Google’s new authorship initiative (links below) has the potential to be a real game-changer for organizations that focus on delivering news on the Internet, be it via blogs or traditional news sources. Here’s how it works: In a clear attempt to establish Google+ as the post facto standard for social media identity (at least for authors), writers are being instructed to link their Google+ identities to the publications they write for. In turn, the articles on the respective publication site are linked back to the author’s profile, either via a designated author page, or more directly from an article itself. So, you may start seeing more of those little Google+ icons popping up on articles across the web, similar in fashion to Facebook Like and other social media icons. This is intended to be a win-win situation for both Google and the authors – Google gets needed traction for their Google+ social media environment in the battle against Facebook, as they are clearly differentiating Google+ as a “more serious” reflection of an individual’s total identity, in contrast to Facebook, which can easily denigrate to something resembling an immature collection of rants and raves over a period of time. The authors and their publications gain the potential for desired publicity and possibly an increase in pageviews for their respective articles (something that authors could readily use with the recent removal of the “search by author” capability within Google News). Only time will tell in determining if this initiative serves to increase pageviews as well as provide what the sputtering Google+ platform needs to both increase its growth as well as differentiate itself positively from the likes of Facebook.

Google’s new guidelines on authorship:

Recent details on improvements to the Google authorship process: