentage of those are actually active users. (Facebook has around 895 million ACTIVE users!).

Also there’s another issue in the fact that the responsiveness to content is often niche and business specific.

For example a weight loss content/advisory site will get a lot more attention and interaction and benefit more from this sort of content branding than an e commerce site that sells fitness equipment.

So is it worth bothering with then? . . Yes I believe so. Well click through rate, trust, authority, brand awareness and a potentially better following can only be good things regardless of if and when it will affect your rankings.

On a final note, this is what generally happens in the online marketing world:

  • The search engines update and make changes to how they rank sites – usually small changes at a time although people talk as if the changes are HUGE!
  • Good SEO consultants adapt and embrace these changes, learn the new skills and techniques and suffer little to no negative effects from the updates.
  • Poor SEO consultants panic that the sky is falling and they are losing all their rankings for their clients.
  • Good SEO consultants continue to create great content and share and promote it around the web through “natural” techniques which is what they have always done even though the “techniques” need to be updated in line with the search engine updates.
  • Poor SEO consultants look for the next quick fix to be released to game the system once more . . . until the next update which will usually kill their rankings and unfortunately many clients businesses.

Most professional industries have CPD – continual professional development – to ensure employee’s skills are up to speed and in line with the latest industry standards etc.

Internet marketing is a bit different as the search engines, quite rightly, don’t tell you what you need to do otherwise they would be gamed and lose their ability to show you the best results. This means that it is down to people thinking outside the box and taking the initiative to implement testing, underground studying and general good practice to continually achieve the page 1 results for clients that stand the test of time.