Good day, my SEO heroes! I’ve been bad…lazy in not keeping up with the blog. Anyways, I’m back in the groove, so here goes. We are teaching Google Authorship in our advanced Search Engine Academy SEO course, and I’m amazed at how two years after roll out, how many folks don’t know what Google Authorship is, or how it give them a competitive advantage to get better visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) over their rivals.

Remember, Google Authorship is a process that allows Google to see that you’re the originator, or source of unique, useful, interesting content. You can establish yourself as a subject matter expert (SME), thought leader, what have you when you use authorship as a strategy. Your authorship results on Google show up really nice, just like this:

What Google Authorship looks like in the SERPs

Well, I like to do the following little exercise in class, and I thought I would share it with you when I’m building a case for my SEO students to start using Google Authorship for their content. Ready? Here goes…

We know that everything on the internet is keyphrase-driven, right? And I’m sure you have some keyword phrases you’re trying to rank for, correct? Sure! I know you’ve done all of your fundamental SEO stuff – on-page factors, a nice little amount of quality links to your pages, local SEO if it matters, and you’re probably engaging in social media as well. Keep on keepin’ on…don’t stop with any of that.

So now you’re down to brass tacks and need to find an extra edge, and you’re considering adding Google Authorship – hooray! – to your site. If you want to see who, if anyone, owns those keywords with respect to Google Authorship, try this little exercise below to quickly figure out your authorship strategy.

Make a list of several keyword phrases you’d like to rank for. Here’s a few random ones I’ve made up.

  • MLB statistics
  • private pilot license requirements
  • sailboat racing

Plug each one into Google and see what bubbles up. Here’s the first one I did:

Hmmmmm…nothing. Here’s what I find interesting – the large sports news sites are featured, but none of the writers who blather on about baseball analytics are featured. OK, let’s look at our next query:

Again, nothing. See the one I drew the arrow to? Rod Machado is da man when it comes to getting a private pilot’s license. I think I’ll ping him, and find out why he’s not using Authorship! OK, last query:

OK, here’s what so sad about this – both Danny and I are SEOers. There are dozens of SMEs in sailboat racing – Gary Jobson comes to mind – but again, none of these folks are doing what they can to show up better in the SERPs! Oy!

Can you see how to quickly figure out if anyone’s staking out Google Authorship for your keyword phrases? Pretty easy, huh?

Well…tell you what. Let’s plug in “dui attorney.”

AHA!!!! Success! This also shows you who your competition is, if you didn’t already know!

I plugged in “dog training,” “cat litter box problems,” and “child potty training.” Nothing on page one.

So…plug in your keyword phrases. If you don’t see the pictures, get thee to your Google Plus profile page and start optimizing it, then set up and test Google Authorship. Be advised – it can take up to two weeks for your sweet, sweet profile mug to start showing up, so as long as you tested it, and got green, just wait, umkay?

Until next time…set up your Google Plus and Authorship! Keep it between the ditches, amiright?

All the best,