Although rumors have been circulating for some time, it was just officially announced that Google will stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup. Before your eyes glaze over, here’s two visual examples that will help show you the difference.
What Does This Mean For You As a Writer?
It means that when people search for a specific topic or keyword and your post appears in the search results, instead of looking like this (like it did with Authorship):
It will now look like this:
What does this mean in English? Your picture will no longer be associated with the post (which many thought meant added credibility) and your Google+ profile will no longer be associated with the post (there are limited exceptions to this second one- again I point you to my articles below for further explanation).
My point with this post is NOT to go into the technical aspects of Google Authorship- I will gladly point you to people far more knowledgeable than me who can properly educate you. Here is an excellent article that examines the more technical aspects (and it’s really pretty easy to read):
It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results by Eric Enge on SearchEngineLand.com
Here IS the Point of This Post
To give you real-life strategies so this news has the smallest negative impact on you possible. In other words, to show you what you should have been doing all along to craft a well written post WITHOUT depending on Authorship;) Here’s my tips……..
Your Main Post Headline Should Be Written Similar to How People Type Words and Phrases into a Search Engine
Think about that for a minute- when you’re searching do you type in “HO-3 homeowners insurance policy exclusions” OR do you type “What’s excluded in a typical homeowners policy?” (my insurance friends will appreciate this difference).
People aren’t robots. They are conversational. They type like they speak. So make sure your headlines are typed like how your audience would do a Google search. Your chances of being “found” online increase significantly.
Think about how you ask questions. Then use the same method to write your headlines.
Your Body Copy Should Be Easy To Read
You’ve heard it before- people have the attention span of a gnat. Instead of an attention span, we now have “attention holes” (my invention entirely. And yes, the usage of “a” with “hole” is completely intentional 😉
Here’s how to make your body copy easy to read:
- Short sentences. Yes, it’s OK for one paragraph to equal one sentence. I know what your English teacher taught you. It’s OK to ignore the rule that a paragraph must be a minimum of two sentences. Seriously- I swear.
- Break up your paragraphs by using additional headlines. Look throughout this post for examples. It makes it easier to read doesn’t it? We read in chunks- otherwise it gets tiring.
- Also write these headlines so if your reader ONLY reads the headlines, they will still get the main idea of the post. YES- people read like this (you do too, you just won’t admit it). So get over it and write for your reader. They’ll appreciate it.
- Be conversational. Write like you speak. Be human. Let your personality show through. Use humor when necessary. Just don’t be a robot.
Your Post Must Answer the Question, Problem or Scenario Presented in the Main Headline
I’ve seen many posts that start off with a great premise, then just wander off into nowhere. That’s frustrating to the reader. We’re reading your post to solve a problem or get educated. You need to live up to your end of the bargain or your readership will quickly dwindle away. And then you’ll be writing to no one. And that sucks. Here’s what you need to do:
- Keep that main headline in front of you at all times.
- Laser in on that headline.
- Make sure every sub headline somehow addresses the main headline.
- Use your body copy to expand.
These are the practices I’ve followed for a while. They do work. Your challenge is to adopt them and move forward so the end of Google Authorship is hardly a blip on the screen. Because honestly, don’t you want to depend on the quality and authority of YOUR content as opposed to what outside forces dictate? I know my answer.