Google announced two new features for Google Plus on Sept. 9: easier Google Authorship authentication and embeddable Plus posts. While these are seemingly minor upgrades, both offer a competitive edge to webmasters and business owners who want to score big traffic. Here’s how.
Authorship is nothing new, but it’s still far from widespread. For the uninitiated, Google Authorship allows you to link articles or web pages to an author profile. While this sounds trivial, it changes how your article shows up in search results. And that affects traffic.
Once a page has an Authorship attribution, it stands out instantly from other search results. Instead of just a line item in a list of results, your page will now include a thumbnail portrait of the author and a snippet from your Plus profile. That allows you to splash branding onto Google search results, and more importantly, it can boost clicks.
While Authorship has no direct, algorithmic bearing on Google ranking, initial testing shows that the photo increases traffic – sometimes substantially.
So how can you jump on the Authorship wagon? It used to involve a complicated setup and authentication process, but Google now allows you to authenticate automatically on select platforms, like WordPress and Typepad, with others on the way. All you have to do is use your Google account to sign in to those services.
Note that while Authorship will likely increase your traffic, author profiles and pictures are not necessarily valuable to readers. Google spent a lot of time positioning the photo and snippet in a way that actually attracts users’ eyes – originally, users didn’t care much at all. It’s likely that almost any information, such as your Yelp rating or company motto, would have the same traffic-driving effect if Google spent research dollars on making it grab attention.
Embedding Your Posts
The other new feature is that you can now embed any public Google Plus post directly into a blog or web page.
This is better than just quoting the post. To understand the advantages of actually embedding it, think of an embedded YouTube video that plays in-blog, or an embedded poll readers can take without clicking away. An embedded post is a live window into Plus, and users can add you to circles or +1 you right there.
You can get the embed link for any public post from its pull-down menu.
Remember, social signals correspond strongly with Google rank.
Need help with any of these new features? Don’t hesitate to call or email. EverSpark is ready to field your questions and help you build your web presence any time. Contact us today.