Integrating your website with Google Plus

And how one can help the other

 

In the push for more meaningful content on the internet, Google have been putting more and more emphasis on the authority of the person creating it. This authority comes in various shapes and sizes.

 

There is the authority of those around you, and the ones that you connect with on Google products, and there is the authorship of the content that you create – which is a big focal point for Google: to determine which content belongs where.

 

To help it do this, Google created ‘Google Authorship’. This was to connect content to its author, so that persons content can be found right across the web.

 

The Google+ page of a content creator, which is linked to the persons content also has ‘authority’ which you can make stand out in the search results. And content you put on your Google+ page will also appear in search results.

 

Until now getting the content connected to your Google+ (business) page, and showing your image in the SERPS was quite a difficult process. These days, though, the process is much simpler. If your website has been created by a web design agency, then they do this for you to make it even easier.

 

How to connect your website content to your Google+ Page

 

As already stated, this is a rather simple process…

 

Update your site’s home page by adding a link to your Google+ page, like this:

 

<a href=”https://plus.google.com/yourpageID”
rel=”publisher”>Find us on Google+</a>

 

Link to your website from your Google+ page’s profile.

 

To edit your page profile:

 

  1. First,  ensure you are on the Google+ page you would like to edit.
  2. Click the profile icon.
  3. Click Edit Profile.
  4. Click Website. You’ll know it’s editable when the colour of the section changes to blue.
  5. Type your homepage URL. This should match exactly the URL of the page to which you added your Google+ page link in the previous step
  6. Click Save.

 

You can use the rich snippets testing tool to check your markup, and make sure that Google can properly read your page information from your content. This tool will display the markup found on your web page, as well as a preview of how that page might appear in Google search results.

 

Link your website to your personal Google+ profile

 

Method One: Verified Email

 

Your first option is to use an email address to verify that you are a contributor to a site. Google will then look for a byline on the page to make the link to your Google+ profile. Again, your website design agency can take of this for you.

 

For this to work your email address will need to be on the same domain as your content (e.g. “you@yoursite.com”). If you can’t meet this requirement you will need to use option two.

To get set up using the verified email method follow these steps:

 

  1. Make sure that you have a Google+ profile with a recognisable headshot set as your profile photo.
  2. Ensure that the page you wish to claim ownership of contains a byline with your name as it appears on your Google+ profile (e.g. “By Matt West”).
  3. You now need to add your email address and website domain to your Google+ profile. Google has a little tool that will do this for you. Visit https://plus.google.com/authorshipand submit your email address.

 

Your content will now be linked to your Google+ profile. Remember to repeat this process for any other sites that you contribute to.

 

Method Two: Linking

 

If you don’t have an email address on the same domain as your content, you can set up Google Authorship by adding a link to your page. This method will require some minor changes to your HTML.

 

To use this method add a link to your Google+ profile somewhere on the page. The byline is usually a good location, but it can appear anywhere.

 

<a href=“http://plus.google.com/yourprofile?rel=author”>Your Name</a>

 

The key here is to add the ?rel=author parameter to the end of your Google+ profile URL.

 

You should note, however, that if you are using WordPress, there is a plugin available for managing this process. Once installed, all you need to do is add your Google+ URL to your user profile.

 

Once you’ve placed the link on your pages, you will need to add the site domain to the Contributor to list on your Google+ profile. This can be accessed by editing the Links section. You don’t need to add the individual URLs for each piece of content – linking to just your homepage should do the trick just nicely.

 

The key benefits of getting your content linked to a Google+ page / profile

 

When your content is linked, and verified, it adds authority. That is the entire point of the exercise, and authority means more traffic to your content. In theory, anyway.

 

When you search Google, and see your results in the window – what do you see? Other than a list, you should be seeing headshots next to some of them.

 

Now, out of all those results which would you be more likely to click on – the ones with, or without the author images? Exactly.

 

That is authority at work, and is precisely why it is always recommended to create, and link to, a Google+ page or profile.

 

The bottom line is that  If you have a Google+ profile you’ll be more visible in search results than if you don’t have one.  This started to happen as far back as 2009 (ancient history in internet time) when Google introduced Social Search, which was designed to help people quickly find publicly available web content from your social contacts.

 

In January of 2012, they introduced Search, plus Your World, which incorporates personal results, profiles, people, and pages in search. In other words if you search on a term that someone in one of your circles has written about, their content will be far more likely to show up in your results.

 

The latter is also a smaller part of the semantic web phenomenon, which is a whole other subject on its own. Your website design agency will be able to explain this to you, especially if they offer copywriting services as a part of their packages.

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