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Sep

04

2014

What the Death of Google Authorship Means to Content Marketing

Inbound Marketing

Google announced last week that it will be ending Google Authorship. Some of you may be asking, “What the heck is Google Authorship?” The fact that you don’t know what it is, is actually one of the reasons they are ending it.

Until last week, Google had a feature called Google Authorship that would allow you to tie content on your site to a particular author. When a searcher would search for an item that returned a hit for your content, the author’s picture would appear next to the article. This was a great way to differentiate your content from the dozens of other articles returned on a Search Engine Page Result (SERP).

So your next question might be, “Did it make a difference?” The answer was yes. Articles containing a picture and the author’s name had a higher likelihood of being clicked on (a measurement known as a Click Through Rate) than results without a photo.

So why did Google kill it?

Google’s rationale behind killing the Authorship feature was that it had not received broad enough support from webmasters or searchers. Google authorship lacked sufficient name recognition and adoption to be meaningful. In other words the rate of adoption and the degree to which Google could positively impact searcher behavior, rendered the tool superfluous.

So Now What

Well, if you weren’t using Google Authorship before, then nothing changes for you. If you used Google Authorship on your blog, you may see a slight dip in visits in the short-term.

The next thing you may be asking yourself, “Should I stop listing authors on my blog?” In a word: no. Listing authors allows your organizations staff to develop a following, and to establish thought-leadership in your industry. Just because Google Authorship no longer exists, doesn’t mean that your name can’t become associated with great content.

So How Do You Stand Out

There are some inbound marketing / SEO basics to remember:

  • Always include a meta description for each page – a unique meta description is the information that appears next to or below your link in a SERP. It explains to the searcher the content that they can expect to see on your page. While this doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO, it does increase click through rates.
  • Always include a meta page title – this is an important SEO factor. Ideally the page title should include targeted keywords, or a direct match to a search phrase.
  • Always use H1 tags – H1 tags are an HTML attribute in your sites code that lets Google and webpage viewers know what’s important on your site. Again, ideally, this should contain keywords or an exact match to a searcher’s query.
  • Always use properly optimized images – include relevant images in your blog and make sure they’re optimized for search. This would include the image name containing keywords as well as the use of alt tags.
  • Always promote your content – if you’re developing great content, make sure people know about it! Promote it on social channels and industry-specific websites where buyers are likely to be found.

Does all of this seem overwhelming? Let’s talk! We can help!

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