If you’ve done a Google search lately, you’ve likely seen some little pictures of authors next to certain results in the search engine results. Called “authorship,” it’s part of the Google+ project, and it’s no longer only being used by early adopters online. The transition from Google Places to Google+ business pages marked the beginning of authorship integration into both local and organic search results. Below are three big reasons why your business needs to start using Google’s authorship markup now.
Authorship Displays Your Content to Your Contacts First
Implementing the rel=author tag across your company’s website will display your content to those you contact most frequently. What does this mean for your business? Any searches your contacts (or clients) make while logged into their Google accounts (and most of us are logged in all the time) will be served your most recent and relevant content for that query by default. If you primarily sell headsets and recently began selling headset adapters, using this feature can prove incredibly powerful.
Google+ is Already a Ranking Factor
Despite the number of active users compared to Facebook, Google+ is already a mildly-substantial ranking factor in search placements and is growing in importance. Remember that there are over five different components to Google+, most of which your competitors probably aren’t aware of. If your business’ web presence drives a substantial amount of leads, build a dominant Google+ presence before your competitors have a chance to chase you down.
Rich Snippets Drive Click Through Rates
With the major search engines all displaying structured markup like Schema, it’s almost certain that implementing Google markup will drive click-through rates the same way the Google Checkout badge did for AdWords users. While the average click-through metrics may remain debatable, there’s no denying that search engines — especially Google — are providing opportunities for businesses to enhance their organic listings with rich snippets. Enhancing your listings with Google’s authorship markup or Schema’s snippets may draw more attention to your listings. For web-driven businesses, they should be considered compulsory.
Is your company doing something original to drive click-through rates or revenue by using rich snippets? If so, share your experiences in the comments below.