In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Google authorship to distinguish your content, build your authority, and be found faster by potential customers seeking a web developer. Google authorship helps establish your realm of authority by connecting you to your content, for example, a WebAssist profile. If you are a self-employed web developer, this can leap-frog you higher in Google's search engine, making you more visible to potential customers.
There are four steps to the Google authorship process. 1) Set up a Google+ profile, 2) Set up a WebAssist developer profile, 3) Create content at WebAssist, and 4) Connect your online identity to your content on the web.
- Free Google account. If you do not have one, go here to create a new Google account.
First on the list, you will set up your Google+ profile. This simple process is similar to setting up a Facebook profile and includes your bragging rights.
- Start by going to Google+ Profile. (You'll be asked to sign in to your Google account if you previously signed out.)
Google+ (pronounced Google Plus) is Google's social networking site and can be compared to Facebook.
- Create your personal Google+ profile using your actual first and last name. This is not the time to be shy.
Do not substitute a business name for your first and last name when setting up a Google+ profile or you risk getting suspended.
- Add a profile photo. It must be a high quality photograph of yourself in order to appear as a thumbnail in search engine results.
While it's tempting to substitute a picture of your pet or a generic avatar, it is important to add your actual picture. This head shot will become an important part of your authorship.
- Include basic information to show who you are and what you're all about.
- Follow the remaining steps that walk you through the set-up of your personal Google+ profile.
Optional: Now that you finished setting up your personal profile, you may want to take a few extra minutes to create a Google+ business page. These pages are intended to help build relationships by taking your business, product, brand, or organization social on the web. The process is similar to setting up a Facebook business page.
While it is true that you can set up Google authorship without creating a business page, take this opportunity to reserve the perfect URL while it is available and while you are in Google+ mode.
- Start by going to Google+ Business.
- From the left-side navigation, click on Pages.
- On the opposite side of the page, select Create a page.
- Choose the category that describes the type of page you want to create.
- If you have a local business presence, enter your phone number and business address.
- If you do not have a local business presence, pick from one of the remaining categories that best fits your type of business.
- Follow the remaining steps.
- When you have finished filling in the fields, click Create.
Remember when I told you that Google authorship ties together the online content you create with your identity on the web? So far, you have established your identity with a Google+ profile. But what about quality content? For starters, create a free WebAssist developer profile.
- On the WebAssist site, create an account by going to Community > Developer profiles > CREATE A DEVELOPER PROFILE.
- Fill in your personal contact information.
- Fill in your public community profile information.
- For nickname, enter your first and last name exactly as you entered them in your Google+ profile. (Your full name will now be included in Google search results.)
- Enter your Google+ ID. (Google+ profile URL. For example, https://plus.google.com/u/0/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/ (21 numbers in all.)
- Add the same head shot that appears in your Google+ profile.(Your picture will now be included in Google search results.)
Even though Fido may be cuter, he's not a developer. So do not use your dog's picture in your WebAssist profile or you will lose the Google authorship benefits!
- Include a brief biography describing your talents as a developer.
- Indicate that you wish to be listed in the Developer Directory.
Now it's time to create quality content that will distinguish you in search engine results and gain the authority uniquely afforded by Google authorship. In addition to the WebAssist profile you just created, you can do this by showcasing samples of websites you have created with WebAssist tools and writing web development tutorials.
- Still on the WebAssist site, go to Community > Website showcase > SUBMIT MY WEBSITE to submit samples of websites you have created with WebAssist tools. Once a site is approved for the showcase, it will display on our community showcase and your developer profile if you chose to be listed in the Developer Directory.
- Additionally, you can write web development tutorials by going to Watch & Learn > Tutorial library > CREATE A TUTORIAL. When you are finished, you will have an opportunity to submit your tutorial to the review team for publishing to the Tutorial library.
In a nutshell, Google wants to help you build your brand by establishing your identity and crediting you for the content you've created on the web. This is called Google authorship and is triggered when you join together your Google+ profile and the quality content you've created on the WebAssist site. Follow these steps to join them.
- The content you've created at WebAssist needs to be linked to your Google+ profile. Since you already added your Google+ ID when setting up your WebAssist developer profile, WebAssist will complete the remainder of this step for you.
- Now you need to update your Google+ profile with links to your WebAssist developer profile, sample websites created with WebAssist tools, and/or web development tutorials on the WebAssist site.
- Return to your Google+ profile page and select About.
- At the bottom of the Links box, click Edit > Add custom link.
- Add your links under Other profiles, Contributor to, and Links, as appropriate, by entering your title into the Label field and the web address in the URL field.
- Click Save.
- There's one more step to get the ball rolling on your authorship and it's easy! Back on your WebAssist profile, click on Share this tutorial and select Google's +1 button. This must be done at least once. However, as you add more content, remember to +1 it too!
The +1 button is Google's equivalent to Facebook's Like button.
- To keep track of the online content you've identified as yours, click the +1 tab in your Google+ profile.
To test that Google has successfully extracted your author data, go to Rich Snippets and enter a WebAssist URL added as a link in your Google+ profile.
It is not unusual for Google to take a few days to recognize your efforts. Check back if the preview does not indicate success. Or simply monitor by looking for your first and last name as well as your smiling face in Google search results.