I recently came across information on how to include rich snippets in Google. This is the art of including meta data or other informative information into the search results that help folks identify what is on a page. Examples include star ratings, site links, an author image etc… Here is the official verbiage right from Google on what rich snippets are and how you can work them into your site. It may not seem like much, and a little vain, but I am learning about some new SEO methods by changing things on my own site which can help in diagnosing other URLs having issues and influencing how I setup my other projects.
I followed some of the steps above, specifically around pointing out my Google+ Eric Friedman profile to Google and after a few weeks finally got a new SERP for Eric Friedman which looks like this;
As you can see the SERP is now pulling in my profile pic from G+ alongside my blog and URL info. Its a great way to semi control your results pages and link more meta data about you around the web together.
As far as I can tell I have not made any other changes, although my results for “Eric Friedman” have gone down dramatically in Google. It could be because there are more Eric Friedmans out there, including some famous ones as well as some old sites with a lot more “authority” that rank much higher. As mentioned all this is a little vain, but learning about controlling search results is a good way to keep up on ranking for things you actually care about in the future.