This is the story of one man’s quest to uncover the mysteries of Google Authorship. Fair warning: this story does not have a happy ending, because just last week Google announced that Authorship is basically dead. You’ve been warned.
The Quest for Google Authorship
So, before we launched our digital marketing services agency, I ran the marketing team for Contentverse. There’s more about our story all over the website, so I won’t bore you with the details. Way back in the fall of 2013, the coolest kids on the block were strutting around and showing off their “Google Authorship” for all the world to see… and it looked pretty great.
What a cool guy. Not only does he make completely nonsensical zombie references, but he’s also got Google Authorship which means he wins the Internet.
So the idea was simple, connect the Contentverse blog to Google+, and we’d be good to go. The problem no one ever tells you is this: unless your email addresses match your website, you’re screwed. Computhink, the friendly folks behind Contentverse, have @computhink email addresses. Their website is @contentverse. No matter how much we tried, how many tricks we tried to pull, Google Authorship would never work using our corporate email accounts. So, we’re stuck with just a link to our publisher page and no Google Authorship, meaning no friendly links to Google+ profiles on the content that’s getting tons of hits. Also, it doesn’t allow that blog content to get the “Google bump”. What’s a “Google bump” you ask? Well, it’s something I just made up right now from my assumption that anything we do that “bows” to the great Google will rank higher in search results. In fact, I just made the “googlebump” Urban Dictionary page, it was approved, so now Marqana is famous. Boom. Anyway, back on track, look, Contentverse is a publisher, but no Google Authorship.
And so it went. Some months passed, our marketing continued to produce even higher than projected, incredible results due to a combination of hard work, know-how, and ingenuity. I hate bragging, but it’s the truth. Suddenly, we got the idea to create a marketing firm and do things the right way and Marqana was born.
So I was really freaking excited to set up Google Authorship the right way!
Believe it or not, it wound up being easy. There were three steps to getting all of our authors set up on the blog. Step one, link your Google+ profile to the website you want to contribute to by going to your About page on your Google+ profile. Step two, link your content to your Google+ profile. We use CMS backends, so the handy SEO by Yoast plugin for WordPress makes it easy to add our Google+ publisher page link to all of our content. Step three was even easier, select the user account of each author and link to their Google+ page. And voilà:
Google Authorship achievement unlocked! If you don’t know, Marqana isn’t even two weeks old yet, and this achievement was unlocked on our blog for our writers on August 27th.
Yup, Google shut down Google Authorship’s value and display in search results the day after I added it to the Marqana blog. Are. You. Kidding. Me.
Google! WHY DID YOU KILL AUTHORSHIP!?
I screamed to no one. The funny part is how I finally slayed this dragon, yet the quest was not even 24 hours complete and it was gone. It was like George Costanza’s initials getting deleted when his Frogger arcade game got demolished by a semi-truck; it was just a brutal feeling. Something I’d wanted so badly to have on our Marqana site was just erased less than 24 hours after it was added.
C’est la vie, eh?
Anyway, I was really excited to write “The Definitive Guide to Setting Up Google Authorship” or something less wordy for our blog (or maybe even MarketingProfs) to hit the ground running with Marqana since no one’s ever bothered to really lay it all out in one concise post. Personally, I think the “googlebump™” for Google Authorship was actually a pretty silly idea. Sure, Google has every right to try to make their social network more important, but at the end of the day real business shouldn’t be controlled completely by them, right? Right?
I guess we’ll find out, but until then we at Marqana will just keep striving to boost our and your rankings and know every new search engine optimization rule and best practice. That’s what we’re here for. Feel free to scroll to our footer to subscribe to our newsletter to get more funny and informational digital marketing tips & tricks.