Google+ helps brands bridge the gap between social media marketing and SEO with its Authorship function. The process of setting up Authorship is quick and it gives content writers more search visibility by positioning their headshots and bylines next to web content in SERPs. Despite several studies, and Matt Cutts himself, suggesting Authorship increases clickthrough rates in search, a study from U.K.-based BlueGlass shows that few brands actually embrace the technology today.
In a study published to Search Engine Watch, a research team analyzed the use of rel=author by companies across industries. According to preliminary data, only 3.5 percent of Fortune 100 brands actively use Google+ Authorship. Because of internal challenges and resistance to new media, traditional brands struggle to adapt to new technologies, opening opportunities for more agile organizations to capture clicks in SERPs.
One sector in particular that has embraced Authorship is Technology. The study showed 52 percent of tech sites and blogs actively use Google+ and Authorship. However, it’s still rare to find every content writer on a technology site using Google Authorship, meaning it’s more of a personal choice than a company-wide initiative. Perhaps most telling about the lackluster acceptance of Google Authorship is that data shows only 7 percent of Google-owned blogs have Authorship markup. The search engine doesn’t even enhance its online content for greater visibility online.
Marketers who use Google+ to increase the SEO value of their brands’ websites should look at Authorship as an easy way to boost content engagement. Brafton published an interactive list to show the power of Authorship in search. Check out these six examples of Authorship, including three companies that really get it.