Sunday, 25 March 2012

Authorship Markup Scheme For Bloggers Unique Content

I've updated this post in January 2014 to show the new Virante author rank listings.  

What if spammers scrapped all your content? what if those scrape sites were higher up the search engine pages than your original unique blog post and were attracting search engine traffic rather than your original article? Well last year I wrote a very concise blog post over on the  Nature Blog Network blog where I gave the readers some tips and lots of links on how to discourage those thieves in taking measures like the following:
  1. By using a short feed rather than a full feed.
  2. By adding an additional piece of text to the blog post by adding copyright and subscription information (like at the bottom of this post). 
  3. Watermarking your images with your blog address/name.  
  4. Using copyright meta data on your images and using Tineye to find the culprits and more.............!
Ladybird or Ladybug macro photograph
You're welcome to pin this picture of our UK native ladybird on pinterest to lead others to the content of this post

It's nice to know that someone is actually listening to us isn't it?  In the past few days Pinterest have listened to our concerns about their Terms of Service and new ones are soon to be implemented and so too have Google in listening to our complaints about  feed scrapers.  They  implemented their Panda 2.2 algorithm update last summer which was specifically targeted at blog scraper sites and they even asked us to fill in a spreadsheet with known scrapper offenders details.

Moving forward Google also want those of us who write content for the web to start using the Authorship Markup Scheme.

They started the pilot scheme in summer 2011 with some large websites and now they are slowly connecting other authors with their unique content.

So How could this work in our favour?

if Google crawls both pages and finds authorship markup on one, it might recognize that as the original page, thus keeping the scrapers from outranking you. 
Plus it will make your post more noticeable on the google search, give authority to your content and possibly encourage more people to visit your link.

So if you want your unique content to be considered in this scheme then it all starts with having a Google + account.

Have you a google + account? If not here's a helpful video in setting it up.

So what's next I hear you ask? 

Well you can follow the concise authorship markup instructions here  especially if you have multiple blog authors or just read on below ..........

 #1 Now one of the criteria for the authorship markup is to have "a good, recognizable headshot as your profile photo" so you need to upload one for your profile photograph as this will show in the search results as an indicator of trust. Who you are as an individual  seems to be becoming more and more important with google these days.............but I know many won't like using a photograph of themselves.  Google will check your profile photo before allowing you in the scheme.....for now anyway but that might change as there was such an uproar over using personal names on google + at first - but now they seem more relaxed about that.

#2  Does your blog and your google + talk to one another yet?  Does your blog homepage have a button linking your readers to your google + account like what I have in my blog footer?  If you haven't installed a button yet click here.

#3  Once you've chosen the type of button for your blog and copied the snippet of code you need to go back into the page elements part of your blog dashboard and add a new html/javascript widget.  Add that snippet of code  and save and then decide whether you want the widget in your sidebar or footer of blog.

#4  Then while you're still in blogger make sure that every time you write a blog post that it says 'by .................'  in my case under my post titles it says 'by Rosie leavesnbloom'.  This is important to do so that your search result looks good in the future. 

OK are you all still with me?  Now once you've done all of that you need to place a reciprocal link on your google + profile.

#5 Click on the blue edit button of your google + profile and go to the Contributor section on the right hand side of your about me page and add your blog URL to that section.
Screen shot of Rosie Leavesnbloom Google Plus profile
a note to my fellow team members on Nature Blog Network:  we've still to get this set up for each of our author pages on wordpress!

Now you're talking to each other but we'll find out for sure very soon!

You're about to hear of a new tool and it's called Google Rich Snippets and this is the tool that lets you check that your profile and blog are really talking to each other.

#6  Copy the URL of one of your blog posts and paste it  here and then press preview.  Here's mine though I've changed my profile photograph since taking this screenshot.

Screenshot of Rich Snippets Testing Tool for leavesnbloom
You'll see that  google will have verified that I am the author of this blog post  so if this post is copied then google will know who the original content was written by.

#7 Then you scroll down the page and click to see what the page will look like in an extracted rich snippet data as visible by a custom search engine.  At first when I first checked mine out I had the following error Warning: Missing required field "updated"Did you get an error like that? If you get a similar error then do a search on google for 'warning missing required field' updated' or similar error and you'll get a load of sites telling you exactly how to fix it in your template for either wordpress or blogger...........but just remember as always to download your template first in case you make a mistake.'ll be glad we're nearly there!

#8 Go back to the Rich Snippet Tool  - re type your blog post URL and hopefully this time there won't be any errors.

#9 Once you've done everything above then you need to inform Google that you want to be considered for the authorship markup scheme and it's easy to do by confirming the information on this form.

Now  you just have to wait for google to add you to the scheme and then after that it could take up to a month before you see your results showing in the search engines the way they were showing on your rich snippets tool. There's no guarantee that they are going to show up that way at all just now as it's still relatively new but eventually it will become the norm as google try to promote Google profiles rather than Facebook profiles.

If you're a wordpress user then this link from Yoast is very informative along with this video:

Edit to Add - It was confirmed on 26th March at a Google event in Saudi Arabia that Google is about to launch a new commenting system that will tie in with the  Google+  platform in the very near future.  Google Plus comments are now available on blogger  blogs.

Edit to Add Things have changed around google and it's much easier now to get authorship of your blog posts.  If you have a blogger blog then link up your blog to either your G+ personal profile or your G+ business/web page in the blogger dashboard though you'll still need to make sure that your blog is added to your G+ profile.  You'll then see that your name on your blog is hyperlinked to your G+ account.

You can also now add your author profile from G+ to the bottom of your blog posts - like mine below. 

  • Just go to your blogger dashboard and go to page layout.
  • Click on posts and at the very bottom of the list you can select to show your author profile from G+

#Tip The most important thing to do is to share your blog post on G+ as soon as possible as it's the quickest way for the google bots to get notified that you've just published fresh new content on your blog.


You can now also find out what your Virante author rank is from  created by the social media guru Mark Traphagen.  

virante author rank breakdown
My author rank 6.69 as at 20th January 2014

Did you find this useful?  Let me know how you feel about this........... is it the right way to go?  Respond in the comment section below and please share this post on your social networks.

Interested in this topic?  You might enjoy another article I've written called
Thanks for stopping by today and I would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to leave any questions or feedback in the comments section.  

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Rosie is a passionate wildlife gardener in Scotland, a Perthshire / Tayside flower and garden photographer and writer.  She enjoys soaking up nature in her own garden and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that buzzes, creeps, crawls or flutters. She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography.

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Wow. That's a lot of info. I will be back to follow along and set up some of the things you've outlined. I have all the markers you started with but the whole Google + thing needed some help.

gosh that is a lot of information! but I shall plough through it all again and pass the knowledge on to the family who also blog . thankyou!!

Hmmnn. What if I'm not interested in having a google+ account? If I don't have a google+ account does that mean my blog content falls in googles ranking? What if I choose to opt out of having my online experience filtered through anything owned by google. Services such as Gmail, Blogger, Google search, Google maps, Google +, Adsence, Youtube, Feedburner..... What if the notion that google could control my entire online experience scares me?

Hi Rosie, You were the first one I saw who wrote about the Nature Blog Network. I would like to join, but no matter how often I refresh and enter the Captcha code, I am rejected. Weird. You are my last hope. Otherwise it's just not meant to be! Diana

Wow, what a lot of work has gone into this, Rosie ... Thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

Thanks very much for the above. It seems to have been successful in my case.

Best Wishes

Tony Powell

WOW- thanks for putting all this in one place Rosie! Appreciate it.

So much for this old guy to take in Rosie, but I have bookmarked your page. Mind you I am not so sure that my efforts would be of importance to these people. I was preparing a post on Fothergilla, I don't actually have it in the garden, I photographed it on a visit to Crathes. I remember last year you did a post on this shrub, I think it was a dwarf variety. Anyway I was intending to add a link of your post entry on the page which I am preparing. Your site seems to be missing a very important search bar where you can add the title of a plant and your visitor is directed to the very page. Well perhaps there is a very good reason not to have this facility for all I know.

Thanks, Roie, for putting so much work into this. I'm going to try it.

sorry, I meant 'Rosie' of course.

Mmmmmm - much interesting food for thought Rosie and thanks for sharing this information. Must admit that I am slightly wary of Google. I've been rather lazy or naive or perhaps both of them and have not watermarked photos etc. I was absolutely furious last week to find one of my photos posted on a site without my prior knowledge or consent. Not sure what my step should be. May well email you for advice later.

This is very, very helpful. So much is happening with content on the internet, and it is easy to get lost. Thanks for providing a well-informed post on what is happening and how to help ourselves.