How to Add Google Authorship to Your Blog or Website
If you use Google regularly or use any of their products or follow them in any way, you've probably noticed that they are always doing new things. Recently, they've come out with Google Glass, updated the look of Google+, and announced even more changes to their famous search algorithm. Although this isn't a recent change, you have probably also noticed that some search results now include things like author pictures. These "enhanced" search results use rich snippets and this type of rich snippet is called Google Authorship:
Although Google hasn't officially said that authorship is being used as a ranking tool, it certainly may be used as one in the future (or it could be already and we just don't know it yet). Either way, I think we can agree that adding Google Authorship makes your page's result stand out more because, let's face it, those pictures of people's smiling faces catch your eye. In some cases, pages have even seen a 150% increase in traffic just by adding authorship to the page. Sounds pretty good huh? Well, luckily there are only a few steps to get started with Google Authorship and here they are:
1. Create a Google+ profile if you don't already have one. Make sure you have an appropriate photo on your profile, as that will be the photo that will show in search results. You should also match the name on your profile to what will show on the byline of each page of your content.
2. If you're a regular writer for your own blog or your company's blog, you should add an email address with that blog's domain to your Google+ profile. For example, since I'm a writer for the dynadot blog on dynadot.com, I added an email address @dynadot.com to my profile. Also, note that if you don't want that email address to be public, you can still choose to keep it private without having an issue with your authorship.
3. Link your content to your Google+ profile. In my opinion, you should do this even if you're able to verify your email address and that is the only place you'll be writing. If you're contributing to the same blog often, you can just add the main page of the blog to your "Contributor to" section on your profile like I did with the Dynadot blog. For any additional articles you write, you can add the individual links.
4. The last thing you need to do is add a link to your Google+ profile in your byline. The link should look like this: <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/YourProfileID?rel=author"> with "YourProfileID" replaced with that long number that identifies your Google+ profile.
Once you've got everything set up, you can check to make sure it is working with Google's structured data testing tool. Simply enter the URL of the page you want to test and click preview. If it's showing correctly, then you should be all set. If not, go back through the steps again to make sure you didn't miss anything. Do note that if you're going back through old posts and adding your authorship information, your picture won't show immediately in search results. Google will have to recrawl those pages before the authorship will show up in search results and that will take time.
Want to see what other changes Google is making to their search results? Check out my past post on How Google is Changing Search.
Post by Robyn Norgan