As the search engines have evolved and gotten much more intelligent, the quality of content on websites has become one of the most important ranking signals. Google is moving in a direction where it’s not just about the quality of the content, but about who created and owns the content. At SMX West in San Jose last month, Google’s Matt Cutts said that within the next few years, Authorship will become a very powerful signal for search engine ranking.
Our last blog post covered the simple steps for using rel=author to claim pages and posts that were written by a specific author. This post is going to cover Google Publisher markup, which uses rel=publisher to claim an entire site for a company.
Don’t be confused by these two… rel=author is for individuals, and rel=publisher is for companies. They’re not exclusive – you can (and should) use both at the same time.
Setting up Google Authorship results in your photo showing up next to your listings in search results. Setting up rel=publisher ties your company website to your company Google+ page, which results in a large Google+ summary showing up in the right column on branded searches.
Many SEO experts and auto industry marketers have said that it’s pointless to set up rel=publisher, since the results will only show up for brand name searches. I say they’re crazy, and you absolutely should set it up as soon as possible! Check out the difference it makes:
For most car dealers, branded searches (searches for the dealership name) account for over 50% of organic search traffic. If you’re not doing any SEO, that percentage will be much higher. Why would you ignore rel=publisher when it results in a better branding experience for the majority of your search traffic?
2 Simple Steps For Setting Up Google Publisher
Before you start - You’ll need to have your Google+ Business Page set up. If you haven’t created one yet, check out this blog post (just follow the first 5 steps). Make sure you’ve got several great photos of your location uploaded, a great Google+ cover image, your logo as your user image, and a complete, well-written description.
STEP 1 - If you haven’t done it already, link to your website from your Google+ Business Page. Click “Edit Profile” and enter your URL in the website field.
STEP 2 - Add a link to your Google+ Business Page from your webpage. You have two options:
Option A: Add this code into the <head> section of your site – if you don’t have access, ask your website provider to add it for you. The link should look like this:
<link rel=”publisher” href=”[page_url]“>
You need to replace [page_url] with your Google+ profile URL, so the link would look like this:
<link rel=”publisher” href=”https://plus.google.com/111656652141598163752″>
Option B (our preferred method): You should have a link to your Google+ Business Page on your home page already; if you don’t, then add one. Add this code to the Google+ link:
Your Google+ business page link should now look like this (obviously, with your Google+ URL instead of ours):
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/111656652141598163752″ rel=”publisher”>
That’s it – you’re done! Head over to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, enter your URL, and click the “Preview” button. You should see your Google+ Business Page link in the Publisher verification area.
It might take a day or two for the Google+ summary to start showing up on your brand searches, so don’t be alarmed if it’s not there immediately.
If you have any other questions about Google Publisher markup or how to set it up on your dealer website, let us know! If you’d like to do even more to boost your online visibility, AutoRevo’s SEO and Social Media team can help – call us today at 888-311-7386 for a free consultation.