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One of the key online trends in 2014 will be physicians building credibility on the Internet as authors. This can be an important tool to build online reputation and even improve the prospects of your website's search engine rankings. Dermatologists who write articles and columns for their own website, other websites and blogs, or online publications and magazines should consider building a focused online identity for themselves. Thus, if you are interested in promoting a strong online identity, Google+ is an ideal start point.

Many professionals who are already actively engaging with their target audiences through various social media networks may question the need to join Google+, perhaps thinking it is “just another” social media network. However, Google+ has immense growing power. Not only did it recently pass Twitter as the second biggest social media user base after Facebook, Google+ also comes with one key differentiator, called “Google Authorship,” which allow users to promote online profiles. This alone makes the investment of time and effort to create an active presence on Google+ well worth your time.


Google Authorship is a unique system, created by Google, to credit and connect authors with their authentic work. It prominently displays the information about the author, including his or her image next to the online search results. Google+ profile is connected to such authorship information. Over a period of time, this Google Authorship system will build credibility and further the author's online reputation. People who have chosen to use Google Authorship are increasingly reporting a jump in the click-through rates for their articles, columns, blogs, and website content.

As the identity and authenticity of the online author receives a boost with Google Authorship, it is possible to build a more serious and committed readership. From the perspective of a dermatologist, if the target audience gets more loyal and engaged to the write-ups, the chances of their seeking a consultation at the dermatologist's practice improve. Google Authorship is already helping many folks reduce bounce rates on their content-rich web pages, increase the number of page views, and most importantly, encourage visitors to spend more time on the web pages.

Google Authorship also enhances the quality of search for the author. When the author's profile appears in the search results accompanied by an image and byline, a user can simply click on the image or the byline to learn about previous online content items from the author. A complete list of the author's previous works opens up, which ensures regular and prominent exposure for the author's past relevant content in search results. The search result also provides a link next to the byline, which can take the user directly to the author's Google+ page for more information.

Among SEO and Internet marketing experts, Google Authorship has been a major topic of debate for quite some time. The search results showing brief information about the subject of the search become more meaningful with authorship. The search result entry becomes more ‘humanized' from the user's point of view, and the entry comes up more conspicuously than other search results on the page. This consolidates online exposure and enhances user engagement levels in the long run. More importantly, from an SEO perspective, it positions the individual as an authority in a particular area. Many SEO experts believe that the future of online search belongs to authorship—it may be time for website owners and promoters to begin building up author ranks and engaging more closely with Google+.


Setting up Google Authorship is easy once you have created a Google+ profile. To start, the author must ensure that every online article, column, infographic, video, webinar, or other forms of original content includes an “author byline.” The name in the author byline must match with the name in the Google+ profile. Each item should be made available on the author's website or blog.

The author can then visit the Google Authorship page on and submit his or her email address. The email address must correspond with the author's website URL where the article is published. Importantly, the author's Google+ profile page will include information pertaining to the particular piece of content. Therefore, the content should be designed for public view, since any reader may be able to access it through the author's Google+ profile page.

It is also possible for an individual to prevent Google from showing authorship, if the author so chooses. One can simply do this by making the Google+ profile private. This will exclude the profile from the Google search results.


Google has released tips for authors on how to get more advanced with Google Authorship and draw maximum advantage from it. If you are planning to use Google Authorship pay close attention and follow these tips to achieve the desired exposure and SEO benefits in the long run with this strategy:

  • Use Google Authorship for content that has only one author. Avoid using it for content that includes multiple authors or for a web page with multiple pieces of content from different authors.
  • Avoid using authorship on web pages that list many articles from different online sources. The page may have been created by a single person, but authorship should not be used on such pages.
  • Authorship is not intended for companies or organizations. The piece of content must be authored by a real author who should receive the credit.
  • Articles in multiple languages by the same author should be linked with the same Google+ profile.
  • Authorship is not designed to promote product or service description pages, irrespective of whether the web page was created by only one person.


Google has stated repeatedly that it is going to do everything possible to move toward a richer, more annotated World Wide Web wherein the content is driven by the expertise of the author in an area. The ultimate goal is to deliver authentic and authoritative content to readers in response to their search queries. Those who are engaged in online promotion for their businesses and professional practices ought to keep an eye on Google Authorship and be a part of the evolving search engine ranking process.

Naren Arulrajah is President and CEO of Ekwa Marketing, a complete Internet marketing company which focuses on SEO, social media, marketing education and the online reputations of dermatologists. With a team of 130+ full time marketers, helps one doctor in an area dominate their market and grow their business significantly year after year. If you have questions about marketing your practice online, call Naren direct at 877-249-9666.

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