People are more likely to trust other people than they are brands or websites, according to Edelman's 2012 Trust Barometer. That's why Google started showing the authors of articles and pages alongside its search results.
This week we show you how to earn more visits to your website by tapping into people's natural tendancy to trust people over brands through using Google authorship markup for the articles in your Squarespace blog.
How Does Google Authorship Work?
The way Google's authorship system works is simple. If Google knows who wrote the article, they'll pull in information from your Google+ profile alongside your articles when they display in the search engine results. It usually looks something like this:
If trust is all about people, then adding your personal information to your articles is a nice strategic move towards using the web to build trust.
Adding Google Authorship to Your Squarespace Blog
The process to claim search engine result authorship is pretty simple. All you need to do is connect youru authored content to your Google+ account. Here's how.
Step 1. Create a Google+ Account
In order to be listed as an author in Google search results, you must be on Google+. Register for a free account or upgrade your current Google account (be sure to circle me so I can circle you back).
Step 2. Fill Out Your Contributor List
Next, you need to completely fill out the contributor list in your Google+ profile. Simply list the names and URLs of the blogs/websites for which you write content.
Step 3. Add Your Author Tag to Your Work
Finally, add your author tag to each of your articles. Your author tag consists of a link to your Google+ profile URL with "?rel=author" added to it.
Code: <a href="https://plus.google.com/YOUR UNIQUE GOOGLE+ ID?rel=author">by YOUR NAME</a>
Sample Authorship Link: <a href="https://plus.google.com/108895745232785769816?rel=author">by Josh Braaten</a>
The easiest way to do this is to take your authorship link and add it to one of your blog's HTML snippets. I added this link to my blog page's HTML Snippet 3 in my blog's footer to automatically tag all my blog posts with authorship:
Once you've added all the code, test it out. You'll know you did it right if you see your authorship details appear in Google's rich snippet testing tool.
Trust in People vs. Businesses
According to Edelman, trust in businesses has fallen from 2011 to 2012, with only 53% of the informed public trusting businesses in 2012 compared to 56% in 2011. Among the general public, trust in businesses is even lower.
At the same time, people are voicing more trust overall in individuals. In 2012, Edelman reports academics (68%), experts(66-68%), and even a "person like yourself" (65%) as more credible than the very businesses they represent. Google's authorship can help you market your the articles you write for your brand or business as a person as opposed to as simply just another page on a website.
Who do you trust more? Do you find company statements and communications to be more official and therefore credible, or is the human touch of individuals that pave the way for belief and trust? What do you think of Google's authorship? Tweet me (@jlbraaten), G+ me, or leave a comment below with your thoughts on trust.