As a web publisher, lawyer and law firm marketer, you should learn about the difference between publisher and author tags for Google search results and Google+ business pages. This can have an impact on your firm’s web business and visibility.
When you publish an article on your website and you want to make use of the social power held by your or your company’s Google+ page, you should include a link to your G+ page tagged either with the rel=author tag or the rel=publisher tag, depending on what aim you want to achieve.
The author tag adds your personal Google+ page’s influence, measured by number of friends, posts, shared links, and overall content creation and social connection through the social media network, to the algorithm that calculates search results.
The publisher tag adds your business’ Google+ page’s influence to that algorithm. However, it has a broader reach than the author tag. While author tags only affect the articles on which they are placed, publisher tags affect an entire business’s website, raising its value in the search rankings.
This is especially noticeable when competing with rivals. For instance, among divorce law firms in Buffalo NY, firms with a robust Google+ page and rel=publisher or rel=author link tags throughout their websites will find that they get significantly more visitors than firms that are less tech-savvy get.
Google is quietly trying to take market share from Facebook, which is seen by many firms as the de facto social network for reaching a broad market while Google is still seen as the de facto search engine. By tying search results to a firm’s Google+ prowess, it will convince many firms to up their engagement with the search giant’s social offering, make a business page, and build content and relationships.
If you want to make the most of the coming era of social search, you not only have to use publisher and author tags; you also have to have a strong presence on Google+.