April 26th, 2012
Are you a business owner that finally has your website set up the way you want it and one of the select few who regularly updates your blog? If so, congratulations–you’re part of a small community who knows the value of updating your blog regularly.
Still, blogging regularly isn’t going to guarantee an influx of traffic to your site. This is why you have to give your blog every chance it can to gain those coveted clickthroughs in the SERPs. An easy and effective way to do this is through the use the REL=Author tag.
As you can see from my own listing above, this tag helps to draw in the eye and gives your listing an advantage in the SERPs. These lines of information outside of the normal title, description, and URL are called rich snippets. This type of markup, as I’ve explained previously, generally sees higher clickthrough rates and better quality traffic.
For instance, for my own post above saw nearly double the page views in the first four days than the previous post. Was the REL=Author tag directly attributed to that increase? Maybe… maybe not. Remember, content is still king on the web. However, I’m a firm believer that you should do everything you can, short of black-hat tactics, to get more clickthroughs.
Google has made the process so easy to set up the REL=Author tag that virtually any blog writer would be able to do it. This tag virtually forms a relationship between two pages on the web to verify ownership. In Google’s case you can only verify by having a personal Google Plus account. There’s no getting around this one… sorry.
Once your personal account is set up, all you need to do is follow Google’s checklist and enter your email address associated with blog’s website in the following page: https://plus.google.com/authorship (email address must come from the same domain as the website). Once you verify that email with Google, be sure to use their rich snippet tester to make sure that everything is implemented correctly. If everything looks good you should be able to see a rich-snippet optimized listing within a week.
Of course, as does happen on the web, things can go awry. If you’re unable to get the above method working for whatever reason, you can always try their second option to verify authorship. It’s a bit more complicated but should get the job done. As always though, be sure to confirm implementation using that rich snippet tester.
The REL=Author tag is one in the line of many new types of markup languages that Google and the other search engines have decided to support. It’s one you can implement tomorrow and in a relatively short amount of time. Regardless of whether or not you have your site right where you want it, striving to make it better should always be at top of your list. This is why the REL=Author tag needs to be the next improvement to your website’s blog to get that extra boost in exposure.
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