I spent two days evaluating dozens of Philadelphia blogs hosted by marketing and communication companies. Less than four are approved in Google’s authorship program, even though many have content creators who could receive verification. Getting the coveted credit for a brand or company blog authors is primarily a factor of:
- Blog authors have a strong Web presence.
- Creation of personal Google Plus account with links to and from employers’ blogs.
- Implementation of rel=author HTML markup.
Philadelphia blogs which offer valuable content, and are not merely promoting themselves, are missing out on authorship opportunities. Social media signals are increasingly a bigger part of SERP. However, for the near future, the attractiveness of author credit on Google is about branding, as well as higher click through in search results. Here are the main benefits, before the day when “author ranking” of a webpage is a major factor in how high it comes up in search results:
- 20%- 50% increase in traffic for blogs’ pages– Expect the results after authorship is approved by Google.
- Show greater expertise in sector– With a name and photo in search results, bloggers will have a stamp of approval from Google which sets them apart from competition.
- Personalize search result listing– When clients or prospects see who is behind result snippets in search results, they will have a more personal connection.
It’s challenging for brands to decide if they want to pass on the “reputation juice” or credit to their employees. For senior management at a communication agency, their face needs to be seen, literally, as much as their firm’s brand.
- Antoinette Johnson is the CEO of At Media. Her firm’s blog has fantastic resources about branding, social media, and digital marketing. It does not serve as a mere plug for their work. Further, she is active on social media sites where she is widely followed.
- Laura Powers is the Vice President of Marketing for Furia Rubel Communications. As with the @Media blog, many of the contributions are from lower level staff, but she is a regular contributor. She can boost her visibility on the SERP pages. Other contributors or employees may not be “on the front lines,” as she and Ms. Johnson are in reaching out to existing and future clients.
- TicketLeap is one of the largest Internet based companies in the Philadelphia region, and they too have a blog that is more “editorial” than “advertorial.” Since their audience is consumers, not businesses, management may not be in need of a high profile. Their blog authors are not senior staff.
- Monetate, one of the three largest pure-play digital marketing firms in the Philadelphia area, has a very active blog with some shout-outs to highlight their own work, but mostly free editorial resources. Their Managing Editor is Hallie Mummert. The firm links from blog posts she writes to her profile, although the blog does not have authorship markup for her or other content creators.
Would TicketLeap and Monetate be “giving away brand equity” to staff members if each used his or her Google Plus account and linked to and from the company blog? If other corporate blogs’ web presence in Philly can tell us how important attribution is for non-senior staff, then the answer is a resounding yes. A large number of Philadelphia blogs with significant editorial content do not list the last name of staff that contribute or link to any profile. They believe, right or wrong, the blog contents’ shine might roll off to their employees.
*Google provides support for Philadelphia Blogs or for webpage authors interested in having their content creation recognized in SERP. The search engine company verifies contributors’ writing on Websites and social media platforms via two-way links to their Google Plus accounts. This verification helps Google judge the importance of individuals’ contributions. Signals showing author authority and trust include follow/follower ratios on high authority social sites like Twitter.