Link Building

Using Authorship Markup for SEO & Link Building

There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your face on an article that you worked hard to create. Getting credit is extremely important in the world of blogging because there is so much duplicate content and even similar content spread out across the web. About one year ago Google created what is known as “authorship markup” so that authors as well as readers could put a face to a name. One of the best things about authorship markups is the idea that those using Google can see an author’s picture right on a SERP as opposed to having to click on the article first. This makes it easy for a user to skim the page and find an author that he/she enjoys; thus helping authors get the recognition they deserve.

Authorship markup can be easily implemented to any blog by simply going into the HTML source of the page and plugging in a piece of code. You can visit a past post, How to Become a Google Verified Author, to learn more about setting up authorship markup. Once you have that under control, it’s time to really figure out how to use it to your advantage and how to manage all of the new information set to come your way.

Information Stemming from Authorship Markup

Aside from simple recognition, authorship markup can help a reader get quite a bit of extra information about the author because authorship markup tags are associated with an author’s Google+ profile page. Some of this information includes:

  • Social popularity. You can check to see how many people have the author in their circles as well as click on other connected social networks that the author provides. This allows you to see if the author has a lot of Twitter followers, Facebook fans, or both.
  • Personal information. If you can find your way to a completed Google+ profile page, you will have an author bio from the actual author along with information about where he/she works, lives, and some past accomplishments.
  • Writing experiences. Most authors will want to put some of their past writing experiences on their Google+ profile, making it easy for you to see not only where else that author has been features, but sending you right to his/her exact article.

All of this information can be found by searching for an author’s Google+ profile, but with authorship markup you can click the link to his/her profile when reading the article. This link will appear in an author box at the bottom of the article and the anchor text will most likely be the name of the author.

How to Manage Author Data with AuthorCrawler

If you’re a company looking to analyze your competition or scope out some of the leading authors in your industry, you will find that quite a few use authorship markup. This makes it difficult to keep all of this data in order, and until now there really hasn’t been a tool to give you any help.

The AuthorCrawler tool was created by SEO expert Tom Anthony as a way to help users manage all of the data that authorship markups offer. The tool is completely free and can be downloaded here. The tool offers several features:

  1. Crawl Authorship Markups – Running a report with this tool consists of typing in your website’s URL. This will crawl the authorship markup to show you who is linking to your site (not what sites, like most other tools). The tool will pull the top 1000 backlinks.
  2. Pull Personal Information – If author data is found, the tool will pull things such as number of people in circles or Twitter followers as well as the “Contributor To” filed.
  3. Sort the Report – You have the option to sort the report by the social follower count and/or where the link was placed.
  4. Author Intersect Tool – This was designed to mirror the link intersect tool from SEOmoz. You are able to look at other domains in your niche, such as your competitors, and then pull author data for those sites. This will give you a list of people writing about your industry and those who are linking to your competitors.

Anthony admits that this tool can still go further and isn’t yet designed to be an extensive solution, but it does offer you information in an organized way that your company can really use.

Why This Data Is Important

Having all of this author data is not important because it’s interesting to see who is linking to your website. You want to really analyze this data and use it to help you form connections with authors who are influential in your field. The idea is that you’re looking at who is linking to your website more so than which website is linking to your site. This makes it easier to form connections.

It seems that the biggest advantage is being able to quickly see where else someone has posted. If this person is linking to your website and has posted on high authoritative sites, then that is probably a great connection to make. It’s also a good idea to use the Author Intersect Tool to see what authors are linking to your competition because they are bound to link to you.

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