Getting recognition in search results: Leveraging Google+ and authorship



In today’s online world of search engines, Google has long been reigning king. (You know you’ve made it in the world if your brand name has become recognized as a verb by Merriam-Webster.) As a web writer, this has implications for you — how your articles are ranked by Google affects where they land in search engine results, and ultimately determines how many views your pieces receive.

Some background on Google algorithm updates

One thing to bear in mind as an online writer is that Google is regularly updating their search algorithms to make sure that the most relevant, credible, valuable content appears at the top. You may have heard of Panda, one such algorithm update Google introduced in 2011. This is only one of many updates Google has made that affects your ranking in search results.

However, there are certain things you can do to help improve your own search engine ranking.

Google+ accounts and the authorship feature

You may or may not already have a Google+ account. If you don’t, it is strongly suggested that you register for one. Because Google+ is Google’s very own social media platform, the links shared on Google+ are more highly valued by Google search results. Additionally, the more that your followers +1 a link that you share, the more highly that link is valued in Google’s search engine. Ergo, if you share a link on Google+, Google will reward you by not only having it appear higher in your search results, but having it appear higher in the search results of your followers.

(Check out this article for great information on becoming a Google authority and attracting more Google+ followers.)

So network on Google+; gather followers, post and share regularly. Get your followers to +1 your content. Your Google+ profile is the foundation of Google’s authorship feature, which Helium Publishing platforms are now set up for. It will increase your visibility, credibility, and help your online reputation tremendously. Google favors authority of the author as well as, of course, quality of content, so you may find that you’ll need to accrue enough of a track record before you start seeing authorship results in Google. And for added traction, consider spending some time optimizing your Google+ to your best advantage. Also, check out Google+ Ripples to track how your content is being shared!

(A note to Helium Network writers: Once you’ve created your Google+ profile, be sure to enter your Google+ profile URL in the appropriate field on the professional tab of Member Profile section in Helium Network. Click on the question mark icon to the right of the field where the URL is entered to see the exact format needed. This will be used for the authorship feature so that Google+ will recognize your published articles.)

Becoming a subject matter authority

Although on Helium Network you can write to any subject matter, we strongly recommend that you stick to a certain subject area where you’re comfortable and knowledgeable. There are strong SEO benefits to choosing a niche and sticking with it. When you write a lot about one particular subject, Google will begin to recognize you as an authority on that subject. Your articles about that topic then become more valuable in Google’s eyes.

Think about it this way: When you’re buying groceries, would you rather pick up a head of lettuce at the corner convenient store that also sells gasoline and hacky sacks? Or would you prefer to purchase from a produce vendor? Google looks at it the same way. The quality stuff comes from the people who specialize in that area. Become an authority on your subject and Google will rank those articles more highly.

This isn’t just true for Helium Network; your Google rank is yours to own. It travels with you in your pocket to every platform with your name on it.

In other words, if you want Google as your ally, find your passion and focus on it – not just with Helium Network, but across the web.

And don’t forget: Since more views equals more revenue, keep writing engaging, quality content. In case you haven’t seen these, you might check out the video tutorials for tips on making articles web-friendly and search-friendly.

We’re here to help. If you have any questions, feel free to be in touch by emailing us at

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  • I asked this in one of the posts where Google+ is mentioned, but I might have better luck here. How long does it take for the Google Authorship thing to go into effect? I put my Google+ profile link into the field under “professional” well over a month ago, I made sure I am using the same face shot in both Helium and Google+ but when I find some of my articles on Google I can’t see that little author photo and byline.
    What am I doing wrong?

    • Emily Royalty says:

      Hi Natasa,

      Here is the response from our SEO director:

      “First off, check to see that you’ve entered the Google+ URL in Helium Network according to the instructions included in the help (question mark) icon next to the field where it’s entered. (Not to imply that it’s been done incorrectly, but if it isn’t entered according to the format outlined, it won’t work.)

      Alas, Google has tightened up on what they choose to display using the authorship feature. As mentioned in March Helium Network blog post on this topic [ ]
      You’ll find links in this blog post to further info on optimizing your Google+ profile/presence that you might find helpful as well.
      Google favors authors with established authority — as well as, of course, quality of content — so you may need to accrue enough of a track record before you start seeing authorship results in Google.

      Google is looking for authorities on subject of given search query, so would be in your best interest to choose a topic niche and stick to that area — so that you can build up credibility from Google’s perspective and therefore be more likely to be served up in search results. FYI, connecting with (i.e., have in circles) other authoritative authors and individuals on Google+ is another factor / approach to building up your credibility…”

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