I have written thousands of articles for the Web over the past 9+ years. The bulk of those have been at my SEO News Blog, where I have more than 1,000 posts. But I’ve also been ghost writing since 2006 and I write for Technorati now and again.  I guess what you could say is that what I’ve done in terms of publishing content online is incredible, even to me!

And finally, it’s paying off. Why? Because Google has decided to give props to those of us who provide solid content for the Web, day after day, month after month. They have given us the ability to claim our “Authorship.” And, in 2013, it’s going to be a huge deal.

You see, Google says it’s going to weigh those of us who write for the Web when it comes to our pages landing in the search results. For about a year now, you’ve been Pat Marcelloable to claim authorship and Google will show not only a link to your page when a keyword it applies to is typed into the search bar, but also a photo image of you right beside it.

Why is it important?

Because people tend to click on links with images. They do it for press releases, for twitter tweets, for Facebook posts, etc. So, having your picture next to a result is pretty powerful.

What should you do?

If you’re producing any kind of content for the Web, you need to establish your Author status. I did it when Google first came up with the “Author” rich snippets markup, which is a little bit of code you add to your home page.  Google explains how to do it all in this article, “Author Information In Search Results.” It’s a bit complicated, but if you can’t do it yourself, you can get your webmaster to figure it out for you.

If your website happens to be on self-hosted WordPress (.org not .com), you can get a plugin to make the process much easier. The plugin is called “Author Sure,” and it comes from DIY Webmastery.  Russell Jamieson, who created it, also did a series of videos that walk you through the process step-by-step. It doesn’t get any eeasier than that.

The first step is to set up a Google Plus account. If you don’t have one, get started! If you want some of that great free and targeted traffic from Google, it’s important to get this done right away.

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