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How to Reap the Benefits of Authorship

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Because of Google's requirement for continual fresh content, many retail jewelers are struggling to create a continual stream of new information and blog posts. There's only so much diamond educational information you can write and eventually you just need to start blogging about other topics.

Many jewelers, especially those on a thin budget, will hire freelance writers to create new blog posts. You can hire a freelancer for $5 to $10 per blog post but the better freelancers would charge $20 or more per post.

When Google wants to push some new feature they provide SERP incentives for those how participate. Over the last year they've started providing SERP perks to blog authors who publicly claim ownership of their posts. Have you noticed the photos of blog authors appearing in Google's SERP? Those photos are a very strong indication that blog posts are a matter of rising importance in Google.

Do a Google search for "proposal ideas" and you might see a SERP result by Nina Callaway with her photo next to the listing. Google show's her photo because it was possible to verify her as the author of that post. She took the steps to make sure Google could prove who she was.

Now imagine if you wrote a blog about proposal ideas and locations for your hometown area. That blog would surely appeal to your local community, and the guy reading it might just ask for you by name when he walks in your store. That name recognition and visual recognition can be a powerful way to win the SERP back.

Having a SERP photo next to your blog post is the reward Google's providing to those who put their name in the byline of a blog post, and allow themselves to be verified as an author through Google+.

There are several ways to be verified as an author. I've looked at 4 different methods and I'm recommending the method that About.com uses. This is also the method I implemented on jWAG.

To start, you need to create a bio page for yourself, and for each contributor to your blog, i.e. your store employees. This bio page needs to be on the same website, using the same domain, as that of your blog. If you use www.jewelrystore.com/blog/ as your blogging location then the bio pages need to be on the www.jewelrystore.com domain. If you use blog.jewelrystore.com as your blogging location then the bio pages need to be on that "subdomain" URL.

The author verification method I'm describing here probably won't work if you have a free Blogger or WordPress account without your own domain name.

The second step is to set up your Google+ account to link to your bio page. If you don't yet have a Google+ account it's time to stop waiting and activate one. In the Contributor To section of your Google+ account you need to add a custom link back to your bio page.

The last step is to link all your blog posts to your bio page and your bio page to your Google+ account by following these specific directions:

1. The byline of each blog entry needs to link to your bio page with the link <a href="{bio_page_url}" rel=author">Your name</a>. In my case I did this:
by <a href="http://www.jwag.biz/matthewperosi.html" rel="author">Matthew Perosi</a>
The rel="author" tells Google that you are the author of the blog.

2. From your bio page you need to link to your Google+ account with the link <a href="https://plus.google.com/{google_plus_number}/?rel=author">Your Name</a>
The {google_plus_number} is the very long number you see in the URL when viewing your Google+ account page. In my case I did this:
<a href="https://plus.google.com/102355531231789413177/?rel=author">Matthew Perosi</a>
Again, take notice of the "?rel=author" identifier in the URL.


I've tested this a few different times and found the above setup to be a stable setup.

In conclusion, I feel pretty strongly that anyone who sets up their authorship now will gain a significant advantage over other local jewelers. I also feel that there will be another shakeup in blog ranking to separate blog with verified bylines from those without bylines. The setup I explained should only take about 1 hour and you can reap the benefits for a long time.
AT: 08/15/2012 12:36:03 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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