Hiring a Blogger with Google Authorship

As much as it pains me to say it, Google Authorship looks like it's here to stay, and while that may mean more publishers are forced to have a Google+ profile when they otherwise would not, I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing.

If you're concerned that Google Authorship - the bylines and author headshots that appear in search results - could have a significant negative impact on your ranking, then you might want to take a fresh look at the content you publish.

I've always believed that good-quality content is pretty much impervious to being downgraded by Google simply due to an algorithm update, and there's no better measure of what constitutes 'good-quality' content than whether or not you're willing to put your name to it.

But as an individual publisher, you don't necessarily have a Google+ profile that bears an individual's name, or that carries much clout when it comes to the search rankings.

Hiring a blogger with Google Authorship already up and running on other websites gives you a head-start, as you can effectively cash in on their existing kudos with Google.

If their headshot is already appearing in search results, for instance, you know that it has passed Google's guidelines (which, according to reports I've seen, require a passport-style shot with your full head visible, front-facing).

All it takes is to set up a linked byline or author page from your website or blog, with the correct Google+ link appearing on each page contributed by the blogger, and for them to link back to your site from the 'Contributor to...' section of their Google+ profile page.

There's an element of transparency to this, as you'll have to name the blogger and be willing to have your site listed on their profile, but again, if you've got something to hide, you should be looking closely at your content publishing plan anyway.

If you found this page in the Google search results, it probably had my byline and headshot alongside it.

I can help you to set up the same for any pages I contribute to your site, and will leave the 'Contributor to...' link on my Google+ profile for as long as we have an ongoing active working relationship (which basically means, until there's a full calendar month in which we don't produce any content).

Even if you want to publish your content with your own byline, that's fine, I'm happy for you to claim authorship of your content as long as you pay me for writing it in the first place, and I can still help you to set up the reciprocal linking between your blog/site and your Google+ profile, to get your byline appearing in Google's search results.