The Importance of Using “rel=author” For Your Web Content
August 8, 2012 - Posted by Rilee Chastain
Google’s authorship program promotes enhanced search result listings.
Over the last few years, Google has been taking a long, hard look at social media’s effect on personal and company branding, and have been working hard to add a more human element to search engine rankings and―the newest industry buzzword of the moment―author rankings. As Google slowly began implementing these changes into their search engine, they began to realize just how important social media is as an indicator towards evaluating the quality of a given website.
To help reinforce the importance of credible authority and personal branding, Google introduced its authorship program into the world just a few years ago. This rel=author tag is used to rank web content that is written by real people, while also helping Google determine the authenticity of the content by verifying that it was written by someone who has credible expertise in the subject.
Implementing the rel=author tag is relatively easy to do (you can follow Google’s step-by-step instructions) and it allows you to enhance the way that SERPs display your content on the web, while also helping to improve click-through ratings through enhanced search results.
However, using the rel=author markup for web content is not just beneficial for ranking your content on Google. If you are someone who produces regular content on a blog or website, the Google authorship programs allows you to claim your hard work as your own and build a solid reputation around your name and image as being an expert in your industry.
Here are just a few more ways in which using the rel=author tag can benefit your website and your content in the long run:
Improves Your Search Visibility
It is no secret that a strong social footprint helps to improve your search engine rankings across the web, whether it’s via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any number of other social media sites. The Google authorship program simply takes this idea one step further by attaching your social media profile to the content that you produce. Implementing authorship mark-ups across your website can also boost your ranking in Google search, while also putting a name and face to your work.
Makes Your Content Stand Out
Since the rel=author tag first began popping up in Google search results over a year ago, studies have shown that having an image next to the content that you are promoting helps to increase the click-through rates of that given search result. This is because having a nice, colorful image alongside a boring wall of text helps it to stand out among the results, and therefore more people are likely to click on your content.
Increases Your Credibility
By connecting your image and byline with the content that you are creating, you are essential building up your portfolio of content and establishing yourself as a trusted voice in your industry. Not to mention, you are also telling the search engine that you are a real person creating quality content, and not just a bot that is publishing text for SEO purposes. Having your content verified by Google also helps to reassure your readers that you have a reputation and authority that matters.
What do you think about Google’s authorship problem? Do you think that it will have as big of an impact on search engine rankings and CTR as people are predicting? Let us know in the comments below.