04 January, 2013

Google Authorship for garden bloggers

UPDATE August 2014 Google's Authorship experiment is over

UPDATE June 2014 all change. No more Authorship photos on Google Search
Mark Traphagen
Eli Fennell
David Amerland

When I began blogging and I had a few posts up, I made it Public. My first circle of friendly readers came from Blotanical. Wary of privacy and confidentiality issues, I called myself Elephant’s Eye (my blog’s name) and used our mountain as an avatar.

Chocolat - I haz two tails, Green and Black

As the first comments came in – I grew uncomfortable with ‘hiding’ behind an Elephant’s Eye. I became Diana of Elephant’s Eye. The f*cking apostrophe a HTML problem!


end of the line for Elephant's Eye?

I have always read beyond the garden blogs. Ari Herzog spelt out how much information about us is out there on the web. He focused my mind on using my RL name. No longer anonymous, I am – Diana Studer – creator of Elephant’s Eye. RL name? Yes, I can live openly on the web with that.

the face of Elephant's Eye
for those who aren't on Google Plus

But my face, my RL face? As my blog has grown, collecting readers – so I have been on a learning curve. Gentle and easy like a wheel turning? A maze with many try again dead ends, not the labyrinth with a single continuous route I take to hand water my roses.

Rose hearts in October 2010

When someone sneers with contempt – Aren’t you a garden blogger? I can grin happily – yes, but with a Page Rank of 5 for the blog! ‘It's on a sliding scale, each step from 0 takes more than the step before ... so 5 isn't average, it's pretty darn good (esp. if acquired naturally!)’ says Lyndon NA. '… some smaller, yet solid websites within the same industry. There are plenty of PR 5-6 sports blogs out there with real communities. Sites with real communities usually don’t advertise guest posting which is a good thing' from 97thfloor.

Jurg with the Cape Leopard Trust 

Caught a Cape mountain leopard has PR 3 (average they say), and is my third most visited post. My tab/page explaining Why Elephant's Eye is my blog name, also has PR 3.

Blue South African wildflowers in January 2012

Mine is a niche blog and I often come up on the first page of a specific Google search – ‘wildflowers South Africa January’ or ‘Elephant’s Eye’. Beware of the filter bubble when Google offers you Personalised Search – from your own blog, your Google Reader, your Search History. (Click 'the world' to hide personalised search)

Authorship PERSONALISED results 

Searching on Google – your list of results will be spattered with thumbnails, the result of Google Authorship. Thanks to kind and patient help from Thomas Morffew I’ve done what I can. Google requires a ‘clean head shot’ for its facial recognition algorithm. I’ve put my face out there on the web. I’ve tied my ribbons to the wishing tree, now I wait for Google to return my face on search results, one fine day.

Chocolat - you can GO now, I was slEEPing!

If you are interested in where Google ranks you when your readers search, join the dead serious G+ Community for Google Authorship and the future Author Rank. Or the helpful folk at Thomas Morffew's  G+ Resource Community.

Pictures by Diana and Jurg
text by Diana Studer
AKA Diana of  Elephant's Eye
- wildlife gardening in Porterville, 
near Cape Town in South Africa


(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. 
Those are my links.)

39 comments:

  1. It's so interesting to read this post. I have been having the same thoughts myself and am trying right now to figure out Google Authorship. It finally occurred to me that I have written quite a lot of original content. Maybe it's time to make sure I get credit for it! Cheers to you Diana!

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  2. Nice to SEE you, Diana! You are beautiful!

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    1. this, from the lady with the gorgeous Russian eyes!

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    2. Sometimes I miss facebook... I would have liked to 'like' both these comments ;)

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  3. Diana, I understood so little of what you wrote.. I'm laughing at myself...I guess the ranking isn't high on my radar. What is RL? You mentioned that.

    But it is nice to see a photo of you, lovely to put a face to a name...and a gorgeous photo of you that is!

    Jen

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    1. had to translate RL for my sister too. Real life.

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  4. How nice to read this post... you write well, and your photos are pretty... thanks for the tip on the authorship...

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    1. I suppose it's what one is interested in. And each person is quite different. Thinking about what I want -- I think it's like this.
      1. Utterly no interest in seeing what my Google ranking is. Nor even putting my mind to what a Google Ranking is.
      2. I think I belong to Google +. Maybe. But not interested in finding out more about that. It invites me to do things sometimes. I always refuse because it seems to be one of those things that make life more complex than less. So annoyingly american in that respect.
      3. I do like though if people do enjoy the blog enough, or are interested enough, to follow or join. Well satisfied with that.
      4. My original purpose was to organise thoughts information etc and make a good record. And one (well myself anyway) organises better and more clearly if there is an audience. Seems to have worked out quite well. Still works and still happy.
      Overall the blogging thing has been very satisfactory, and even as one who posts rarely now, I appreciate the oppportunity.
      5. I suppose I will get to the point where I stop and would want to take down the blog entirely. One reason I haven't is I would like to make it into one of those bloggy books. And I haven't seen a really good system/company for that yet. Any suggestions ??

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    2. The ranking is aimed at people who want more traffic - selling a product or service, especially writers, or earning via Adsense or affiliation.
      The online journal I find wonderfully useful. I used to scrabble around for scraps of paper - now I can Search this blog!

      DON'T take your blog down. Those posts on gold mining in NZ will draw readers via Google Search way into the future.
      Haven't tried a bloggy book service yet, but I'll tag you next time it comes up on my Reader.

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  5. Diana, you had asked, what offering did I leave at the shrine'...

    Well, the practice here in Japan is, we put some money into the dedicated box as a donation for up-keeping the shrine... and then, we pray to the deity...

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  6. Very interesting read. I too have the authorship thing going on as I was sick of people stealing my work.
    Hopefully this will put a stop to scrapers.

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    1. that Google Panda update seems to have slowed the scrapers. Haven't seen recent complaints amongst my blogging circles.

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  7. Diana - just when I think I am current with technology (or at least catching up), I see something that reminds me to be humble. "RL" made me really laugh out loud (lol) once you clarified -- I had no clue what it meant until you translated! Of course it made perfect sense, once you explained it. (P.S. That is a stunning photo!)

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  8. I'm not on Google+ so authorship is out for me. I have no idea what my blog ranking is. I write and garden, people respond, I'm happy. :o)

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  9. Helllllooooo there! From a fellow South African, blogger and wildlife/nature lover! So good to meet you! ♥♥♥

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    1. Now I have a name for the face of a recent follower. Welcome to EE!

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  10. Hello Diana,
    yes, your are right, you definitely have a niche blog and I always find it interesting to see those exotic plants. Whenever I watch a nature programme on TV, I want to shout: "Hold on! Show a close-up of the flower over there and please name it!" But they never do. So bloggers should fill this gap and show their native plants all over the world.
    Regards
    Elke

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  11. Thankyou, Diana. Your face shot is as lovely as it could be. As soon as I saw the mountain, the name 'Elephant's Eye' that it comes from made me see why you chose it.

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  12. Thank you for leaving the comment about your cancer Diana (my daughter's name). It is so helpful to hear from other people. Regarding this post, I moved from blogger to wordpress and have been blogging about nature for 6 years now. I started as 'ramblingwoods' for privacy but gradually let my photo and name out as I met people and have had some of the same visitors for over 5 years.

    I just recently started reading gardening blogs when I decided I wanted to plant some native plants. I met Donna online and she sent me some plants and seeds which was lovely. Now I am learning and hope...hope that I will be back to better health by this spring as I have ideas and plants to plant and I want to raise monarch butterflies again....Michelle

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  13. Diana, once again you have started me on a google path of learning. Google plus is something I'm still not familiar with but the Authorship issue is intriguing. Thank you for explaining RL - of course! I too tried to hide behind the blog at first but inevitably it seems more of my personal life has come out over time. Although I still tend to show only photographs of me in the distance! Your photo is stunning, and I was thrilled to finally 'see' you. Made me think I should put a proper photo of myself up.

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  14. Thanks for the info Diana I will have to check it out. I love your picture. It is nice to put a name and face with your lovely blog. I recently put a picture on my About page. Eventually I'll find a better picture I like to put out there.

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  15. How wonderful to see your face! It's a lovely photo! I finally added a mugshot to my gardening Facebook page. I, too, was worried about privacy issues, etc., and just wanted to be a little more anonymous. I've resisted getting active on Google+. I signed up for it to allow loading more photos, but I'm having so much trouble keeping up with three Facebook accounts, Twitter, Pinterest, Blotanical, visiting blogs, and posting on my own blog (although those last two are among my favorite things to do!). Anyway, congrats on your ranking and your beautiful photo! And thanks for the info.

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    1. No Twitter, no Pinterest, but G+ is eating my virtual life!

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  16. Nice to see you at last Diana, I have to admit I'm not interested in statistics etc, just in writing about the garden here and commenting with like minded people, that works for me.

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  17. I have always been a fan of your articles and photos, although i cannot cope most of the time when computer softwares are discussed, haha. I am so amazed with those of you who are so good understanding them. But i am like you in not showing the face, that's why i don't connect G+ with my blog and FB yet, am hesitant to show off my photo. In fact my FB photo has a camera bigger than my face! I've seen many bloggers now who changed to their real names. So nice meeting you Diana, you are very beautiful. Happy New Year!

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  18. Hello Diana,
    Lovely head-shot of a lovely lady! I am still hiding behind my camera but after nearly four years I am now ready to do a new one.
    Not on Google+ - sometimes I find it hard to keep up!
    xoxo Ingrid

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  19. I want to really put in a bit of effort into my blogs this year and try to increase traffic and comments. I have reasionable traffic but nobody comments and this gets me down some days as I would like people to at least say something.

    I don't mind people knowing who I am but kinda like the fact that I can go as Firefly online and I love the reaction I get from people when they hear I'm Firefly.

    Cheers, Jonker

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    1. As a reader, it is harder to react with a comment, to a short daily photo post. On yours, I make an effort - but the London one I almost NEVER comment.

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  20. Hi Diana. So good to finally meet you and I love your photo. We garden bloggers have lots to share and the following comes from stuff that's interesting and I like to know what goes on in the other gardens around.

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  21. Lovely photo of yourself! It is nice to see what you look like. I have exactly one photo of me on my entered website, buried among the photo galleries on my sidebar. Good luck on anyone finding it! This post had a lot of good info and gave me something to think about.

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  22. Great timing - now you can establish an identity independent of Elephants Eye that will carry smoothly to your new blog. As always you are a mine of information - just wish I had the time to put it all to use.

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  23. I think I must be stuck in 1970. I still find the need to hide behind my blog. Not sure why, as I don't write about controversial issues. Still, privacy is a hard thing to get back. Your photo is lovely. As always, I appreciate your telling us about the latest - I don't do Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Google +, so I had not heard of Authorship. Although I am basically a scared-y cat, it sounds intriguing.

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    1. Privacy? Have you tried Googling your RL name? To see what is ALREADY out there on the web?

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  24. Hi Diana ~ so nice to meet you! Thank you for all the information.. I am not really up on things.. Just poking around over at the Burbs : ) Your picture is lovely!

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  25. I can understand why you are ranked so high, I enjoy every photo and every word, you have a fantastic blog!You are such a beauty as well!

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  26. So nice to see you, Diana! I know that can be a giant leap... kind of like coming out of a closet of sorts. I felt quite comfortable being Meredehuit (mother of 8) when I first began blogging. But as I became more comfortable with the blogging world, I longed to be called my Real Name (RN) :) and have never regretted the change. I do remember it being a giant leap for me. BTW, your smile is beautiful.

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  27. How interesting, and what a nice photo of you.

    This is on another subject, but I thought you might be interested in this Oscar nomination, as reported by Baltimore blogger Pigtown Design: http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com/2013/01/searching-for-sugar-man.html

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    1. and an interesting post on the London Underground. Going into her seventh year of blogging! Wonder if we'll still be blogging into seven years.

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Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
His Panasonic Lumix FZ100
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.


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