Google Authorship is the brainchild of Google that allows a genuine author to link his content that has been published on a specific domain to his Google+ profile. “Google is saying… We want to make sure that you are a real human being… We want to stamp out anonymity and spam”, and yes, it is the authorship that adds authority and credibility to the content. It establishes a verified connection between contents on the web and the authors who developed the content. Google Authorship empowers Google with the ability of identifying human-created, high quality content and to distinguish it from low quality content.
Now, let us elucidate on the fact that in what way Google Authorship can benefit you?
It is an excellent way to boost your online presence in Google result pages and high visibility will definitely boost the click-through-rate and will drive more potential traffic to your authored content. So you can see that Google Authorship influences your online presence to a great extent.
To the naked eye, Google authorship is the profile picture of the author and byline that appears on the search engine result pages. It shows the author’s image (same to the profile picture of his or her Google+ account), full name and the number of Google+ circles the author belongs to.
You can easily execute the authorship functionality once you have created a Google+ account. It seems apparently quite easy, but you may encounter a number of issues, once you have created the authorship. Now, only careful troubleshooting can solve out the issues. In this article we have elucidated on some of the common authorship issues that often crop up and the way you can troubleshoot them effectively.
Misattribution of Authorship in search result pages of Google
Often Google search displays the image of a different author instead of the original author of the content. Now, this problem is quite serious, as your profile picture is not appearing along with your content and someone else is taking the credit of your write-up. Suppose you name is Jenny Fox, but Google displays the name John Matthew with your content on its search page.
To troubleshoot this problem, do a careful on-page search to see that whether the name John Matthew appears anywhere else on the same page where your article appears. In most of the mis-attribution cases, it often happen that Google grabbed the image and name of some other author, who appears somewhere on your content page like on the comment section. But you may ask that why Google choose this particular author for attributing authorship, since many other commenters were also present in the comment section. The primary reason is that Mr. Matthew has claimed his Google Authorship from the same domain as yours.
Usually, this kind of misattribution takes place when two authors linked their ‘Contributor To’ section to the same domain or site, but do not provide a byline on the page. ‘Contributor To’ section in a Google+ profile is the place, where Google looks for content that the owner of the profile claims to have authored. So, you can well understand that to avoid problem, it is important to provide a clear byline.
Remember that your authorship byline will not only help you to get noticed among the web users, but Google will also take account of it.
Provide your content a clear byline
Author’s photo and a byline is a winning combination that will definitely add credibility to your authored content. Google recommends a clear byline on the page that will clearly state the name of the author who has developed the article. This will definitely help you to solve most of the misattribution issues of this type. However, make sure that your byline name matches exactly with your name mentioned in your Google+ profile. For example, Biswajit Singh and Jit Singh are not identified as same person. So, keep in mind to match your name.
In addition to this, each author on a particular site should have a unique author page.
It is good for each author to create author page on his site and to accomplish the task WordPress themes and frameworks are quite effective, as they include the option of setting up unique author pages. These advanced templates create byline automatically on each page created by a certain author and the byline automatically gets linked to the author page of the writer. In this case, an author will only need to link to his or her Google+ profile once from their author page and he is done. Now, Google can easily follow the links from the author’s byline to the individual author pages and eventually to their Google+ profiles. By implementing this step, you could seamlessly troubleshoot Authorship misattribution issue and it is especially useful for sites having multiple authors.
Authorship is only for original author
Authorship-related content should be unique and created by identifiable, real human being. Google will not consider your business logo or mascot as the real author. So, does this imply that content developed by identifiable individual is only valid or useful? No. You are free to churn up articles in any way you prefer, but such content cannot claim authorship. Google made it clear in its blog stating that “currently we want to feature people, link authorship markup to an individual’s profile rather than linking to a company’s Google+ Page”.
It is important to choose the right profile picture
It often happens that you provided a nice profile picture and successfully set up your Google Authorship, but your image does not appear on Google result pages. This is truly disappointing. However, if you check certain factors, you can troubleshoot this issue seamlessly. See, that whether your profile picture in Google+ is identifiable at all. Is it blurred or you are featured sporting a sunglass or cap that cover up your face in the photo. It is always better to choose a recognizable picture as your Google+ profile image, since Google prefers full-face picture.
Avoid linking authorship to non-content pages of your site
Sometimes, it happens that you have provided all required information to set up your Google authorship, but still things are not turning out in the right way and the page of your website that you have linked with your Google+ profile does not appear on the Google result pages. So, what is wrong?
You should take note of the fact that Google has recently made it clear that their Authorship is only applicable for pages that features quality and relevant content and no updating feeds or list of articles. Google mentioned that web users acknowledge authorship annotation because it implies that the page contains quality analysis by an authentic writer on a specific topic. Pages containing property listing or product pages carry no information at all for the web users. So, Google discourages to attribute authorship to such pages.
So, check out whether the page for which you have claimed authorship contains genuine content or not? If you are claiming authorship for the Home Page or About Page of your site, it is a futile effort, because Google will not take account of it and such pages will never acquire Google Authorship.
Google Authorship first went public in the summer of 2011. Google is still working on it, to make it even better and to offer attribution to genuine authors. You will get a number of guidelines across the web that will help you in setting up your Google Authorship. If you follow the right procedure, hopefully you will not encounter serious problem. But still to make you aware of the common issues that authors often confront with Google Authorship, I have discussed certain problems above. Hopefully, the solutions we provided will benefit you in an effective way.