If you were to walk into a bookstore and see two books with similar covers, only one was written by John Grisham and the other by an unknown writer, which would you pick up? If you are like the average individual, you would probably pick up the one by the familiar author. You know he can write well and you know you will enjoy the read.

This tendency to choose a familiar author has not changed with the advent of digital copy. People are still prone to read works by someone they recognize and trust, and Google Authorship allows you to finally take claim for the works you publish online. Now, with this new feature, it’s going to start mattering who is behind the words published on a screen. Here are some reasons you need to pay attention to Google Authorship.


Make Your Content Stand Out

When someone searches for your keyword, posts by authors who are using Google Authorship will have a small headshot avatar next to the post indicating who wrote it. This is important, because it draws the eye and encourages someone to click on that piece or search result. The eye is naturally drawn to images when working on a screen, as proven by eye-tracking studies. This means that Google Authorship, and the little image that goes with it, will cause more people to notice and click on your link.


Increase Click-Through Rates

Since the eye is drawn to the links in the search engine results that have a small avatar, the result is a higher click-through rate. Even if the ranking is not improved, meaning the link is lower in the results page, it will get more clicks. In fact, some companies, like Catalyst, have tested this. Catalyst reported a 150 percent increase in click-through after implementing Google Authorship. That’s a tremendous result.


Build a Reputation as a Writer or Expert in Your Field

As a writer, the most valuable thing you can have is the trust of your readers and audience. Once you have earned their trust, readers will search out what you have to say as a subject matter expert. Building trust in an online world where anyone can be a “writer” is challenging, but Google Authorship helps. Adding your headshot to your search listing helps people to associate you with the helpful item they read on your link. This builds trust, establishes you as an authority in your niche and helps you rise above the plagiarizers who are copying content and using it on their generic web pages.


Makes You Instantly Identifiable

Many writers have names that don’t really stand out. There are probably multiple John Smiths out there who are submitting blog topics and writings online. Adding your headshot to your name will help you stand out. Even if your name is unique, people may not remember it, but they will remember the image associated with the quality article they read, and they will be more prone to click on something else you have written later on.

If it is used well, Google Authorship will increase the importance of solid writers across the board. This is good news for anyone who has ever tried to publish content online. So set up your Google+ profile and start linking it to your pieces so you can make the most of this new tool offered by the search engine giant.

This post was written by Jeff Shjarback.  Jeff Shjarback, MBA is an Internet Marketing Consultant, Writer and Blogger that enjoys blogging about digital marketing, business, finance, economics, technology, websites and business philosophy.  To learn more about Jeff, you can visit his Google Author Profile.