The Google Authorship attribute has been around ever since Google Plus was publicly rolled out in 2011. Few content creators used it then or even understood why it was important. Those who eventually started using it are currently seeing benefits with their content marketing and even on Google's search engine results pages (SERPs).
These authorship features each work on multiple levels to give you more visibility, better placement, more presence, more click-throughs, and greater trust with your audience. Here are the three most important reasons that you should adopt the Google+ authorship tag for SEO while it is still in the “early adopter” stage.
1. More Visibility & Better Placement
Let's face it: Google often shows a clear SERP preference to pages that it owns, whether those pages are on Youtube, Blogspot, or (especially lately) Google +. While many people have complained about this self-favoritism, a better strategy is to use it to your advantage.
Of course, a Google author tag alone wont' guarantee a good rankings for your content. But it will help. It will also give more visibility to your other content (via the “More from this author” link), which in turn will get your other content seen and linked to (provided it is well done), which in turn makes you more competitive in all search engines (not just Google).
But Google favoritism isn't the only thing about using a Google Author tag that will make you more visible. Your content will also show up in the SERPs with an author photo next to it.
2. More Presence & Click-Throughs
An authorship tag increases your presence in two different ways: images and related content.
Having an author image by your content will make it stand out in results pages more, which can potentially mean you'll get more click-throughs than imageless results higher up on the page. Images also make it more likely that readers will click on any particular link—as proven by thousands of “made for Adsense” sites in the previous decade!
The Google+ authorship tag also increases your visibility and presence by showing more of your content than it otherwise would.
Without G+ authorship, your result in the SERPs is just that—a result in the SERPs. But with authorship, you actually get two results when you show up in the SERPs: your actual result, plus a “More by (Your Name Here)” link.
Increased presence will usually equate to increased click-throughs. Presence alone may not increase your click-through rate, but it will put you in front of more readers.
One thing that likely will increase your click-through rate is the added trust you will receive from your Google authorship tag.
3. You Become More Trusted by Google and Readers
A Google+ authorship tag will help Google to trust you, your content, and your website (and by extension, your Content Marketing Efforts). Most search engine marketers are already aware of the fact that a high ranking equals an implied Google endorsement to a website, in the minds of many users.
Of course, Google doesn't actually give an endorsement to high-ranking sites; it's all in the mind of the reader. But that doesn't make the phenomenon any less real.
And while using a G+ authorship can help you get ranked higher, which in turn makes you more trusted, there are also other elements to the author trust equation.
The simple fact that your picture is next to your content in Google search results, will help others trust you. For one thing, your content has a little more “implied humanity”--something important in a landscape filled with faceless and (even today) spammy results.
For another thing, your picture in search results adds to the “implied endorsement” effect. It also adds an air of authority, much like a professional head shot in a magazine column or on the back of a book.
These aren't the only benefits you'll gain by associating your content with your Google+ authorship. There are other SEO benefits to using the author tag, and plenty of non-search engine related benefits as well. But these three should be enough to convince any organization to adopt the Google+ author tag program as soon as humanly possible.
Image Courtesy : ivanpw/Flickr