Spend any time on the Internet and you’ll quickly find that a lot of the content is, well, disappointing. Bare-bones case studies. Blog posts dashed off with scant attention to detail. Articles that lure you with enticing headlines and then fail to deliver anything worthwhile.
Of course, there’s plenty of fresh, useful content too. You or your law firm might be producing some of that yourself. (Or at least you should be.) The question is: How do you get your blog posts, articles, and other content that you’ve written to stand out —not just from the muck but also from the other good stuff?
Google wants to help. The search engine has introduced a platform called Google Authorship, which has two chief goals. One, it allows experts such as attorneys who post their written expertise on the Internet to claim ownership wherever their writing appears — whether it’s on your firm’s website or through a link elsewhere.
Two, Google is using Authorship to help it separate the wheat from the chaff on its search results. Very simply, Authorship is designed to push anonymous postings and spurious, search engine-optimized “content” down in the search results.
How it works
To use Authorship, you need to create a profile on Google+. Though there’s still some question whether Google+ is a social media network or part of a larger plan to revamp the Web search landscape, it can be a useful marketing toolbox for professionals. Authorship is one of those tools. And since it’s a Google product, it’s free.
Authorship helps you claim all the content you’ve posted no matter where it appears. It uses a markup system that connects the pages where your online writing appears and links them back to your Google+ profile. The more links you have, the more reliable your content is deemed to be — especially if it’s linked to other reliable sites. The result is that your content will rise higher in Google’s search results in the areas where you have expertise.
So why might Authorship be worth dipping into?
1. You build authority
Simple formula: The more you write, the more authority you build. Google Authorship helps you build up a body of a work that potential clients can readily access.
2. You build trust
On the Internet, almost anyone who writes a lot can claim to be an expert. But not all experts are created equal. You need to build a reputation for reliable expertise. Authorship is designed to reward that reliability.
3. You stand out
One bonus benefit that Google Authorship offers: attaching your photograph to links to your content that appear in search results. For Google, that helps weed out “anonymous” content. And it can help you stand out — and make you more appealing. Potential clients can put a face to the name.
Needless to say, it’s crucial that you keep your quality level high. Post content to the Web and you effectively become a publisher. Your information needs to be trustworthy and thought-provoking. If it isn’t, Google Authorship’s low rankings of your online writing can make that very clear.