By now, you’ve all seen the little thumbnail photos next to certain links and websites on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPS). If you haven’t been paying attention or simply don’t bother much with marketing your real estate website, those little head shot thumbnails are known as Google Authorship, and it’s Google’s way of providing users an opportunity to link content you publish on a specific domain with you Google+ profile.
For Authorship to work properly, it’s important that your Google+ profile has an adequately recognizable headshot (Google can be very picky when it comes to your photo, so make sure the image is of you and includes your entire face), your byline matches the name on your G+ profile, and that you’ve also credited yourself as a contributor to your website on your G+ profile.
Over all, the process of getting Google Authorship setup is fairly simple. Once your photo is correct and you’ve linked up your website with your Google+ account using the rel=author tag, everything should be good to go and it should only be a matter of time before your image appears next to your website during a Google search. But if you don’t want to wait for your site to be re-indexed and want to make sure you’ve setup Google Authorship properly, there’s actually a very easy way to check. Click over to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, input your URL, and click “Preview.” From there, you’ll easily be able to see whether or not everything is functioning—or if you failed to comply with what’s required.
So why incorporate Google Authorship into your website?
The simple answer is because it stands out dramatically from other websites that don’t have it. If viewers can legitimately see who is posting the content, it automatically gives that website more creditability and increases the likelihood they’ll click on your website rather than take a risk on what could be a spammy, non-informative site that doesn’t give them what they’re searching. But when it comes right down to it, if you truly don’t understand the benefits of Google Authorship and how personalizing search results can increase traffic, you probably shouldn’t have a website anyway.
So if you haven’t already setup Google Authorship, do it RIGHT NOW and make sure to verify it using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.