Google Authorship is Kaput:
Why Google Ended the Experiment
UPDATE: On August 28, Google announced that it would be discontinuing Google Authorship. Specifically, Authorship results will no longer show up in searches and Google won’t track data using the rel=author markup any longer. This news comes after Google began limiting the number of author photos shown per query in December 2013 and then removed all author photos in June 2014.
Google has cited two primary reasons for this shift away from Google Authorship. First, many authors and webmasters were not using the Authorship markup, or were doing it incorrectly when they did use it. Secondly, Google found through analytics that Authorship snippets didn’t really matter to searchers to any measurable degree and thus was not providing any value.
Google has shown that they are dedicated to finding the best, most relevant results for searchers. It stands to reason that, given the data Google gathered, Google Authorship was an experiment that failed in that regard.
Why use Google+ for business? It’s more than just a late-arriving competitor of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Because Google is the most widely used search engine in the world (compiling almost 65% of all internet searches), having a Google+ page for your business gives you enhanced search visibility. An active and current Google+ business page shows prospective customers that you’re engaged and establishes you as a thought leader (by way of posts and Google+ Authorship) – not to mention boosting your page ranking!
So, now that you know why you need a Google+ business page, how do you create it? There are several steps. Keep in mind that Google may already have created a Google+ business page for your company; if this is the case, be sure to “claim” it. If you don’t claim your page and optimize it, your business won’t be found. The steps for claiming and optimizing your Google+ business page are outlined below:
4 STEPS TO CLAIMING YOUR GOOGLE+ BUSINESS PAGE
- Create a Gmail account for your business
- Go to Google My Business and search for your business by entering your phone number. If you don’t find it there, create a Google+ page for your business. Add additional information, photos and posts.
- Verify your business page. This is essential if you want your Google+ page to be searchable across the Google properties, to make any edits visible, and to track visitor information. An image will display with your business address and location; make sure this is correct. Google will send your business a postcard with a verification URL. Visit the URL and log in with the same account used to request the verification postcard. Then enter the verification code in your “My Business” dashboard.
- Connect your business website with your Google+ page. Go into the “Page” section and hit the “Link Website” button next to the business website’s URL. This will need to be approved and verified; you’ll receive an email when this is complete and your URL will have a check mark next to it on your page.
3 SIMPLE AND EASY TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR GOOGLE+ BUSINESS PAGE
- Google+ Page: Make sure your SEO title includes your company name. Don’t stuff keywords here, as it looks manipulative to Google. You can also create a custom URL for your Google+ page and make it shorter while maintaining your branding within it (as opposed to a generic URL). The SEO meta description (tagline and the first two sentences of your introduction) must be no longer than 160 characters; this is where you want to add at least two of your SEO keywords. Google+ Authorship smartly allows you to claim other content on article sites and tie them to your Google+ page, further enhancing your visibility.
- Content Posting: Work to build a following so that your content can circulate widely, and share the posts with your existing circles. When posting shared content, be sure to include a short summary and include the link in the attachment area, not the summary. This gives you a DoFollow link, which passes the “link juice” to the website you’re linking to and encourages reciprocity from their site to yours. Also, use hashtags when posting about popular or relevant topics, and encourage reviews and comments.
- Link your other social media accounts to your page. If you have a YouTube business channel, you’ll definitely want to connect it to your Google+ business page, since Google owns YouTube. You’ll benefit from the increased search visibility.
Google+ is taking its place at the table, so to speak, as the most important social media engine for business, and participation is growing every day. Without an established and optimized Google+ business page, your business will be left whistling in the wind. Need help? Call us at (888) 235-3088.