Google Authorship is a method for attaching a specific author to online content so that the author can be associated with his or her work across the Internet, no matter where it is published. Google advertises Authorship as a good way to validate content, help get discovered and attract more readers.
The little pictures you see next to some search results are displayed because of Authorship. If you see those images, it means Google has determined, through both markup and a linked Google+ account, that the person shown is responsible for the content being presented. There is still much discussion in the SEO community about whether or not adding Authorship helps with search marketing, although many people have reported positive results in terms of both ranking and click-through rate post implementation.
Google recommends using Authorship as one method of building reputation and establishing trust. At the March 2013 Search Marketing Expo West, Google Distinguished Engineer (and webspam guru) Matt Cutts was asked about the significance of Authorship. He responded, “Reputation will matter more and more as we move forward. Over time, we (Google) will be caring more about identity and social.”
Since all indications are that Google will continue to experiment with methods of accounting for trust, authority and social signals within its results, using Authorship could be one way to help your content get noticed. In terms of click-through rates, having your picture displayed next to your result takes up more screen real estate, making your link more prominent within the context of the results page.
Good news for WordPress and Typepad users
Google has made automatic Authorship available to users of both WordPress and Typepad. WordPress is one of the most widely used content management systems in the world, and the ability to link accounts easily could be mutually beneficial to Google and WordPress users. If you publish on one of those two platforms, you will no longer have to connect your site to your Google+ profile by following the steps in their documentation. Instead, you will be able to login to your WordPress or Typepad site using your Google+ account, giving Google the information they need to link your site.
Keeping up with other social networks through embedded posts
Google has also announced the arrival of embedded posts; you can now embed your Google+ posts into the site or blog of your choosing. This is a feature that Facebook and Twitter already provide, so it is not revolutionary. But it could be significant for search marketing, since Google+ recommends are one of the leading social signals Google is using to determine authority and online reputation. To embed a post, click on the drop-down arrow that will appear at the top right corner of the post and choose “Embed Post” from the list of options. You will be given a box of code to copy and paste into your selected location.