Be Cautious with Authorship Rank for Your Website Articles

We recently discussed the importance of a Google Plus profile and business page for your content and website respectively. The fact is that search engines like Google are evolving to keep up with ever-changing Internet user trends. The online buzz over the past few years is social media, and Google has followed suit first by using social network signals and now incorporating a social component into its search engine.

But do you as a medical professional really want to be part of this social drive on search engines? It is great to be recognized for your journal articles in peer review magazines but is having your profile picture pasted on search engines and social media really befitting of a medical professional?

Irrespective of how you feel about it, the fact of the matter is that Google feels these “signals” are important for delivering individualized results on search engines and you are forced to follow suit, to some degree, if ranking high on search engine results is important to your business. Fortunately, you do not need to have your picture pasted across the Net to capitalize on these changes in search engine rankings. Google may have been short-sighted to some extent when it comes to associating content with the person or the business but not entirely so.

The Writer vs The Business

It is important to associate your content with both your personal profile or business page on Google Plus. Let’s not argue that point. But what if content is written by multiple authors. Some of the doctors in your group practice. A few freelance medical writers. Locum practitioners and ex-employees in your clinic.

Do you remove existing content that they wrote? After all you own full copyright over all content on your medical website. Or do you allow professionals who are no longer associated with your business take credit for content? What about that that ex business partner of yours who wrote great articles but with whom you now no longer want to be associated with?

Do not feel forced to succumb to Google’s authorship rank. There is no need. It depends on whether your patients, regular website visitors or even occasional browsers are associated with you through your personal profile or with your clinic through your business page. The fact is that your website will still rank higher on the individual user’s search engine results if they follow your business page, even if they have not added your personal profile to their circle*.

* We have tried and tested this with several websites in our network and so have a few of our clients.

Is Authorship Necessary?

Authorship is beneficial but it is not necessary for your ranking. There is no single factor that is necessary in search engine optimization so do not be fooled. But the collective effort incorporating as many positive optimization factors as possible helps. Authorship using rel=”author” is one way of associating your content with you and definitely has benefits. But just as important and valuable is publisher verification through rel=”publisher”. If you are uncertain about these points, then speak to your website developer.

Let’s look at an example about why authorship rank is not essential although helpful for your search engine optimization campaign. If every article has to be claimed by an author, the individual and not the business, then the corporates are going to have a problem.

Let’s say employee John Smith worked for a soda company for the past few years. He has been a loyal employee of Soda Company A and is one of several copywriters working in the marketing department of the company. John churned out hundreds of articles for the corporate website and blog posts on the company business blog which is linked with his Google Plus Profile. He has attracted hundreds in his circles. People who like the product, the brand and therefore have added the author to their circle.

Now Soda Company B headhunts John Smith and he moves over to this company and starts churning out articles and blog posts for the competitors. Does this mean that search engine rankings for Soda Company A is now compromised and Soda Company B will rise up the the ranks? Of course not, or Google Plus Profiles will be worth millions in search engine optimization value in the years to come. Agreed that this is a highly oversimplified argument for why author rank alone is not a deciding factor of your search engine rankings.

However, it does mean that those who added John Smith to their Google Plus circles will now have greater exposure to Soda Company B. Therefore it is important that businesses do not hand over too much to the individual employee or writer with authorship rank. Instead use your Google Plus Business Page for publisher status. If you want to be accredited with the articles for your business then by all means take advantage of the authorship status through your Google Plus Personal Profile.

We will look at the benefits of authorship in future posts on the Medical Content Writer blog.

Be Cautious with Authorship Rank for Your Website Articles