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Research and SEO

9 Great Reasons To Claim Your Google Authorship Markup



Ever seen those profile pictures that appear alongside website links in Google’s search result pages? Sure you have! These are possible via a unique Google Authorship markup that links you Google+ account to your website and blog posts.

Aside from the visibility benefits it provides, this practice also results in better SEO and increased brand authority. If you are yet to jump into the Authorship bandwagon, here are 9 reasons why you should:

Increased click-through rates

The most obvious, and welcome, advantage of this practice is that it allows your content to stand out in search results. Always a good thing, because it usually results in higher-click through rates and an increased amount of visitors.

Improved brand authority

If you run more than one website, or multiple blogs, this added exposure helps in improving your brand authority. The more your photo appears in search results for specific keywords, the more people see you as an expert figure on that particular niche or subject.

Enhanced trust

Everyone (well almost everyone) prefers to read content that is created by a real person they can connect with. This holds particularly true for blogs. Having your face appears in search results build rapport and enhances trust with your readers, even before they click to visit your link.

Higher search rank

Content that is highly valued by users gets placed higher in the search results by Google. And what better way to show Google that your visitors are interested in your content then by having a high click-through rate? This is a simply effortless way towards better SEO.

Company branding

You are not just limited to using a personal profile here. Connect a Google+ business profile with your company logo as the picture in Authorship, and even if users do not click on your listing, they will still see the logo, and in turn be positively exposed to your branding.

Personal branding

This here is the main advantage, for most online marketers. Linking your personal Google+ profile with Authorship nets vast personal branding benefits. The more people see your face, the more they will be able to recognize it in the future.

Instant expertise

One great feature of this markup is that Google displays your Google+ followers in the results pages. If you have thousands of followers over there, you can easily use this to your advantage, as it instantly portrays you as an expert in your field. The larger the following, the more users will be inclined to click.

More Google+ followers

Google+ is, without doubt, Google’s favorite social network. Links to your Google+ profile are displayed underneath the titles of your listings in search results, and this increases the likelihood that visitors will view your social profile too. This ultimately brings in more followers.

Overcome plagiarism

Since the markup is automatically activated every time Google indexes your website, it basically notifies Google that you are the original creator of the content in question. This helps your content rise to the top of the rankings, conquering all other duplicate (scraped or spun) copies.

Elaine Chang is our resident SEO geek and expert. She has extensive experience writing about SEO, SEM and all things web.

1 Comment
  • Chetty

    This is informative. Really great information. I never knew what those pictures were for, but thanks for the explanation. Claiming authorship is definitely something to consider.


Find The Traffic Of Any Website With SimilarWeb



If you have a particular site you are competing with, or just want to find out the traffic of any website or blog, there are a number of online tools that can help.

Most of them work quite differently from one another, in how they calculate the numbers, but solutions like Alexa, Quantcast, TrafficEstimate and even SEQquake provide valuable insights. Now you can add another neat tool to this list — one that goes by the name of SimilarWeb.

In theory, it is impossible to know exactly how much traffic a website gets, as that information is private to the owners of that particular website.

Tools that promises to provide these numbers does so based on their own research, algorithms and estimates. Some even include logs from Internet service providers in their statistics. Point being, you should always take this data with a grain of salt.

They are guesstimates, at best.

But still a good source to find out website traffic and demographic information. SimilarWeb works the same way, and one advantage it provides (against other such tools) is that a fair amount of data is available for free. Other provides charge monthly fees for access to their statistics.

So simply input the URL of a website that you want to gather some insights on, and the tool will give you a brief report about that site, along with their traffic estimates.

The numbers presented are quite close, though obviously not accurate.

Obviously, the bigger a site, the more precise an estimate it will provide. For example, TechCrunch lists on their ‘Advertise with Us’ page that they receive 34 million monthly page views. And sure enough, SimilarWeb provides numbers in this range.

However a lot of smaller sites are not enumerated, understandably.

As it stands, though, this probably is one of the better traffic estimation tool available online, and you can use it to gather some good results and compare how your sites compare with your competitors.

It also works with mobile apps, so give it a try at this link.

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Research and SEO

New Google Penguin Algorithm Update Being Rolled Out



A new Google Penguin algorithm update is now rolling out. Although it was delayed by a week or so, the search engine giant has already begun the rollout of its latest Penguin update.

The company officially announced this a few weeks back.

In fact, the slow worldwide rollout began this past Friday, with the objective of reducing even more search spam than before. According to the company, webmasters may already have seen an impact already, though the effects are expected to be more noticeable in the coming weeks.

In the words of Pierre Far, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google:

“On Friday last week, we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US English search results. This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration, and demotes sites with newly-discovered spam.”

Sounds pretty solid!

Those of you not in the know, Penguin is the codename for Google’s algorithm that decreases search engine rankings of sites that are found to be violating the Webmaster Guidelines that the company has put in place.

It focuses on artificial methods that are employed to increase the ranking of webpages — manipulation, in other words. Google has updated several of its algorithms these past few months, including a number of updates to Panda.

At the same time, the company has been hunting down individual sites and entire networks that it believes are trying to trick the system.

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Research and SEO

Google Starts Displaying Blog Posts In The “In The News” Box



The “In the News” area is a highly diverse and decidedly vital section of Google search result pages, and the company has just made a very important change to it.

In addition to just regular news sites, the search engine giant has begun showing additional content in this portion. Content like blog posts, Reddit discussions, even videos. This is sure to open up new possibilities for people and businesses.

Sure, only three news pieces are displayed here, related to the topic — and they don’t appear for all search queries. But this is still an area that people take special note of when searching.

As this report notes, content in this box only came from Google News, meaning only some sites got in on the action, those that had approval from Google. But the company now wants to expand on this, and add in more content from a more diversified range of sources.

A bit of a game changer, this, as the search engine giant states:

“We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answers they are looking for. We are always working to give our users the best possible answer to their questions. That might come in the form of a video, a press release, a blog, a photo, a social media post or a news article.”

Powerful, powerful stuff.

Interestingly, this does tie into the recent algorithm update that Google just pushed out last month, where it said that small and medium sites would benefit from added exposure.

Sure looks like that this welcome move is a part of that puzzle.

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