When’s the Best Time to Claim Authorship Markup?
Have you set up Google’s authorship markup on your websites and blogs? If you have already set it up that’s great as it’s a good indication that you’re aware of what Google Tools and its other products has to offer. On the other hand, if you’ve just started learning about this new markup, then you may be interested in our quick authorship setup guide to help you get going. But hey, can you do me a little favor by reading through this article first?
For people who have already set up an authorship markup for their sites, have you noticed any improvements in your site’s performance, whether it’s traffic, leads or keyword rankings?
But what if it turns out that your site’s traffic and rankings have dropped?
Honestly, I wasn’t aware of it before, but having authorship markup on a site can act like a double-edged sword that could either boost or drop traffic quite significantly. Some clients have reported a sudden drop in traffic, and they believe that setting up authorship markup might be the root cause of the problem. I was equally perplexed at first and decided to dig into it a little bit more.
Reading this published case study from Search Engine Watch can help you visualize the scenario of what I am talking about – Can Google Authorship Really Cause a Huge Traffic Drop Case Study
We actually shared and discussed this problem with our SEO team. I don’t think the issue is caused by implementing an authorship markup alone, but that it does play a small role with the trouble at hand.
Since setting up authorship markup allows you to submit your site to Google for review and greater visibility, this also subjects your website to a stringent quality test. Your site might be tested for quality content, site errors, and other factors in accordance to Google’s own quality standards. If your website passed, you might achieve a better ranking in search results. Unfortunately, if your website has errors and other issues, you will most likely be dinged by Google’s Panda algorithm, which will cause your site’s traffic and ranking to drop.
“Adding the authorship tag is a trigger for Google to screen your site for good quality content since you are actually telling Google that you are an author. I think it will apply quality filters on your site, and if you fail, down you go. Basically, it’s Google’s own way of telling you that you need to write better content for your site, or face the consequences.”
Be responsible when it comes to building unique and quality content for your site. Your website must be well-received in order to gain authority and trust on the Internet. Finally, I must suggest that before you submit the site to Google, make sure that all errors are resolved and that you are ready for continuous integration of quality content.
Now, get ready for an overall site audit. I’ve listed some points below for you to check, or you can hire an SEO consultant to do it for you.
- Backlinks check – make sure that you have quality links. If you spot a spammy link, consider a link removal / disavow.
- Site analysis – make sure that your website is free from errors like HTML coding errors, slow loading times, poor URL structure, and that all pages are valid for submission.
- Content quality tests – you must avoid traces of duplicate content and spam techniques. Avoid thin content as well. Google loves value and quality, and I am sure your visitors will appreciate it too.
Share with us your site’s experience and together we will learn how to survive the next rollout of updates from Google’s Panda algorithm.