Last week, Google rolled out the new in-depth articles search feature for its front page. These new search results will occupy the bottom three slots on the first page of Google. Based on a few criteria, you can potentially reach the front page instantly by qualifying for an In-Depth Article spot. Google authorship is required to rank, which means you’re required to have a verified Google+ page. Do you know what that means? It’s time for another round of America’s favorite game! Let’s play “Encourage You to Use More Social Networking Sites!”
Yes, MORE social media. Although it sounds like you have to sign up for two different things for the chance to maybe appear on the front page—it’s not that at all. In-depth articles are just another catalyst to promote an already respected—and useful—tool: Google authorship. It’s easy; it’s low-maintenance; and it can help you, and your company, rank higher.
In-Depth Articles Won’t Help You Rank, but Google Authorship Might
Sorry for getting you all riled up about in-depth articles—they aren’t currently available for any searches related to marketing. This means if you search “kitchen remodeling” or “HVAC repair,” Google isn’t opening up free real estate the same way they are for searches like “democracy.” We’ll see if that’s the case going forward, but at the moment the program is strictly limited to idea-based search topics.
Google Authorship is still an important time investment for a company. And with yet another Google push to promote this program, it’s clearly important to them, too. Let’s examine why.
It Helps Google Recognize You as an Authority
Here’s a dirty little secret that Google doesn’t like to talk about: Google+ isn’t doing well in the main stream. As a matter of fact, as recently as June, Google+ had 24 percent of logins for social media, but only 2 percent of shares. While Google+ is trending upward, it isn’t quite the community it wants to be.
So why even bother? Because Google still has that $250 billion chip in its pocket: its search rankings. By registering on Google’s social network, telling them you’re an author in a specific field, and publishing your content through Google+, Google will begin to recognize you as an authority.
Like anything related to SEO, building your Author Rank (Google’s even more ambiguous ranking for Google Authorship users) takes time and effort. But Google does take it seriously for their rankings, even if it’s not completely a factor for the search algorithm in itself. Any way you can verify to Google that your content can be trusted and is of high quality is worth doing. Anybody who does SEO knows it’s hard to get Google to recognize you as an authority. But Google+ is an easy way to push the odds in your favor.
This means you basically get to publish your content twice, and Google is totally OK with it. Google+ posts are starting to rank in Google by themselves. That means if Google can’t find your website’s content, it can probably find your Google+ post about it. Doesn’t that sound awesome? Google is basically giving you a thumbs up (or I guess, in this case, a +1) for double-sharing your content!
Another added benefit? You get to brand your posts on Google’s search result page with your company logo. While this hasn’t been introduced in America yet, it’s better to start building your author rank with Google before it happens.
Which do you think a customer is going to pick? A basic Google search result? Or a search result that Google is helping promote by sticking your logo next to it? Probably the verified one. This authority goes beyond just proving your worth to Google—you’re proving it to potential customers as well.
Google Authorship: It’s Probably Worth It
Doing even more social networking sounds daunting. But setting up your Google authorship account is pretty easy. A Google authorship account could be the difference in ranking higher on the first page than your competition. Google will always value high-quality content, and if you verify that content through Google+ first, it could rank even higher.
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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