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Google+ authorship – the importance of Microdata

Microdata markup results

We all like to be identified with the content that we write, most of the time.  As Google+ makes itself felt through out the Google empire, this identification will become more important.

When we conduct a search for something, if one our G+ friends (those in your cirlces) has written something relevant, their ranking in the search results will be made higher. But that only happens if you are logged in to G+, you will get ordinary results otherwise. Read this great article about the full implications - Your Google Plus Network Is More Powerful Than You Know

You might seem something like this, a picture of the author along side the result…

bob-author-search-results

 

One of the many tools Google provides is the ability to declare your authorship. This is achieved using Microdata. It makes use of existing HTML and provides extra information about a page. So far Microdata is used for a few things; recipes, events, people, authorship etc.

When it comes to authorship though, Microdata is very handy…

  • Declare your ownership of the content you have written
  • Link your website to Google+ business pages
  • Get your image associated with your content in search results (as per the example above).

For all the content that I write and that appears on my sites, I have now included a ‘bio’ that includes the Microdata markup.

Bob Toovey has been active on the Internet since 1998, a blogger/writer since 2006 and started dabbling with programming when he got his first Sinclair ZX81. He loves to blog about social media, marketing and food. You can find him on  and Twitter

Each link has extra data that identifies it as being a profile. So for example, this page you are reading has links to my social networking profiles.  Therefore Google now knows that I am the author, if this page appears in my G+ friends search results then my G+ profile picture will be included. Even Google Analytic’s has a labs section on author stats.

This all sounds like a Google special and to get the benefits you need a Google account. Not true, Schema.org states that…

Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.

You could consider the inclusion of Mircodata markup as G+ enhancements. However, if it’s seen as a way of, “making it easier for people to find the right web pages.“, then it’s also SEO.

If you are a user of Google+ then you really should consider using Microdata. It could give you the edge you have been looking for!

About the author, Bob Toovey - I have been active on the Internet since 1998, a blogger/writer since 2006 and started dabbling with programming when I got my first Sinclair ZX81. I love to blog about social media, marketing and food. You can find me on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter