Google has regularly experimented with its Authorship feature, which enables individuals to add an author tag to their website so their profile photo and name appear next to search results. Now the company is reportedly testing this functionality with brands.
Discovered by Siege Media founder Ross Hudgens, this test is similar to how Google Authorship currently works. However, instead of pulling personal details and article snippets, the test is using company logos and Google+ circle information for your page.
The image used is actually whatever image you have set as your profile photo — so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a logo. That said, for brand recognition, it’s recommended that the image remain consistent with the photos associated with your profiles across other social networks.
Currently, this appears to be based on having a verified Google+ page, although Google hasn’t confirmed or commented on the test. Hudgens noted that the authorship results aren’t limited to branded keyword searches, but also for generic ones like “flight” and “car insurance.” If this becomes more than a test, it’s likely that Google will encourage businesses to become verified.
We’ll keep you updated if more details are released. Should this become a public rollout, it’ll be a great way to increase your visibility and help your website stand out in search results. In the meantime, if you want to set this up for your company blog and give authors with Google+ profiles more visibility, follow these instructions.