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Google Authorship and Author Rank: Big for SEO in 2013 and Beyond

by Haris Bacic  |  
April 3, 2013

Traditionally, in the era before the Internet and therefore before Google, when a person authored a work in print, it was automatically protected under copyright law (PDF). However, authors still needed to take measures to protect their words from others.

So, authors took precautions from printed theft by plagiarists in two ways. The first was to officially send a copy of an author's completed work, along with a check, to the United States Copyright Office. The second way, referred to as the poor man's copyright, was to mail a copy of the completed work to one's own residence and keep the envelope sealed. The postmarked date on the envelope would serve as a copyright stamp, unless the envelope was unsealed, of course.

Although those two ways are still appropriate for copyrighting printed material, the onset of the Internet has been a game-changer. Theft of an author's work is much easier nowadays; all it takes to lift someone's work is to highlight the desired graphic or text, and copy and paste.

With Google Authorship, online content producers now have not only some measure protection from online plagiarist but also a way to increase their search engine authority.

About Google Authorship

Google Authorship can be considered an online copyright of sorts, at least in sense that the author's online work from a blog, tweet, or website can be documented and tracked so the work does not disappear into Web obscurity.

Right now, anything that has been written on the Web that is not tracked by Google could be considered fair game for theft. However, if a writer registers his or her work via Google Authorship, the writer's work will be tracked by Google as having been authored by that person, so the theft of that work becomes more easily traceable.

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Haris Bacic leads creative and SEO strategy at AdFicient, which provides AdWords management services. He also helps clients become Google-compliant if banned by AdWords.

Twitter: @HarisBacic

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  • by WriterRoxanne Wed Apr 3, 2013 via web

    Wondering how this affects ghostwriters....many online bloggers and content writers contribute quality web content in anonymity, hiding behind the corporate persona of the entity for which they write.
    Claiming authorship for content 'belonging to the employer' may be tricky if said employer holds the rights to the result of a writer's work-for-hire.
    Personally, I believe that an web content writer with substantial name recognition on the Internet would be a welcomed advantage for corporate SEO..but the company must be open to attributing their web content to the individual writer and not claim it as corporate-owned content.

    Any thoughts?

  • by Mark A. Demers Thu Apr 4, 2013 via web

    I wrirte for 2 different websites under different variation of my name. One of the variations I use for articles for one website and another for the other site.

    How would I set up Authorship for my second website which does not use the exact same name I use on my first website when you need to have an exact match of your name in your Google profile.

    Basically , how would I setup 2 or more variations of my name to claim authorship?

  • by K.M Thu Apr 4, 2013 via web

    As a freelance writer, I agree that every author’s work should be protected in any way. The good thing is that Google produces this new app for the security of the articles and written works made by writers. Especially now a days that Plagiarism is really very common offense in the World Wide Web. Its features are seemingly an advantage to the writer’s view, for protecting your work as a writer is one of the best thing you need to accomplish before anything else. Google + is really improving as it really assure the users safety and their terms that are needed to comply. Even though, the processing might take time. Google authorship is surely a worthy, especially for those writers like me.

  • by Haris Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    @WriterRoxanne, this should be between the writer and the employer's terms. Think of it a bit like books. An author might have written the content, but a publisher publishes the content. Google authorship is not necessary equal to ownership.

    @Mark, why are you using two different variations of your name? Is it just like Mike and Michael, or is it Mike and John. If it's the former, then you should just change your display name on the websites to match, if it's the ladder, that would be false identity which would be against Google Plus.

  • by Mark Demers Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    @Haris. Thanks for the help. I`m using Mark, Mark A. and M. Demers as my names to keep my websites articles separate for better distinguishing which site I`m writing for with that article or piece. I guess I should change this but that leaves me a problem with my defult author bio`s.

  • by Haris Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    @Mark, you can have separate author bios on your blogs but your Google Plus profile should be your identity. It should tell the world that you are knowledgeable in 3 different topics. If your blogs are about dogs, green movement, and marketing, then those are your areas of expertise and there's no need to create 3 separate identities for each. Hope that helps.

  • by Mark D. Fri Apr 5, 2013 via web

    @Haris - Thanks Harris it does help..

  • by Jim Sat Aug 3, 2013 via web

    Content scrapping is a big big issue on Google.

  • by Onlineinternetmarketing Sat Sep 7, 2013 via web

    Thank you very much for this lovely piece of information. I have learned a lot just by reading this article.

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