Technology Bloggers adopts post authorship

Until recently I haven’t been as aware as I probably should have been of the Google update, which allows authors to claim authorship of their posts in the SERPs.

I was recently talking about the blog in the (Google) Webmaster Central Help Forum, when someone suggested that we should use Google Authorship. I had heard of it before, but wasn’t 100% sure what it meant, or why we should take the time to adopt it.

So after a little research, I am here to present my findings to you 🙂

What is Google Authorship?

Google Authorship is a relatively new part of search results, whereby Google shows the (Google+ profile) avatar of a person next to articles they have written in the SERPs. This means that people know who wrote something, even before they visit the page.

Google will not only give an avatar which it fetches from the writers Google+ profile, but it will also link to that persons profile. It might also provide additional information like how many circles the person is in. See the image below for more of an idea of how it looks.

Examples of authors Google+ profiles in the SERPsHow Can I Claim My Posts?

If you run your own blog, and you are the only person who ever writes on it, it is dead easy. Just add a link to your Google profile page with ?rel=author after it, and with the text being the same name as your Google profile, to your profile, or just every page of the blog.

The code would look something like this:

<a href="https://plus.google.com/114686389155717038852?rel=author" rel="author" title="Christopher Roberts on Google+">Christopher Roberts</a>

What if I Run or Am Part of a Multi-Author Blog?

If you are part of a blog with multiple authors, it can get a bit more complicated. Basically, the admin needs to make sure that there is no sitewide Google+ profile link, as that could mess things up. Each individual author will need to either link to their Google+ profile with the tag rel=”author” on every post they write, or link to their profile page on every page they write with the tag rel=”author” and then on their profile page link to their Google+ profile with rel=”me”.

It may sound a bit complicated, but it does make sense. If you don’t own a site, don’t worry about it. If you do and need some help, ask me in the comments, or send me a message 🙂

How Do I Claim Authorship of My Posts on Technology Bloggers?

Recently I have been very busy tweaking bits of WordPress’s code, in order to make it as easy as possible for you to claim authorship of the posts you write on Technology Bloggers.

There are three really simple tasks you need to complete. The first is to go to your Google+ profile ‘About’ page and under ‘Contributes to’ add Technology Bloggers – http://www.technologybloggers.org. The second step is to copy your Google+ profile URL and paste it into the ‘Google+ Profile URL’ box on your WordPress admin profile page. Finally in the box below (‘Google+ Name’) add your name as it appears on your Google+ profile. That is it! The blog does the rest of the work for you, and adds a link to your Google+ profile to your writer profile page.

Screenshot Technology Bloggers Admin Profile - Google Authorship

A screenshot of the data you need to fill in on your profile, in order to claim authorship of your posts on Technology Bloggers.

If you don’t have a Google+ profile page, your link will just direct to your WordPress profile page. Not sure what I mean? Don’t worry, if you don’t have one, nothing bad will happen!

I have updated the post guidelines to include a section about how to link to your profile, however this article probably has a more detailed explanation!

A Final Word About rel=”author” and rel=”me”

If you are still confused about rel=”author” and rel=”me”, look at it this way: rel=”author” lets search engines know that the URL with that tag in is pointing to your author profile, be that WordPress, Google+, about.me or another; rel=”me” lets search engines that the URL with that tag in is another website/profile/blog etc. that is yours.

To see the Google Authorship in action you will have to wait a while for Google to index the pages and register the authorship. To check that your code is working okay and that Google can find your authorship, try using Google’s Rich Snippets Testing Tool.

For more information on Google Authorship, please check out Google’s help article on it.

5 things you should know about Google’s new privacy policy

With all of the buzz surrounding Google’s new privacy policy, you may be confused about the exact changes and how they will affect your internet usage. The bottom line is, the changes aim to improve the services that Google offers by making your Google experience more personalized.

The notification box that lets users know Google's privacy policy is changingHere are five things that everyone should know about the changes that will come occur when Google’s new policy takes effect on the 1st of March.

5. Google will gather information across all of its platforms

Google’s new policy puts the majority of its platforms into one privacy policy. Through this policy, Google will be able to put together a more holistic view of each user, as it can track one user’s data across all of its platforms together.

For you as user, this means that all of Google’s platforms will be more closely integrated than before and will allow you to work across multiple platforms at once more easily. Some critics however say that Google trying to create a ‘cauldron of data’ of its users.

4. You’ll see more personalized search results and advertisements

Since Google will be able to get a more complete view of you as a user, it will be using this information to personalize your internet experience more than ever before.

For example, this means that Google will tailor advertisements and search results to suit your specific needs, correct frequent spelling errors in search queries, remind you of appointments about which you may have forgotten, provide you with a suggested contact list, and much more. You can also contribute to the personalization of your internet experience by using features like the Ads Preference Manager to take control of what kind of advertisements you see.

These changes should help to improve user experience, as well as Google’s profits, as users are more likely to click on ads more relevant to them.

3. The more Google services you use the more you should benefit from the changes

Because Google will rely on your user information across all of its platforms to determine what type of advertisements, search results, and more are best for you, the more Google services you use, the more improvements you will be likely to see.

This is because if you use a host of Google services, such as all of those included in Google Apps, Google will be able to get the most complete picture of who you are, what you look for online, and how you generally use the internet. To track your usage of Google services, you can use the Google Dashboard to see your activity as a Google user.

2. You can still use Google services without it logging your data

Although allowing Google to learn information about your online usage will provide a more personalized experience, there may be times when you don’t want Google to collect certain information about you.

In these instances, you can utilize Google tools like “off the record” chat in Gmail and the “incognito window” in the Google Chrome web browser to ensure that all of your data will not be logged by Google.

However it is thought that Google will try to persuade users to remain logged in and connected through their Google profile, more of the time.

1. Google believes the new policy will allow it to better meet your needs

Google redid its privacy policy because it believes the changes will enable it to offer each individual user a more tailored, better experience of the web. In summary, Google is hoping to meet your needs better and faster by learning who you are and what you look for online.

What do you think about the proposed changes? Do you think you will benefit?