The web is personal again… Authors in the modern age.

Google's Author Tags Link Content Back to it's authors.

Google recently announced its support for the “Author” tag to help track content across the web regardless of its location.

This new tag connects authors directly to the content they create.

But what does this mean for small business? I boils down to this. With content being tracked to the author small businesses must decide on their identity and ensure they stick to it to grow their online following. Google’s new algorithms might actually be favoring the individual. If you are a very small business, a blogger or consultant it may be best to write as yourself. We often talk to business owners about positioning themselves as the face of their business. This new Author tag falls right into that line of thinking. The days of pretending your business is something it’s not has come to an end.

You might be asking yourself how this all works; most sites just like this one include an author box that shows details about the author who wrote the post. If your site does not have you might want to consider adding the feature. Not only does this provide a personal connection to the author but it also provides your site with some much-needed external links. These help with SEO and can increase site traffic. When search engines look at the author information it ties that post back to essentially what becomes an invisible profile about that author that ties all their content together. If your business hires an intern to write content for you and they go on to become a writer for a big magazine or corporation the credit for those articles all stick with them in the eyes of search engines.

From Google Webmaster Tools:

If you want your authorship information to appear in search results for the content you create, you’ll need a Google+ Profile with a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo. Then, verify authorship of your content by associating it with your profile using either of the methods below. Google doesn’t guarantee to show author information in Google Web Search or Google News results.

Don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content? Follow the instructions listed in Option 2 below.

  1. Check that you have a email address (for example, levy@wired.com) on the same domain as your content (wired.com).
  2. Make sure that each article or post you publish on that domain has a clear byline identifying you as the author (for example, “By Steven Levy” or “Author: Steven Levy”).
  3. Visit the Authorship page and submit your email address to Google. No matter how many articles or posts you publish on this domain, you only need to do this process once. Your email will appear in the Contributor to section of your Google+ profile. If you want to keep your email private, change the visibility of your link.
  4. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.
  1. Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:
      <a href="[profile_url]?rel=author">Google</a>

    Replace [profile_url] with the your Google+ profile URL, like this:

      <a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202?
       rel=author">Google</a>

    Your link must contain the ?rel=author parameter. If it’s missing, Google won’t be able to associate your content with your Google+ profile.

  2. Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.
    1. Edit the Contributor To section.
    2. In the dialog that appears, click Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
    3. If you want, click the drop-down list to specify who can see the link.
    4. Click Save.
  3. To see what author data Google can extract from your page, use the structured data testing tool.

If you want to know more about how this might be effecting your online presence just get in contact with me.