It is becoming increasingly common for web users to have their presence spread out over several websites, be it blog posts, profiles or a website of their own making. The problem is, all of this disparate content means that none of the content is actually aiding SEO efforts- how is Google supposed to know an article you wrote on blogger is made by a senior editor for a seemingly separate website? Thankfully, the Google ‘author’ tag (note: spelt the American way, as with all HTML) allows you to link these seemingly unrelated pieces of content together to produce some effective results, aiding your site’s Google profile.
The actual process for claiming work as your own is relatively simple, once a few bits and pieces have been set up. And once you have set up a link between two items, a blog post to a plumber’s website for example, you can expect your blog post to show up alongside searches for said plumber in addition to having an image of the author next to the search result, instantly making the link look more clickable.
Start off by setting up a Google Plus profile. This is a simple matter of filling out personal information fields and verification; be sure to add a decent high quality picture to your Google Plus profile that will still look half decent when its scaled down to a thumbnail. Next, in order for Google to know where your online presence is spread, you need to add details about where your presence is. To do this, navigate to your profile and from there click ‘edit’, near the bottom of the page will be an empty field where you can add details of sites to which you are affiliated. Extra care should be taken to make sure that these fields are filled out correctly, when you are sure that all the details are filled out correctly, save the changes and make a note of the URL of your profile.
The method by which Google will know to link one piece of content to another, piggybacks off how one page links to another (hyper-links of course!). First off, you need to have a link from the page hosting the content you’ve written to your Google Plus profile, however, what makes this particular link special is a little extra piece of HTML called the ‘author’ tag. Below is are two examples, the first without the ‘author’ tag HMTL, the second one with. (you want to follow the 2nd example!)
HTML↑ Your Google + Profile’s URL ↑ Link Name↑ HTML↑
The simple addition of the “rel=”YourName” HTML before the main body the code, means that Google can now recognise the content as yours and as such will be able to link the content you have produced not only to another organisation, but also other content that you have published this way. If the benefits aren’t clear, this means users are more likely to transition between websites, which can only be good for traffic flow. This post has only scratched the surface of this feature, and you can expect more commentary on this exciting new feature in the near future!