Cheers to Google Authorship, having an image next to website search results, and all the added benefits it has brought my business over the past year.
If you have not a clue as to what I’m referencing, I invite you to read my recent post on the future of search engine optimization using Google Authorship.
As a major aspect of my content marketing strategy to gain greater visibility in search engines and an opportunity to increase click-through-rate (CTR) for search rankings, I implemented Google Authorship. I believe Google Authorship separates my website from my competition, adding a credibility boost to search rankings.
I’ve had Google Authorship implemented on my website almost a year now and amazed at the results.
High-quality content is a must when using Google Authorship
As a small business owner, I can attest to the added value in small business owners implementing Google Authorship to boost their website’s search ranking.
Before I implemented Google Authorship for my website, search rankings for my website we not worth mentioning or even reviewing. However, after implementing Google Authorship, I saw a substantial increase in the number of keyword rankings in search results and increased conversion.
However, not all my search ranking success can be attributed to Google Authorship. Some of my increased keyword rankings and conversions were in relation to writing higher quality content, and implementing basic on-page and off-page optimizations.
Using Google Webmaster Tools to view Author Stats
So how am I able to claim that Google Authorship has substantially increased search rankings and CTR for search results, and show empirical data backing up my claim?
Well, I’m glad you asked because today we’ll take a look at how to use Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) to verify and check Author Stats. There is a little relatively unknown feature by the name of Author Stats to allow you to view your Google Author Stats.
If you don’t already have a GWT account setup for your website, then definitely review my post on how to submit and verify your website using Google Webmaster Tools.
Once you get your GWT account setup and verified, be sure you have implemented Google Authorship for your website using a real human photo of yourself. That means no avatars or other non-human photos. Should you use an avatar, non-human photo or a fictitious photo, Google reserves the right not to display your photo next to search results.
Nevertheless, you’ll know once Authorship has been correctly implemented because you’ll start seeing your photo next to your search results. It’s best to have already had Google Authorship setup and executed for at least 3 months — although this does not guarantee that results and stats for Google Authorship will be visible using GWT.
Once you login to GWT, select your website. Then, from the left hand menu, click Labs and then Author Stats. Either you will see results for your website or a message indicating that no data is available for display.
Much like GWT Search Queries displays in-depth search query and impressions data, Author Stats shows some of the same information with the exception of search term or keyword ranking. In the place of keyword ranking, Author stats shows the actual page URL with it’s respective impressions count, and number of clicks.
Why is Author Stats not showing data for my website?
A quick side note: If you are seeing no data for the site www.example.com, it may be because you have added your site using http://example.com. To Google, these are entirely different sites. If you feel like you’re missing some data, add both the www and the non-www version of your domain to your GWT account. Take a look at the data for both sites. Read more on Google Stats and Data, and why having the correct domain entry for GWT makes all the difference to seeing ranking data displayed.
Another quick thought I like to share is that Author Stats is found in the Labs section of GWT. What this means is that this feature is not well-baked or in a final form. That said, it has been known to be discontinued for some time, or intermittently capturing and displaying data in relation to your website.
So, just because your website does not display data doesn’t necessarily mean that you did anything wrong. It could just be GWT and Author Stats is no longer working or has been taken away.
Either way, it’s safe to say that Google Authorship is a must-have feature for any small business owner looking to boost search engine rankings and increase their website traffic. I highly recommend that you implement Google Authorship at the first moment you get, and start using Author Stats to gauge your search rankings and overall SEO effectiveness.