For those of you who blog on a somewhat regular basis, you really need to pay attention to this Daily Golden Nugget.
About a month or so ago, Google published a Q&A video hinting at some of the upcoming exciting changes that would take place in Google Search during the June-August 2013 period. On June 5, 2013 they then published a more specific video about one of the topics which I'd like to explain today.
The Google video is here if you'd like to watch it yourself. I'll explain what this means for jewelers...
The video talks about something called rel="author" but it doesn't go into much detail to explain what it is. The video is actually a continuing topic of "Authorship" that Google has been calling more and more attention to over the last 18 months. I first covered this topic in a Nugget about bylines that you can read here, and then again here. I also listed Authorship as my 8th most important methods of SEO for 2013 which you can read by clicking here.
So Authorship is important. Originally Google was using this feature to identify a blogger who was willing to take ownership for what they write. Ownership is very important because it separates legitimate blog writers from companies that are paid to write blogs for a fee. Admittedly many jewelers are already paying my own company to write their jewelry related blogs, and we work very hard to make sure the blogs are well written.
There are plenty of other businesses and jewelers who will pay outsourced writers as low as $5 per blog post just so they can add new content to their website. But those $5 blog posts usually turn out to be pure drivel. No one would want to claim ownership of drivel. There are even SEO firms out there that will charge less than $5 per blog post, but those are plain and simple spam.
When Google sees the Authorship indicator on a blog, they immediately know that the information is more valuable; after all, someone's putting their reputation on the line. Google takes notice when you are willing to stake your reputation, and they rank you better in search results.
This new video from Google is taking Authorship to a whole new level. Now, instead of just allowing you to claim ownership to a blog post, they will allow you to code your entire website with the rel="author" code so you can claim ownership of your entire website.
For Google, making this change means they will quickly be able to discover entire websites who are managed, written by, or owned by reputable people. I also foresee that this move will allow them to relax their spam filtering on those websites, but the penalties would probably be much more severe if Black Hat SEO techniques are used on the site.
Since Authorship already creates a boost of visibility in search rank I have to assume that this will be a huge boon for those who implement this high level SEO technique.
Regretfully I see one serious flaw with how most jewelry store owners use the internet and their ability to embrace this Authorship concept... Most jewelers don't participate enough with their website to take ownership they way they should be. Customers come in the store and seek their advice, but those same customers have difficulty connecting with them online. A big leap needs to be made, and a leap in the direction of ownership and Authorship will propel any jeweler past their local competition.
So, if you are reading this, here's what you should do:
1. Read and follow the directions I outline in this Nugget on Authorship
2. Read this page that Google published about Google+ Authorship
3. Reprogram all the pages of your website to include the rel=author tag as show in steps 1 and 2.