Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing firm. He is also a business blogger on tech, marketing, and growth. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.

Tech Talk With Mike

As Google handles more than 91% of online traffic worldwide, improving your visibility on the search engine is important. However, there is more to search engine visibility than just appearing on the first page. Unknown to many, some internet users will only connect with sources they trust.

Unfortunately, building a significant following isn’t easy, especially in the current digital world where every brand is looking for attention online. As such, you should take advantage of all available options, including claiming your author panel to stand out from the competition.

WHAT IS THE AUTHOR PANEL?

Though new to many, the concept of the “author panel” as a concept in search engine optimization isn’t new. For years, Google has released several features to provide information about authors of online content. For instance, in 2005, Google introduced the “Agent Rank” initiative. This initiative used digital signatures to assign content scores according to the author’s reputation.

That said, Google’s author panel is a description box Google displays on the search engine results page alongside the results of a search entity, which could be a business, organization, person, or event. Information appearing on this description box is drawn from the platform’s Knowledge Graph, otherwise known as Google’s data bank.

If you don’t know, the Knowledge Graph is Google’s information system that helps the search engine understand information about individuals or businesses online and their relationships. The system pulls data from various sources, including Google My Business, social media, reputable websites, and Wikipedia. This information then gets an update every time changes are made within the source.

Google’s knowledge panel can feature:

  • Images, videos, and other visuals
  • Social media profiles
  • Individual or business websites
  • Contacts
  • Business facts
  • Events

This gives your users an idea of who you are or what your business is all about.

HOW TO CLAIM YOUR AUTHOR PANEL

Claiming your author panel is beneficial to your and your business as it allows you to control information displayed. While setting up an author’s panel might be cumbersome, its prominence and benefits on search engine pages make it worth striving for. Follow these steps to claim yours:

Create a Google account — You need a Google account to claim and verify your author panel. If you don’t have one, simply sign up on Google.com by filling in the necessary details. Note that Google uses this account to verify your information, identity, and any other associations.

Search for yourself on Google — Once you have a profile, go back to Google’s search query and search for yourself or any other entity (business or company) that you are associated with. Google’s knowledge panel will appear as the top search engine result.

Claim the author panel — Once the knowledge panel appears on the search results, scroll down to the end of the panel. There will be a “Claim this knowledge panel” button immediately after the panel. Click on the button, and you will be redirected to a new window where you will have to verify your authorship.

Note that you may be required to verify your identity using your preferred social media platform. After a successful verification, you can now manage your author knowledge panel.

Wrap up — Claiming your author panel is a prudent decision for many reasons. It not only increases your Google ranking but also makes it easy for internet users to find what they are looking for. It is also an easy way of powering your digital marketing strategy. You can use your author panel to boost brand awareness and help drive traffic to your website. Remember to consistently create quality knowledge on reputable platforms to feed Google’s Knowledge graph on what to display on the panel.

Mike Gingerich is president of Digital Hill Multimedia (www.DigitalHill.com), a Goshen web design, web software and social media marketing firm. He is also a business blogger on tech, marketing, and growth. Find out more at www.MikeGingerich.com/blog/.

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