Is Google Authorship Bad for SEO?

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Is Google Authorship Bad for SEO?

As much as digital marketing professionals, not to mention Google themselves, have been talking about the impact Google Authorship can have on SEO from a positive perspective, usually related to content marketing, others have been less than enthusiastic about it.

What is Google Authorship?

Google authorship is an important aspect of your inbound marketing campaign. People who can view the author of an article or blog post will subsequently check out their profile and business page if the content was high quality and gave away value. Google authorship takes a matter of minutes to set up using your personal Google+ account, and doing so will bring the following benefits:

Click through rates will improve, as readers prefer feeling a personal connection with the writer.
It gives your business added ‘real estate’ on Google, therefore building brand awareness and exposure while not doing anything differently.
As people grow to recognise you and appreciate your content and business in general, you’ll become an authority in your industry, which will eventually lead to the snowball growth effect as more authority leads to greater exposure, which grows your authority even further, and so on.
Google authorship marks your content as yours. If someone steals your content and publishes it on their website, they, not you, will be penalised for duplicate content publication.
In order to use Google authorship, you’ll need to have a personal Google+ account first.

How to Setup Google Authorship

Setting up your Google authorship account is easy. Ensure you’re signed into your personal Google+ account, go to, and enter your email address. Google will send you a verification email, which you’ll use to confirm your email address and Google+ account. Your authorship is now set up, meaning all you have to do is add a short byline to all of your written content using the rel=author tag around your name, and your profile picture will appear next to your content in Google search.

In your Google+ account, be sure to add your business website, in addition to anywhere you guest post, for example, in the ‘Links’ section under the ‘Contributor to’ subheading.

Good or Bad?

Going back to ‘What is Google Authorship’ it seems there is no way it could be bad for SEO. However, a Search Engine Watch case study from earlier this year, and subsequent comments below the line, indicate that some have seen a negative impact on their SEO activities.

As a result, it is difficult to say either way. That said, it seems to be the case that those who have embraced Google Authorship have done so expecting it to have an immediate impact, but have then suffered when removing it. There won’t likely be a definitive answer until individuals and websites have been using Authorship for the longer term, although it seems unlikely to be a Google curveball designed to make us all cannibalise our SEO.

Image Author: Magnet 4 Marketing dot Net