Should Google Authorship Be Used On Every Page of a Website?
Google Authorship is a way to connect authors with the informational articles (blog posts) that they write. It tells Google who the original author of the content is and links content written on your owned domain to your individual (not company) Google + profile. Content that is written by an author that has verified authorship through Google appears in the search results with their headshot and searchers can click on the byline to see more articles they’ve authored or follow them on Google+. Once authorship is verified, content appears in the search results like this:
It’s very simple to sign up for authorship. Here’s more information.
Since content attached to an author appears nicely on the search results page and the image and byline convey authority and may increase click through rate it’s natural to wonder: “Should I add code to every page of my site so that they all include authorship?” Even though we do see this happen, according to Google it’s discouraged. Here’s what Google had to say on the issue in a Google Webmaster Central Blog post titled “rel=”author” frequently asked (advanced) questions”:
Q: What kind of pages can be used with authorship?
A: Good question! You can increase the likelihood that we show authorship for your site by only using authorship markup on pages that meet these criteria:
• The URL/page contains a single article (or subsequent versions of the article) or single piece of content, by the same author. This means that the page isn’t a list of articles or an updating feed. If the author frequently switches on the page, then the annotation is no longer helpful to searchers and is less likely to be featured.
• The URL/page consists primarily of content written by the author.
• Showing a clear byline on the page, stating the author wrote the article and using the same name as used on their Google+ profile.
Q: Can I use authorship on my site’s property listings or product pages since one of my employees has customized the description?
A: Authorship annotation is useful to searchers because it signals that a page conveys a real person’s perspective or analysis on a topic. Since property listings and product pages are less perspective/analysis oriented, we discourage using authorship in these cases. However, an article about products that provides helpful commentary, such as, “Camera X vs. Camera Y: Faceoff in the Arizona Desert” could have authorship.
While Google doesn’t outright state it here, we can put 2 and 2 together and surmise that Google Authorship should only be used on blog posts- content that is authored by one person and includes their insights/opinions on a specific topic. Google Authorship should not be used on any other page of the site including the homepage, interior product or service pages, about pages, etc.
When it comes to Google it’s always important to “play nice” and err on the side of caution. Google clearly states how they want Authorship to be used. There’s no reason to jeopardize the likelihood that Google will show authorship on your site.
Categorized in: Content Marketing
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