8,000 Impressions: You’re Welcome

By | June 14, 2013

Google Authorship Search Statistics shows 8,000 search impressions and 400 clicks since mid-March on archived news content I “authored.”

I discovered a new metric today from Google. As I tried tweaking some of the webmaster tools for this website – mariekshanahan.com – I spotted a link in Google Webmaster Tools labeled “Labs -> Authorship.”

If you use any Google products regularly, you likely have a Google account. As such, all your Google-based activities are connected. I use Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Fusion, soon-to-be discontinued Google Reader, Calendar, Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Google+ and Google Authorship.

Some of Google’s services overlap. This is good in terms of efficiency (and bad if you don’t like the NSA knowing your every move.)

Google Authorship is particularly useful for journalists, because it connects any online news content you’ve authored to your Google+ profile. What that means is your G+ profile can be prominently displayed if the news article you created appears as a result in a Google search.

Here you can see my Google+ account is clearly displayed with a search result link to a story I wrote for The Hartford Courant in 1997.

This display can help boost your online reputation as a professional journalist. If the media is a “game of attention,” then you want your content to attract attention, and nowadays people find news and information through Google Search.

Google’s algorithms are so smart and semantic that I didn’t even need to tell the company to link my G+ account to my online news content. Because my G+ profile indicates I once worked for The Hartford Courant (1994-2010) and for AOL/Patch.com (2010-11), all my archived news articles on Courant.com and Patch.com servers were one day tagged with my G+ profile picture and byline.

When I noticed this connection happened without my involvement, it was kind of cool and kind of scary/Orwellian at the same time.

Anyway, the new metric that “Google Labs -> Authorship” showed me in Webmaster Tools are search statistics of webpages for which I am the “verified author.”

My old online news stories for the Hartford Courant and Patch showed up 8,000 times in search results in the past three months (the only time period currently available).

Even though I no longer work for either of those news organizations, the two companies have been able to continue monetizing the stories, photo galleries and other web pages I authored for them, some more than a decade ago.

According to the Google Authorship metrics, from mid-March to mid-June 2013 the “by MARIE K. SHANAHAN” archive only garnered 400 clicks from those 8,000 search impressions. That’s not a lot.

But a click leads to advertising, and 400 clicks can generate 400 online advertising impressions for the Tribune Co. and AOL Inc. coming from “the long tail” of my archived content. There is profit to be made in news archives.

More clicks = more ad views = more online revenue. And not one penny of it goes back to the original author.

You’re welcome.

(I actually hope any revenue gleaned from the archive helps keep my former colleagues gainfully employed.)


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