Google Authorship Infograph

SEO in 2015 has become something of a minefield. Many agencies lay claim to fame for ‘silver bullets’ and ‘holy grails’ and ‘guaranteed rankings’. The problem is that no-one, not even The Powers That Be at Google itself, completely have their heads around how Google’s search algorithm sorts web pages.

All we can do as business owners is make fairly educated guesses, and look at the sorts of sites that are performing well in the rankings and attempt to understand why. It is no secret that Content is King. Good, accurate, sharable content is what Google loves, and the more of it the better.

Websites that are content-rich, that actually offer up good information as opposed to fluff are the ones dominating the search rankings right now. And this trend does not look like changing, in fact, the opposite is more likely true as Google refines its sorting parameters further.

Yet there is a method to Google’s apparent madness; unique content drives results. Content, or information is what we, the web user, want. As such. website that is seen to be ‘scraping’ (or copying) content from another website will incur duplication penalties. This holds back the ‘trust metric’ you need to have with Google if they’re going to rank you.

The bottom line is Google’s in the business of delivering information to their clients – namely the countless billions who use Google every day, and they want to deliver the best content to ensure maximum customer satisfaction, in the shortest space of time.

So, for argument’s sake, let’s say you’ve written a great piece of content about your industry. It is unique, well written and over 500 words, remember Google loves LOTS of content. However several weeks after you’ve put this fabulous new piece of content on your website, you notice that a competitor is outranking you for it. They have, in effect, performed a ‘cut n’ paste’ job and lifted the content in its entirety.

How unfair!

How do you get around this?

The answer is; Google Authorship.

Google Authorship is basically a ‘certification’ telling Google that any content on your site, is unique to you. Thus if it’s bots come across the same content on another site – no matter how much Google trusts this site – it will deem it as a duplication.

Setting up Google Authorship is similar to setting up Google Analytics. It requires access to some part of the website or web host’s files to install a very small file, which once verified, certifies you as being a Google Author. It is also tied to your G+ account – something you should seriously consider using as a business tool too.