Some bloggers are entirely conversant with the high tech workings of the internet and search engines. Others of us – not so much. We are writers first, and perhaps are techies only a distant (and struggling) second. We are better at crafting a well-turned sentence than inserting a hyper-link. However, especially if we are writing for money, and our business or our client’s firm depends on the success of our blog posts generating attention and sales, a blogger needs every available tool.
One such is the Google authorship feature. This allows your photo, name, and link to “More by Jane Doe”, as well as the circles you are in, to be displayed when your posting appears among the results of a search. Clearly, this is free advertising for you the blogger, and for your whole corpus of work – and your clients! To access this option, you need to have certain items in place and follow a fairly simple procedure.
Why should you try to take advantage of this option?
For yourself, and therefore the most venal and self-interested reasons, showing your identity allows you to build credibility and professional potential over time as you accumulate posts. Your past work can advertise your flexibility and expertise.
For your client, your archive of competent work shows them to good advantage. Even if you are writing about heterogeneous topics, a consistent regard for accuracy will reassure the customer base that your writing can be trusted.
For readers, your personal information reassures web users that you stand behind what you assert. This is very reassuring to web users. At an almost unconscious level for the reader, as well, seeing who you, the author, are as an individual is helpful in assessing how much you might know about a topic yourself. For subjects that are…well, subjective…this can be important.
For the web in general and the good of the world, more readily identifiably authorship is a good thing. It adds to the credibility of the web overall. It also illuminates exactly how much of the expertise on the web lies in the hands of those who are often under-appreciated; women, for example, and varied nationalities and ethnicities all over the world. It is difficult to continue to cherish negative opinions about those of other groups, after getting useful advice and information that someone from another group has provided to you on the internet.
In other words, it could be asserted that transparent authorship could in some miniscule, teeny-tiny way, contribute to greater peace and understanding globally. At the least, it couldn’t hurt!
Who should NOT try to have a profile displayed?
Obviously if you are blogging about controversial topics, consider whether displaying your name could expose you to negative repercussions. There are ways to make discovering your personal information more difficult, but a truly professional and hostile security expert can almost always find you. The relative anonymity provided by blogging under an organizational domain name offers some measure of reassurance. Be careful.
Whether or not Google chooses to display your personal profile is another matter entirely. Their own guidance merely says that your profile ‘may’ appear alongside your search results. This is dependent on their mysterious resident algorithms, which even their own staff have admitted in interviews are nearly unfathomable.
However, Google watchers agree that authoritative sources, based on uniqueness of content and reader experience, are anointed differentially. The accumulation of data can take some time, as readers visit your postings and their behavior is tracked. Whether this constitutes a valid way to rank sources is a topic for a much longer and more complex discussion.
Get ready to be chosen to have your profile displayed, and you will be taking advantage of this helpful opportunity if it arises.
What’s your take on this topic (or feature)? Please share your opinions in the box below.