Google’s Author Markup: Enhanced Display, More of Your Work

Google is processing content with a new kind of indexing, called author markups.  It helps Google pull together all the content you have created on the web, into one list in the search results.  People see this list of content you’ve authored when searching your name.  It also connects your name with a Google Profile you set up, and your author page on your website.  Google uses the links you enter in your profile to trace all the content you have created on the web.

In short, author markup helps you reveal all your content on the Web when someone searches on your name, and can help people find your website – specifically your author bio.

For example, here are results for a search on Matt Cutts (the Google employee) showing the effect of author markup on Search Engine Results display:

Web content tagged with Author Markup gets enhanced display in Google Search results

Web content tagged with Author Markup gets enhanced display in Google Search results (click image to enlarge)

Plus, it helps Google verify true authorship.  This publishing method helps you mark the content you publish as yours.

Google is rolling this out gradually.  You may not yet see it in your own search results.  But to take advantage of author-related Google displays, now’s the time to mark up the content for indexing.

 

The markup is visible only to search engines. It contains two things:  1) a relationship tag marking your relationship to the content as it’s author – rel=”author”; 2) a link tag connecting the content to a profile you choose, for example –http://www.example.com/about-me.

 

If you use WordPress, you already have a running start on getting author markup to work for you.  Author markup tools were built into the software core with WordPress version 3.2, your current version.  The new upgrade, version 3.2.1, will continue to offer author markup capability.  This means you can set up WordPress to publish the correct markup automatically, each time you post.

 

It is not enough just to upgrade to WordPress 3.2 and above.  You (or your webmaster) need to set up the options, your theme, and your content to work with Google indexing.  And finally, it is important to have a Google Profile to help Google link all your content together.

 

Here is what Google published about using WordPress to implement author markup:

 

Using WordPress?

If you use WordPress to create your blog, here are some tips.

 

There is more than one way to use author markup to help Google track all your work.  Here is the recommended way (thanks to this article at Yoast.com about using rel=author):

  1. Set up each article in your blog to use author markup, with a link to your author bio page (usually your About page) on the same domain
  2. Set up your blog’s About page to your Google Profile (to set one up, see the Google Profile page.
  3. Use the Google Profile to link back to your author page on your blog (back to http://www.example.com/about-me, for example)

Once done, we can check to see if your pages are published with the markup Google is looking for to determine authorship.  The tool to check is Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool

 

Keywords in Domains Get Less Weight in Google

If you start a business, you need to choose a domain name. Finding a good name that is available can be quite a challenge.

People who want the best chance to rank well in Google work hard to get a keyword in the domain name. If you sell candy, for example, AllCandy.com would help you rank well for in searches using “candy”. That’s because Google’s search formula has been known to give higher rank to sites with search words, or keywords, in the domain name.

Big news: Domain name keywords now matter less to Google.

There is this video by Matt Cutts of Google. In it, he explains Google’s new thinking on its ranking formula.

He actually says that Google is planning to decrease the weight given to keywords in domain names.

The issue is: why should a business be penalized in online search if it chooses a name that is more catchy? It is definitely possible to succeed without a keyword-laden brand names. In fact the most successful businesses don’t have keyword-stuffed names: twitter, amazon, yahoo, digg — these are Matt Cutts’s own examples.

Basically, Google listened to complaints that names get too much weight in ranking results. And they agreed.

From an SEO perspective this is a big piece of news. Even if you didn’t know to ask for a keyword-rich domain, knowing how it’s used in Google is important.

Now it matters less. What a relief! I think this liberates people to be a lot more creative in choosing a brand name.

If you sell widgets, and If SuperWidgets.com is taken, don’t worry that you will be outranked in search results just because someone else grabbed your target keywords first.

You can succeed in Google with a name like: Wizbang.com. How? By doing what your market values, and Google wants to deliver. That is, by building great content, great service, links in from others, and ‘likes’ (and, do it better than SuperWiedgets.com).

How do you think this may impact you the next time you are domain shopping?

If this news takes a load of worry off your mind, sign up to get the next article by email. Helping you create “Websites That Work” is what it’s all about.