Everything you need to Know about Google Authorship and its Impact on SEO

In the current digitalized world where virtually anything can be found on the internet, verifying authorship of all content that you create and publish online is of paramount importance. Authorship provides authority to viewers and search engines as well as creates a level of validity. Some digital marketers feel its useful as a measure of performance in the search engine results pages.

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is established by linking your content to your Google+ profile. In the past, your Google+ profile image would be automatically displayed next to the authored content on Google SERPs. However, Google opted not to be showing the profile photo from authorship snippets in SERPs as from June 25, 2014.

Verifying authorship is instrumental in helping audiences that are interested in your content to find other related articles that you have published. It also gives them an opportunity to add your profile to their Google+ circles.

Impact of Google Authorship on SEO

Competitive Advantage

Search engine results with authorship are more appealing and enticing to the internet users and often to lead to clicks. Google is currently carrying out tests on impact of authorship on search results.

Author Rank

Displaying your name alongside an article offers real benefit to search engine results. The additional information in the rich snippet results in a high level of trust in your work and name to readers and search engines. That in turn translates into improved engagement and traffic.

Click through Rates

Numerous studies have shown a 30%-150% in click through rate on site after including authorship on published content.


Authorship is important in search results as it denotes an analysis of a topic as well as a personal perspective. Content whose owner has been verified is more trustworthy, credible, and realistic that content that does not carry authorship. In addition, authorship helps to prevent the content from being plagiarized or used on other sites without your consent.

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More Details about Google Authorship

Which Articles Qualify for Authorship

Simply put, articles do qualify for authorship, but website pages do not. This is based on the fact the content has to be created by an author whose name is included in the byline. It is also important to note that Google prefers content that is presented in the form of one article than a compilation page of articles written by one bylined author.

Who Qualifies to Be an Author?

At the moment, Google only recognizes humans for authorship. If you are creating content under a company mascot or pseudonym, Google crawlers will not index that content.

How Do I Establish Authorship

You can establish authorship in the following three simple steps.

  1. Create a Google+ profile
  2. Link all the content you publish back to the Google+ profile by adding “rel=author” from the web page
  3. Include contributor links to your articles from your profile

Is There a Difference Between Publisher and Authorship?

While the rel=author tag helps to link articles with their respective Google+ profile, businesses can check the content for search by using the rel=publisher tag. Ideally, this tag links all the posts published on the website to the verified business Google+ page. In spite of the fact that the two tags serve almost the same purpose, they are independent of each other.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


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