I See Little Pictures of Bloggers Next To Their Posts in Google. What Are Those?
Google has recently rolled out a new product called Google Authorship, and it’s one of the more popular and exciting events to happen in the world of professional blogging in quite some time! If you search for a word or phrase in Google Search, chances are you will now see a blog post or Google+ update in the search results with the author’s picture next to it. This instantly personalizes a post or update and allows readers to associate a face to a name, or better yet a face and name to a blog!
Google+ users who don’t have a separate blog may already find their Google+ avatar photo appear next to their public posts, but in order to connect your business blog to your Google+ account, you’ll need to sign up for Google Authorship.
How Do I Get Started?
First, you’ll need to sign up for a Google Account. If your business email is hosted by Gmail, your email address already has an attached Google Account. For all other users, you will need to sign up for one separately. Visit Google Accounts or Gmail.
Once you have a Google Account or Gmail account, it is time to sign up for Google+. Google+ is an advanced social network, similar to Facebook. Google+ is becoming more and more popular with professionals and it’s a great place to network! Once you’ve added Google+, it’s time to add an avatar, or portrait of yourself, to your Google+ account.
Your Profile Picture
When choosing a professional picture, or avatar, it is very important to consider the impression you want to make with your image. Many professionals choose to use simple portraits, similar to a license photo or a actors’ head shot Others choose to use a more personal image, such as a family portrait or vacation snapshot. Since you are a professional blogger, it is important to choose an image that is not confusing, offensive or otherwise unprofessional to your audience. If you are using a professional photo, make sure you own the copyright associated with the photo or have the permission of the photographer or copyright owner to use the photo.
Once you have added your avatar, feel free to fill in details about yourself in your Google+ profile. It is important to strike a good balance between providing enough information for customers and readers to reach you, but not so much that you compromise your personal privacy. Be aware of the privacy controls available to you to control access to this information. Also be aware that when information is made “Public”, anyone on the Internet has access to it.
Once you have your Google Account and the attached Google services set up and ready to go, visit the Google Authorship page and sign up!
As with any endeavor to establish or improve your ranking in search engines, don’t expect overnight success or immediate results with Google+ or Google Authorship. Think of it as another tool to bring more readers and potential customers to your blog. If you don’t see the results you want right away, continue to post meaningful, quality content to your blog, track your visitors by using site analytics, and continue to refine and develop your content.