Building an online presence with a search engine like Google is a critical support structure of online marketing. When Google recently announced it was no longer tracking authorship (rel=author), many worried this would negatively impact marketing and some are making the move to drop building authorship from projects. While the statistics may not be available, authorship is still an important piece of your online presence. Here is why. Your own credibility is still key with consumers. When you establish authorship, you are establishing your authority over the content. And since the majority of consumer decision making is based on the trust they feel toward the content, authorship can be a critical linchpin toward establishing that trust. The higher your trusted online profile, the more likely your recommendations will be taken seriously or be converted into profit.
People can and do follow particular authors of content. This is a valuable marketing tool, as authorship establishes high visibility. This visibility – popularity, if you want to look at it that way, drives many other things, such as opportunities for more work or the likelihood that people will check out any other links associated with your article.
This brings up a very important component – speed. Other media outlets are much quicker to promote or engage an already established name for other opportunities. Authorship helps make those connections for bigger opportunities faster. The bigger names get the prime exposure, and authorship builds that reputation.
Don’t worry that much about the absence of the rel=author statistic. Google’s own results indicated that people were not using it very widely in the first place, so its uses were already limited. Instead, look at the authorship issue as one where you can establish a personal brand – a brand that can drive everything else you do online!