In yesterday’s post, we shared that making copies of other sites was a Very Bad Thing (™). Today, let’s look at how to establish authorship over your own content so that Google knows who is the authentic originator of the content you publish. Setting up authorship is vitally important – if you do it right, you are staking a claim over your content so that Google knows who the original author is, protecting your intellectual property. In turn, that tells Google to ignore or even penalize other websites that copy your content.

First and foremost, you’ll need a Google+ account for both yourself as a person and for your organization. Let’s go through the Google+ setup first.

Google+ Personal Profile

In your own profile (or your employees’ profiles), find the Contributes to section. Add in the website for your company or yourself that you’ll be writing for. Here, we can see my addition of SHIFT Communications:

Christopher Penn - Google+

Every person who contributes to the company website should do this step, as it grants some of the personal reputation of the authors to the corporate site. This means that if you have some popular authors on staff, their personal reputations will help improve your corporate website’s reputation.

Google+ Company Profile

Next, head over to your company’s Google+ page, and make sure the website is linked up there:

SHIFT Communications - Google+

Next, you’ll need to edit your website. If you’re using the WordPress content management system, then simply install the Yoast SEO plugin, turn it on, and follow the tutorial for getting it set up.

For Yoast/Wordpress Users

First, set up your Google Publisher page settings with your Google+ company page URL:

Titles & Metas ‹ SHIFT Communications PR Agency | Boston | New York | San Francisco — WordPress

Next, add each other’s Google+ profile in their user settings:

Profile ‹ SHIFT Communications PR Agency | Boston | New York | San Francisco — WordPress

That’s it! You’re done setting up authorship if you’re a Yoast/Wordpress user.

For Non-Wordpress Users

On your homepage, you’ll need to provide a publisher link in the header that links back to your Google+ company page:

This tells Google that your domain and your Google+ company page are related to each other.

Next, every time you publish a new blog post or page, make sure the author of that page has a link to their individual Google+ profile in their post so that Google knows they are contributing to the site (and passes some of their reputation to the company site):

Important: this step must be done for every blog post and page on your website.


If you’re not using a content management system like WordPress (with the SEO plugin) then setting this up can be an arduous task, but it’s absolutely essential if you want to protect your intellectual property from being used elsewhere without your permission and/or losing search value to someone else’s website for your content. Authorship also provides search bonuses to your SEO, so configuring it is not only good for protecting yourself, but promoting your company’s owned/branded media as well.

We hope this guide has been helpful! If you’d rather engage a firm to help you with the setup and other SEO tasks, please feel free to contact SHIFT today.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology


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