Bing may be winning in its “Bing It On” challenge where it surveys random folks in blind tests to see if people prefer Bing or Google search results, but Google still reigns supreme – and by a large margin – as the #1 search engine. Because of this, it’s important to stay up-to-date with all things Google to be sure your website or blog remains competitive.

Like with everything on the Internet, online features and tools evolve over time. Google’s Authorship process and verification steps have both been streamlined and become much easier to follow. And now if you are using Google Chrome as your browser, it’s the easiest it’s ever been to toggle your search engine results between your personal results and universal results.

Verify your Google Authorship

Google Authorship is a way for your face and name to be attributed to the content you publish on the internet. You will first need to create a personal Google Plus profile. Then, in the “Contributor To” area of your Google Plus profile, add links to your author pages on the sites where you publish.

Google now provides an email verification process. Also, you can add a Google Plus button to your About (author) page as another way to create a connection between your content and your Google Plus profile.

Once you’ve created the connection between your content and your Google Plus profile, you can check your Authorship mark up with this structured data testing tool.

google-authorship-testing-tool

If your Authorship steps have been completed successfully, you’ll see the green “Authorship is working for this webpage” message and what that link’s Authorship and search result looks like.

Toggle between Personal & Universal Google Results

We all want to do well in search. This is why we put so much time and effort (and money) into optimizing our websites and blogs. Google’s goal is to make the web a more personalized experience by providing you with the content it thinks is most relevant to you. This is also why you’ll tend to be shown web pages that your friends have tweeted, posted about or shared in some way.

By default, when you execute a Google search, you’ll be presented with search results that are biased to you based on your previous search history and personal network. So, in order to truly see how well your website, its pages and your blog posts are ranking, you need to remove that personal aspect and look at universal search results.

Google Chrome makes this easy. After executing a search on Google.com, click on the earth icon on the top right side to remove your personal search bias from those results.

personal-universal-google-search-results

After clicking, you’ll see the page reload and a change in what’s presented to you on Page 1.

Claiming your content as your own and knowing exactly where you stand in Google’s eyes are 2 fundamental pieces for a well-rounded online marketing strategy.

What are your favorite online tools? Have you claimed authorship of your posts?

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