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Author Tags: How Your Practice Can Benefit From One Photograph

Have you noticed photographs next to Google’s search results?

These author photos are one aspect of Google “author tags.” Once author tags are made, they have many benefits such as improved click through rate while establishing online reputation. Author tags pull a wide range of poignant information into the search results including: a photo from the author’s Google+ profile, the number of followers in the author’s Google+ circles, and a link to more articles written by the author.

Author Tags Establish Your Online Reputation

The goal of Google’s author tags is to give legitimacy to content creators in a new metric called Author Rank. Especially in the age of copy + paste and web spam, it can be hard to sift through the search results page for the original source of an article written by an expert.

Google recognizes the need to give priority to original authors. In the words of Google’s Othar Hansson, “We know that great content comes from great authors, and we’re looking closely at ways this markup could help us highlight authors and rank search results.” In the process of creating an author tag, authors confirm their sources of writing which also protects their work being falsely claimed by copycats.

Author Tags Maintain Authority

Not only does the author’s photo appear next to the article, users are given the option of clicking for “More by” that specific author. Clicking on “More by” displays a page of articles by that author, with a handy Google guide to give the reader more information about Google Authorship.

Google also includes the photo and information from the author’s Google+ profile, all linked to their Google+ page. Google is using it’s social media platform to give identities to real authors to establish their authority. By listing all the past articles by this author, it’s like looking at a writer’s portfolio. Listing past work establishes the author’s reputation and authority in a given area and the ability to easily connect with the author on Google+.

Author Tags Increase Website Interaction

Users are more apt to scan a list of articles on the search results page and click one with a picture. The first photo in this article shows the search results for a search on the effect of CTR on author tags, and some of the results had no author tag! Why would you click on that article when you have a face attached to other articles?

Click-through-rate also increases if it is an appealing photo, highlighted by one site familiar with SEO. This author experimented with using photos of varying quality with a result of a 35% increase in click through rate (CTR) for “better” quality photos.

Google is also encouraging author reputation in a new feature of author tags. Once a user clicks on an article and spends a few minutes reading that page, if they click back to the original search results page, Google will display three more articles written by that author.

In an increasingly busy search results page, author tags help business’ stand out from the competition, give credit to writers of original content, and establish credibility.

For more information on using author tags to benefit your practice, contact us.

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